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 Ticket Bookings, please contact Audience Services.

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.


Performance Introductions

Some performances without ASL-interpretation or live description 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 online mid-December, and can be requested via email at access@pushfestival.ca.


Patrons who are blind or have low vision

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
    This service describes the visual elements of a live show in real time
  • Introductions for all shows that are low vision friendly
    These will be available online mid December
  • 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.


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 vlogs with general information (below)
  • vlogs for all DHH friendly shows (on the show page)
  • ASL-interpretation at select performances and events
  • ASL interpretation can be requested for non-performance events, subject to availability
    Click here to request ASL interpretation for a non-performance event
  • Captions or surtitles for select performances
  • Written introductions to visual performances designated to be DHH friendly
    Paper copies are also 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
    Click here to register as a volunteer

NOTE: the vlog below has accurate information except for the dates of the festival which is January 21 – February 9th 2020. An updated vlog will be posted in December.


Relaxed Performances

Select performances welcome patrons who benefit from a relaxed theatre environment. These performances are ideal for (but not limited to) people on the autism spectrum, and people with sensory and communication disorders or learning disabilities.

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? 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.

Getting to the Venue

Specially-trained PuSh & VocalEye volunteers are available to assist patrons to reach performance venues. Volunteers will arrange to meet patrons at a public transit stop near the venue, then guide them to and from venue.

Tickets for support persons & sighted guide requests:

Sighted guide requests must be made 72 hours in advance.
Email access@pushfestival.ca
Call 604.605.8284 ext 204


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.


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.


Gender Inclusivity

Inclusivity is one of our core values and that also 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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