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Let Them Entertain You Vancouver, B.C., Rates High In The ‘Low Season’

Sun., March 29, 1998

This is considered the low season in most northern cities.

But “low season” is one of the busiest in Vancouver, British Columbia.

It’s when the theaters come alive, orchestras and dance companies take over stages and galleries display some of the most cuttingedge art. And, hotel room rates, in general, are still less than they are during the warm months.

“We don’t have a low season,” said Laura Serena of Tourism Vancouver. “We have the entertainment season.”

Indeed, right now there are enough cultural events going on to fill every night of a week’s - even a month’s - vacation.

Vancouver has its own dance companies; 18 professional groups, which range from Ballet British Columbia to classical Japanese and Chinese dance companies.

The Vancouver Symphony has a season of weekly programs at the Orpheum Theatre, which is open during the day for tours.

Early Music Vancouver is known beyond the bounds of British Columbia for its performances of 14th-through 17th-century music.

Theater is particularly lively. The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company is now in its 35th season and will perform plays by Terrence McNally and George Bernard Shaw, as well as “Atlantis,” by Maureen Hunter, a revisiting of the reserved-North-American-traveler-meets-passionate-Mediterranean sensibility.

There are also the small stages in neighborhoods, including Granville Island and North Vancouver, where more avant-garde performances are likely to take place. “The Kiss Project” is an unusual dance-theater production at Performance Works, and “The Menopause Musical,” by Vancouver playwright and composer Reuben Gurr, takes a humorous look at this angst-ridden rite of passage at the Firehall Arts Centre.

Toronto, in general, holds the title of Canada’s theater capital with pre-Broadway openings and the nearby Shakespeare Festival. But Vancouver is challenging its supremacy, according to John Bateman of Tourism British Columbia.

In May, “Ragtime,” the year’s and perhaps the decade’s hottest musical, will open in Vancouver, performed by a Canadian company.

“We are becoming an entertainment capital,” Bateman said. “We’re a cosmopolitan city. We’re the gateway to Asia and the Pacific and our culture reflects that.”

For information about British Columbia and Vancouver, including its cultural season or hotels, call (800) 663-6000.

“Ragtime” tickets may be arranged with hotel travel packages, but they are also available from Ticketmaster, (604) 280-4444.


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