Culture: Elliott Brood, Jitters, The Eastside Cultural Crawl

Culture season swings into high gear ?with meta-theatre, alt rock ?and east end art. Music // Elliott Brood

Elliott Brood | BCBusiness

Culture season swings into high gear 
with meta-theatre, alt rock 
and east end art.

Music // Elliott Brood

Veteran Toronto alt-country trio Elliott Brood hit the Commodore this month promoting their new album, Days Into Years, the follow-up to 2008’s Polaris-shortlisted Mountain Meadows. Given that this high-intensity band (once described as “death country”), led by banjo-strumming front man Mark Sasso, will be taking the stage 36 hours before the solemn Victory Square Remembrance Day observances, fans of earlier work could be forgiven for thinking that the tone is a little off. But they would be wrong. The new record was conceived when the trio, all military history enthusiasts, were touring in France in 2007 and came across a cemetery containing the graves of young Canadians lost in the First World War. Inspired by that moment and recorded partially in a former army barracks in rural Ontario, Days Into Years comprises stories from Canadian history, weaving them together with operatic sweep. The Commodore Ballroom, November 9.

Theatre // The Belfry Theatre Presents Jitters

Image: Jo-Anne Richards

If you’ve yet to take in a show at Victoria’s Belfry Theatre, you’re missing out on one of B.C.’s unique cultural experiences. The foil to the downtown 772-seat McPherson Playhouse, the Belfry is a former Pantages theatre concerned mostly with weightier fare. The Belfry specializes in contemporary musicals, with a particular emphasis on Canadian work. When it first moved into the former 19th-century Baptist church that housed the company in 1991, the Belfry shared the space with a homeless shelter. Renovations on the heritage space were completed in 2000, providing an intimate environment for fun, with offbeat productions like this month’s Jitters, a behind-the-scenes comedy about life onstage. Written by David French and directed by Patrick MacDonald, this meta-play takes the audience on a backstage tour of the big egos and confined quarters behind opening night. The Belfry Theatre, November 15 through December 18.;


Art // The Eastside Culture Crawl

East Vancouver’s steadily accumulating cultural cachet did not originate with hipster restaurateurs or “East Van Pride” t-shirt designers. Starting in 1997, the three-day Eastside Culture Crawl took the lead in showing off the creativity budding in the city’s Bohemian easterly enclaves. Valerie Arntzen, the assemblage artist, led the Crawl for more than a decade. You can walk into her studio, Panifico, at 800 Keefer Street, and thank her yourself. That’s the whole idea behind the event, as every studio in the neighbourhood throws open its doors. Oh, and while you’re visiting Panifico, pop into the Wilder Snail café at Keefer and Hawks; it’s a true hidden gem that only artists seem to know about. Various venues, November 18-20.