Urban Ink uplifts Indigenous and diverse voices through live performance.
Established in 2001, the company was founded by Métis artist Marie Clements as an Indigenous and multicultural theatre company and produced over a dozen new works for the mainstage, including Marie’s Burning Vision (2002 Governor General Award Nomination) which toured nationally to The Festival of the America’s (2003) in Montreal, and played at the inaugural Magnetic North Festival in Ottawa (2003).
In 2007, Diane Roberts became artistic director, creating new work, touring internationally to the Caribbean, and working in collaboration with rural Indigenous communities. During her tenure Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of by Omari Newton was developed and produced in association with Black Theatre Workshop in Montreal in 2013/14. The production was remounted in 2016 and played in the Yukon and Vancouver, and was produced again in 2018 at the National Arts Centre.
In 2014, Oji-Cree First Nations theatre artist Corey Payette became artistic director. Corey is committed to deepening Urban Ink’s strong tradition of developing and investing in the voices of Indigenous and diverse artists to create work that celebrates the diversity of Canadian theatre.
Corey’s work to date includes the first new production of Margo Kane’s Moonlodge since 2000, and the premiere of Children of God which opened in Vancouver in May 2017, toured to the National Arts Centre in June 2017, and received a second production in 2018 in a Citadel Theatre / Western Canada Theatre co-production. Recent work has also included a presentation of Freedom Singer by Khari Wendell McClelland, Andrew Kushnir, and Jodie Martinson in Vancouver in 2017, the premiere of Les Filles Du Roi by Corey Payette and Julie McIsaac in Vancouver in 2018, the premiere of a co-production with Caravan Farm Theatre in Armstrong, BC of Sedna by Corey Payette, Reneltta Arluk and Marshall McMahen in 2018, and the founding of the TRANSFORM: A Cabaret Festival in 2019.
The Cultch is Vancouver’s most diverse and innovative arts and cultural hub.
For 47 years, The Cultch has presented cutting-edge performances in contemporary music, theatre, and dance as well as producing outstanding community arts and educational initiatives for children, youth and their families. More than 300 performances each season are seen by over 50,000 people.
As a presenting theatre, The Cultch curates unique and diverse performances from Vancouver, across Canada and the globe, bringing world-class theatre, dance, and music to our community in East Vancouver.
The Cultch is home to three performance spaces: Historic Theatre, Vancity Culture Lab, and York Theatre. The Historic Theatre and Vancity Culture Lab are housed in a renovated church, constructed in 1909. The York started its life as The Alcazar Theatre in 1913. After being rescued from the wrecking ball, it was renovated to become the Cultch’s third theatre space; reopening in 2013 with the very first East Van Panto, produced with Theatre Replacement.
The Cultch’s purpose is to provide a performance space for diverse artists and audiences, serve as a space for artistic experimentation, develop local companies, and present groundbreaking national and international work.