Accessible PuSh

Photo: Bronwen Sharp
TD Ready Commitment Logo

Providing transformative performing arts experiences to as broad an audience as possible is a PuSh Festival core value. We remove physical, social and financial barriers wherever possible to ensure everyone has an opportunity to experience the performing arts.

Bookings and Inquiries

For feedback, more information, or to discuss your specific needs, please contact Accessible PuSh Coordinator Anika Vervecken at access@pushfestival.ca or call 604.605.8284 ext 204. For Ticket Bookings, please contact Audience Services.


Performance Introductions

Some performances without ASL-interpretation, captions or live description are still accessible. For the elements that are essential to appreciate or follow the show we provide a written introduction. These introductions are written by or with artists specifically for audience members who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind or live with vision loss.

Introductions are available for download on the show page and a printed version will be at the box office. They can also be requested via email at access@pushfestival.ca.


Blind or Low-Vision Patrons

VocalEye logo

We worked with our consultant Deborah Wong to choose shows to be described and designate shows as low vision friendly and are currently able to offer:

  • Live audio description by VocalEye at select performances to describe the visual elements in real time.
  • Introductions for all shows that are low vision friendly.
  • Complimentary ticket for companions.
  • Sighted guides.

To request a sighted guide (or theatre buddy) for shows described by VocalEye, please contact Donna at buddies@vocaleye.ca, at least three days before the show. To request a sighted guide for any other show email Anika at access@pushfestival.ca.

Click here for all low vision friendly shows on our website
Click here for the PDF info-sheet of these shows
Click here for the Word doc version

For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patrons

This year, we are proud to partner with a Deaf advisor: Aastrid Evensen. We provide the following for performing arts lovers who are Deaf or hard of hearing:

  • ASL general informational vlog (right below)
  • Vlogs for all DHH friendly shows (on show pages)
  • ASL-interpretation at select performances and events
  • ASL interpretation can be requested for non-performance events, subject to availability. Request ASL interpretation.
  • Captions or surtitles for select performances
  • Written introductions for DHH-friendly can be downloaded on show pages, and paper copies are available at the box office.
  • Training in basic ASL for our accessibility volunteers
  • We encourage Deaf and hard of hearing arts lovers to volunteer and see shows for free. Register as a volunteer.

See all DHH friendly shows on our website
Download PDF info-sheet on 2020 DHH friendly shows


Relaxed Performances

These select performances welcome patrons who benefit from a relaxed theatre environment. They may be more welcoming / comfortable for (but not limited to) people on the autism spectrum, and people with sensory and communication disorders or learning disabilities. At Extra live shows, all performances are relaxed.

We want to stress that we do relaxed performances to help people feel welcome. This in no way means people are not welcome to attend other shows. Everyone is welcome at any show!

Download PDF info-sheet on 2020 Relaxed and Extra live Performances

Relaxed Performances Include:

  • A visual story for the venue
    • A guide with pictures designed for people with autism, but helpful to anyone
  • A visual story of the show
    • A show guide with pictures of performers
    • What to expect of intense or shocking moments
    • A complete breakdown of the show
  • Adjusted Show Environment
    • House lights are never completely off for the audience
    • Sound and light are lowered
  • Suspended theatre audience norms
    • No shushing; it is ok to make noise
    • Outward reactions are welcome
    • Ok to move around and fidget
  • Chill-out space to relax if the show is too intense 
    • A video feed of the show is provided where possible

Support Persons

Access2Card logo
Canucks Austism Network-CAN logo

Support persons who accompany patrons requiring assistance to attend a show receive a complimentary ticket. The PuSh Festival participates in Easter Seals Canada’s Access2 program and partners with VocalEye and Canucks Autism Network. No one who needs a ticket for a support person will be turned away. Need support but don’t have a support person? We can provide one, info in the section right below.

Getting to the Venue

Specially trained PuSh volunteers are available to assist patrons to attend shows, meeting you at nearby public transit stops, guiding you to and from venues and supporting you at the shows.

Tickets for support persons & sighted guide requests

Email access@pushfestival.ca or call 604.605.8284 ext 204. Sighted guide requests are ideally made 72 hours in advance. Subject to availability.


Surtitles & Captions

Performances that use spoken languages other than English may have surtitles [ST]. This can make the show accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing patrons, especially when offered in combination with a performance introduction.

Old Stock, a Refugee Love Story will have captions on Jan 26.
Cuckoo will have open captions on Feb 5.

See all DHH friendly shows on our website
Download PDF info-sheet on 2020 DHH friendly shows


Accessibility Venue Audits

Detailed audits are conducted for all Festival venues, providing technical specifications about a range of accessibility considerations. Consult the accessibility audits online to find out more about each venue.


Community Ticketing

The PuSh Festival works with partner social services organizations and community groups to distribute complimentary or reduced-price tickets to people who may experience barriers to attend the Festival.

If you know a group of people that would benefit from coming to a particular event or show, you can request Community Tickets here.


Gender Inclusivity

Inclusivity is one of our core values and that extends to creating a gender-inclusive environment. We provide training to our volunteers and have a gender inclusive washroom policy for all our venues and events.

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