July Culture Events in Vancouver

Tragic images from the Japanese front, the evil ?of Richard III and the enduring train wreck ?that is Britney Spears. Art // War and Disaster in Japanese Prints

Tragic images from the Japanese front, the evil 
of Richard III and the enduring train wreck 
that is Britney Spears.

Art // War and Disaster in Japanese Prints

Made suddenly and tragically timely by this spring’s triple catastrophe, this Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibition of Meiji-era propaganda and newsy woodcut prints has in fact been in the works for more than a year. It consists of some 40 prints from the turn of the previous century, when Japan was involved in wars with China and Russia (which it soundly thrashed in a mostly naval 1905 conflict, shocking European nations while inspiring patriotic fervour and expansionist ambitions among many Japanese), as well as 20 prints used to commemorate and inform the populace about the three major earthquakes the country experienced in 1855, 1896 and 1923. To Sept. 5, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, aggv.ca

Geekery // Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy

Image: Steve Jennings/Wireimage

Distant Worlds takes a trip into a world where video game obsessives attend orchestral renditions of their favourite game franchises’ soundtracks, accompanied by footage and stills of key game-play moments. The wildly popular current tour, returning to Vancouver for a second engagement at the Orpheum and featuring cult figure Nobuo Uematsu, who composed much of the vast library of FF cues, themes and songs, has been going since 2007. Much-lauded indie Canadian musician Owen Pallett, who initially recorded under the name Final Fantasy, is a fan, but expect the crowd to be more cosplay than hipster. July 27, Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, ticketmaster.ca

Music // Britney Spears, with Nicki Minaj, Jessie and the Toy Boys and Nervo

Down the rabbit hole we go, into a world where Britney Spears is becoming some sort of sainted survivor who still commands the attention of obsessive but slightly aging fans, rubberneckers still hoping for another meltdown and lovers of state-of-the-art modern pop product. Opener Nicki Minaj, despite a disappointing debut, still retains the halo of rap’s Next Big Female Thing thanks to a series of star-making cameos last year on tracks by Kanye et al. July 1, Rogers Arena, Vancouver, 


Festival // Victoria International Buskers Festival

Sexy Australian fire-eaters, virtuoso one-man bands, professional Hula-Hoopers and a host of other sidewalk artists enliven beautiful downtown Victoria for a few weeks. These free-range circus acts may work outside, but they share little else in common with that guy outside your local liquor store strumming “Heart of Gold” over and over again. They travel an international circuit from Tokyo to Tel Aviv, practicing pure showmanship at its finest. Family friendly and free, though you’d be churlish not to drop a little something in their hats. July 15 to 24, Victoria Inner Harbour and other locations, victoria​buskers.com

Theatre // Bard on the Beach

Vancouver’s venerable Shakespeare festival kicks off with the lighthearted (but full of subtext!) As You Like It on the main stage and a distillation of the Henry VI plays into one blockbuster that comes with its own Hollywood-style colon (Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses) on the Studio Stage. Then Bard heads for the red meat with the reliably controversial Merchant of Venice and that classic work of Tudor propaganda, Richard III, a thrilling horror show about an evil serial-killer hunchback that might just be the most successful piece of character assassination in the English language. To Sept. 24, Vanier Park, Vancouver,