Vancouver, BC Travel Guide – Music Festival

Festival Vancouver
July 28 – August 13, 2000

Spectacular Music
Those who gather at the historic Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver, B.C. on July 28 will be admitted at no charge to Open House at the Roundhouse, the opening event in Festival Vancouver, one of the most spectacular and varied celebrations of music to be held in North America in the year 2000.

From that moment until dawn on August 13, 90 musical events will take place in several outstanding venues in a city known internationally for its beauty, its hospitality, and its astonishing range of goods and services. Mountain and ocean vistas, expansive beaches, fine dining establishments, excellent hotels and friendly inns, intriguing shops, convenient transportation, and a relaxed way of life make this Pacific Rim city a popular destination.

Among the many renowned artists scheduled to appear during the course of Festival Vancouver are American soprano Barbara Bonney; Boston "Pops" conductor Keith Lockhart with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; early music specialists Stephen Stubbs, Paul O’Dette, Paul Agnew, Suzie LeBlanc, Meredith Hall, and Ellen Hargis; the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and the Penderecki String Quartet; the CBC Vancouver Orchestra conducted by Mario Bernardi; The Exaudi Chamber Choir of Cuba; jazz specialists Guy St-Onge, James Gelfand, Michel Donato and Oliver Gannon; the Vancouver Cantata Singers and the Festival Baroque Ensemble; the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and the Vancouver Bach Choir; the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Tedung Agung Ubud gamelan ensemble from Bali.

And that’s only a sampler.

Festival Vancouver will be a treat for opera fans who will have a chance to see a production of Benjamin Britten’s seldom staged Curlew River, a revival of Claudio Monteverdi’s emotionally powerful Orfeo, and a new work titled Game Misconduct � which takes place in a hockey rink � by Vancouver composer Leslie Uyeda, with a libretto by playwright Tom Cone.

Lovers of symphonic and choral music will have access to stunning performances of works by Sir Edward Elgar, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leos Janacek, and many other composers who have contributed great works to the classical repertoire. And those with a strong taste for instrumental and chamber works will thrill to the music of R. Murray Schafer, George Frideric Handel, Ludwig van Beethoven and other great composers played by some of the most remarkable artists of our time.

Music from distant nations will be performed by artists from Asia, Africa and India, along with many highly lauded Canadian musicians famous for their expertise in handling a variety of drums and other percussion instruments.

World music and jazz will be prominently featured throughout the festival, with a closing main stage concert that will bring such top players as Alan Matheson, Jim Byrnes, Dee Daniels, and Clark Terry together at the fabled Orpheum to pay tribute to the music of Louis Armstrong.

For 17 days there will be concerts and other events day and night throughout the city in such imposing venues as The Orpheum and The Vancouver Playhouse and Christ Church Cathedral in the heart of downtown Vancouver, at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Garden located in Vancouver’s colourful Chinatown, at The Chan Centre, The Museum of Anthropology, and The First Nations Longhouse – all on the beautiful campus of The University of British Columbia. And for night owls, nightly entertainment is on hand at the intimate club at La Maison de la Francophonie beginning at 11 p.m.

Festival Vancouver is a dream of Stephen Drance, a retired ophthalmologist and lover of music. On his frequent trips to Europe to take in some of its great summer festivals, Dr. Drance often wondered why Vancouver � with its highly developed classical music scene � didn’t hold an annual summer festival on a European scale.

Inspired by his fond memories of the star-studded Vancouver International Festival which ran from 1955 to 1968, Drance gathered together a group of like-minded citizens in a move to develop a large-scale international music festival that would be unique to Vancouver. Out of this meeting of some of the city’s most artistically influential citizens, the Vancouver Summer Festival Society was born as the producing body of Festival Vancouver.

There really will be nothing in North America like Festival Vancouver in 2000. Perhaps there won’t be anything like it anywhere else in the world. Carefully designed and programmed to appeal to an extraordinary range of musical tastes, it will be remembered by those who take it in for the rest of their lives.

Single tickets and discount packages are available at all Ticketmaster locations. Festival Fanatic passes, which entitle the pass holder to hear 12 concerts for $400 (two passes for $750), as well as Group Discount orders are available only through the Festival Box office at 604-221-0080 or email:

For more information check out the website at:


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