PuSh Blog

Field Notes from Joyce Rosario

March 13, 2019


Joyce using The Mood Machine in Auckland. Photo credit: Julie Zhu

Field Notes from Joyce Rosario — PuSh Interim Artistic Director


It’s been just over a month since the closing of the 15th edition of PuSh!

I’m writing from Melbourne where I’m attending Dance Massive, a brilliant biennial program of work by artists from across Australia. I’ve just come from Auckland’s Performing Arts Network New Zealand conference, which took place right before the opening of Auckland Arts Festival. It’s a hectic schedule filled with meeting artists and colleagues, and encountering new works. Equally important on this trip has been learning Indigenous protocols in each of the places I visit. In Auckland, international delegates were welcomed to country following Maori protocol, including a pure ceremony followed by a visit to Karekare, one of New Zealand’s iconic west coast beaches.

Being on the road, I’m reminded of how much of my work is a privilege — to meet artists and colleagues from around the globe and then bring that work to Vancouver and find a context for it at PuSh. This has never meant more to me than in this past year. By the time this newsletter hits your inbox, it will have been exactly a year since Norman announced his moving on, and what a year it’s been! I am so incredibly proud of the work we did and the team that made it possible.

2019 will be remembered as a transition year, our first without Norman and our last with Roxanne. I’d like to express my gratitude to them both for their leadership during their tenure at PuSh. It is truly is the end of an era that I’m so lucky to have been a part of, and that I’m excited to bring forward in starting a new journey for PuSh with Franco at the helm of our team starting in June. I’ve known Franco for many years and have long been an admirer of his work in Toronto at The Theatre Centre. He sets a bar for curatorial practice and I can’t wait to get started together!

In the meantime, before launching into some curatorial musings for 2020 (to come in an upcoming post!) I want to revel in some memories of my interim year as Artistic Director and share a couple of my own personal highlights from the 2019 Festival (aside from the shows, which, of course, is my FAVOURITE part):

I’m so thrilled that we opened the Festival with Squamish/Musqueam knowledge keeper, Rebecca Duncan, the first time PuSh has started the Festival with Indigenous protocol. So much gratitude to Rebecca for her generosity and for getting us started in the right way!

Photo credits: Sarah Race Photography 

The night at Beaumont Studios was at once a game-changer and a throwback. We brought back a FREE opening night party (following a phenomenal performance by D’BI) with Kimmortal and Immigrant Lessons. It was a night at the Festival that looked and felt like my experience growing up in East Vancouver. Thanks to the 500+ people that came to join us!


Photo credits: Sarah Race Photography 

After our most successful Industry Series to date in 2018, we just kept pushing forward. The conversations, keynote and pitches were all stellar. A great mix of guests and delegates, so great to be hosted at SFU this year!

Photo credits: Tim Matheson 

I’m now looking forward to that is to come in this off-season and for the talented artists PuSh looks forward to welcoming in 2020.

All my best,