The Firehall Arts Centre is pleased to announce its 34th season and Artistic Director Donna Spencer has proudly programmed a season that celebrates women and their connections to community and family. From one of Canada’s funniest people on television, Cathy Jones, to the iconic music of Joni Mitchell; from the dream of women telling their own stories on stage in Shakespeare’s time to the heart-rendering story of a refugee mother struggling to help her son become a Canadian; and from a new mom coping with the challenges of motherhood to a sixteenth century French noblewoman trying to survive abandonment on an island off the coast of Newfoundland, the stories are all rich, compelling, and highly entertaining.

The 2016/2017 season will open in September with a presentation of Stranger to Hard Work, written and performed by Newfoundland’s Cathy Jones (“This Hour Has 22 Minutes”). In this one-person show, the legendary comedian explores what she has learned in life so far and ponders if indeed she is a stranger to hard work. Tracey Power’s Miss Shakespeare will make its Firehall Arts Centre debut. In this saucy, irreverent musical that premiered in Spring 2015 and received numerous Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards nominations, six women explore the seductive power of theatre behind the dingy walls of The Cage Tavern. The Motherf**ker with the Hat, nominated for three Jessie Awards, returns to tell the hard-hitting story of Jackie, who is out on parole and newly sober, and his childhood sweetheart who happens to be an unrelenting coke addict. Nicolle Nattrass’ Mamahood: turn and face the strange explores the good, the bad and the ugly alongside the funny, absurd and joyful side of motherhood. From Toronto, the Dora Mavor Moore Award-nominated ELLE (Theatre Passe Muraille), adapted by Severn Thompson from Douglas Glover’s award-winning novel, reveals some of the formidable forces facing those who set out to colonize Canada in a theatrically moving and stylized manner. Mary Vingoe’s eye-opening and powerful play, Refuge, brings to light an emotionally riveting story of a child soldier from Eritrea and his struggles as a refugee in Canada. In a new work created by Andrew Cohen and Anna Kuman and inspired by the songs of folk-rock legend Joni Mitchell, Circle Game features six young hipsters as they search for meaning and a future as musicians.

The Firehall Arts Centre’s dance programming is full of rich treats as well with Out Innerspace Dance Theatre bringing their trailblazing movement to the Downtown Eastside venue with Major Motion Picture, and Company 605 creating an intimate double bill program with Brussels-based long-time Ultima Vez company member German Jauregui. The Mars Hotel (first premiered at Dancing on the Edge 2015) and a new work, Kwan Yin features the choreography of Ziyian Kwan (dumb instrument Dance) and the music of Peggy Lee. Vancouver’s Hong Kong Exile will premiere a new multi-media piece, ROOM 2048, which explores the socio-political realities of the Cantonese diaspora sourcing themes of loss, nostalgia, and despair.

In addition, BC Buds, the Firehall’s Spring Arts Festival, will return for its 13th year with readings and theatre, dance, and music performances throughout the 109-year-old heritage building.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to catch some of the best theatre and dance work Vancouver has to offer.

Early bird passes for the Firehall Arts Centre’s 34th season are on sale now and available online at or by phone at 604.689.0926.

About the Firehall Arts Centre:

“Opening doors through the arts in celebration of the Canadian experience.”