PuSh Blog

Reflections: The Impact of 2024’s Festival

April 25, 2024

Keltie Forsyth, Director of Operations

I’ve been feeling reflective lately. This may be because it is a literal time of looking back. Here at PuSh we are debriefing with partners and artists, writing reports on the most recent Festival and ensuring our books are all in order.

Attending the beautiful memorial service to one of our founders, Norman Armour deepened that reflection. PuSh and Norman are inextricable in the minds of so many in our community: the audiences who learned to trust his curation, who were willing to take on a leap on a show they might hate because they knew they wouldn’t be bored; the artists, ones he programmed and ones he didn’t; the donors who got onboard with the strength of his vision and wanted to help see it though; and the artists and presenters who came to think of PuSh as home.

The 2024 Festival felt like a tether, one end stretching back and the other reaching forward to the 2025 Festival, which will be our 20th. Not keeping us in place, but maintaining our connection to the founding ideals of PuSh.

We also have numerous triumphs to celebrate from the last Festival. This was a year marked by an expansion of our community engagement activities. From the 19 Episodes of our PuSh Play podcast, which has been listened to 1600 times and counting, to the 17 public, artist and youth workshops, to the 15 artist talks we hosted, there were so many opportunities to deepen our relationships, form lasting connections and seed inspirations. 

This relationship building has been core to everything PuSh has done this year. Just as we are connecting past and future, we bridge innovation and experimentation with inter-cultural connection and transformative experiences. The Festival serves as a conduit for the exchange of ideas and a catalyst for change rooted in deeper empathy, meaningful connections, new possibilities and an expanded sense of the world.

Gabrielle is working hard at curating a gorgeous 20th Festival and we already have one very exciting work and partnership announced for next year: Dimanche, which we will present with the Cultch at the Vancouver Playhouse. I had the joy of seeing an early iteration of this work many years ago at the Edinburgh fringe, and I could not be more pleased to be a part of bringing it to Vancouver. A visual spectacle of theatre magic and dreamlike storytelling, Dimanche paints a witty and tender portrait of humanity surprised by the uncontrollable forces of nature.

We’ll be revealing partner shows and giving you a sneak peek throughout Spring and Summer. We hope you will stay connected here and through our newsletter and social media channels.