PuSh Blog

Thank you for joining us at PuSh 2022!

February 09, 2022

photo by Jeremiah Hughes

Organizing and delivering PuSh 2022 was an exercise in optimism, adaptability, resilience and determination, on the part of our staff, volunteers and the donors, supporters and arts lovers who stuck with us through everything to bring some amazing performing arts shows to Vancouver during a pandemic. We are so grateful for all the support we received from everyone who helped make this year possible. You helped set PuSh back on track, supporting our ability to bring ground-breaking and genre-defying performing arts to Vancouver well into the future.

Jason Dubois, a member of the Collaborative Leadership Team at PuSh, says,

“When we closed the 16th annual PuSh Festival on February 9, 2020 – we had no idea what a difficult period we were entering. For me, sitting in the theatre these past weeks with PuSh volunteers, patrons and artists, caused the distress of the past 23 months to melt away. Theatre did exactly what it is meant to do – it provided a cathartic shared experience that brought us together with ideas both familiar and foreign. It took us outside of our daily experience, while helping us to better understand ourselves. Thank you for joining us – none of this would be possible without each of you.”

Jason Dubois | Director of Operations, Collaborative Leadership Team

Between January 20 and February 6, more than 4300 people attended the Festival, experiencing 11 shows and installations, including one world and two Canadian premieres, work-in-progress showings and Club PuSh nights. Three PuSh shows were also made available for on-demand streaming. Thank you for sharing these stories and happenings with us, however you chose to partake! 

In reflecting on this year’s Festival experience, Collaborative Leadership Team member Gabrielle Martin shares,

“Desensitization and distraction can sometimes feel like the only way forward when faced with the contemporary issues of injustice, climate change, threats to democracy, and more. While we need to feel to provoke action and sustain change, that emotional presence is often too exacting. Art is that place where we can transmute our emotions rather than deny them, inciting or tempering them through new experiences and perspectives; this year’s performances and installations have made me laugh and cry, have made me question the role of capitalism in my life and nation, have transported me to Nunavik, and have immersed me in the world of a neurodiverse young woman. They have made me feel more alive. And thousands of you shared these experiences along with me. Thank you for choosing to create culture with PuSh this year!”

Gabrielle Martin | Director of Programming, Collaborative Leadership Team

Beyond the artistic content of the program, our Industry Series was also a resounding success, pivoting to a digital/in-person format and bringing together over 200 performing arts professionals from over 15 countries around the world. Check our PuSh podcast here, to listen to some of the panel discussions. 

The PuSh team is proud of the place that the Festival occupies in the cultural landscape of Vancouver.  It’s more than just artists performing while audiences watch; everyone who comes out becomes part of the narrative through the conversations and feelings that resound. Here’s what people were saying in print, in lobbies, at dinners, on social media, in workshops and around PuSh:

“Enjoyed the work last night! So good to experience cool voices with a super audio system. And we really need more opportunities to lie down at arts events.”

Anna, Vox.Infold patron

Many thanks to staff and volunteers who delivered a successful festival under such challenging circumstances. I know I was enriched by the shows I had the pleasure of seeing. And thank you to our many audience members and supporters who also came to experience the immense talent on display. – Camyar Chai, President of the PuSh Board of Directors

“This is a great show. Sit with it”.

Mark, Aalaapi patron 

“Really enjoyed this show, and the actors were really interesting and engaging in the talkback”

Linda, Aalaapi patron

“Wonderfully curated experience! Very friendly knowledgeable staff were helpful pre and post show. Covid safety was visible and present. The innovative cultural experience was profound and enriching.”

Anonymous,  post-show survey

Many of these performances were so powerful, you were inspired to donate to the PuSh Festival – and we are grateful. One-third of the funding required to create the PuSh Festival comes from individuals like you who believe that the arts matter. If you haven’t yet given in 2022, we hope you might consider making a contribution to support PuSh as we continue to rebuild toward the 2023 Festival.

After the precarity of the past two years, we are so grateful to everyone who chose to join us at PuSh 2022. We hope that the Festival affected you in the profound ways that only art can, and we look forward to seeing you at PuSh 2023!