ArtSpring opens its doors to a fresh season



The wait is almost over. 

The ArtSpring stage has remained dark for all but 22 days of the past 18 months. The galleries have fared a little better, with several exhibitions and of course the vital work of the island’s vaccination clinic. But we’re certainly ready to have the building filled once again with the sight and sound of live music, dance, theatre, visual art, conversation, laughter and applause. 

The ArtSpring stage is where national and international touring artists and incredible local performers entertain our very lucky community, and our own ArtSpring Presents 2021-22 season promises something very special. 

The season begins on Oct. 7 and 8 with Wen Wei Dance Ying Yun, a sublime piece choreographed for five female dancers. There’s another chance to see part one of Jeffrey Renn’s masterful one-man show, At Your Service (part two is in late November), followed by our first live music presentation, Victoria folk trio West My Friend. November brings contemporary Indigenous dance company Red Sky Performance (Trace) from Toronto, and beguiling singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing. 

The new year launches our classical music programming with baroque violin/viola duo Chloe Kim and Joanna Hood, and the long-awaited performance by concert pianist Angela Hewitt. Making very welcome returns to ArtSpring are pianist Michael Kaeshammer, and the Indigenous company Dancers of Damelahamid (Spirit and Tradition). Canadian bassoonist George Zukerman emcees a celebration of Beethoven’s early music with a 10-strong ensemble in The Young Beethoven, and dynamic quartet The Fretless return to push folk music to exciting new heights. 

Into the spring, we have guests from afar — Argentinian soprano María Cristina Kiehr and lute player Ariel Abramovich — and close to home, with Christina Penhale and Jeffrey Renn performing some of Shakespeare’s most iconic love scenes in Lovin’ Shakespeare. The season closes with Canadian dancer/choreographer Peggy Baker (unmoored). 

Along with the joy of reopening comes new safety protocols. Proof of vaccination is required for all patrons age 12+ until at least Jan. 31, 2022, and masks must be worn at all times. Audience capacity is 129 seats. 

Executive and artistic director Cicela Månsson has been reflecting on the work and achievement of ArtSpring. 

“All of us at ArtSpring are excited to reopen and have community as well as visiting artists back on the stage, and in the gallery. It is, after all, what we do. We all know there will be challenges, but with our staff, board, volunteers, and supporters we have the capacity to meet those bumps in the road. And in the end, when we see how loved and heavily used this space is by the community it really makes it all worthwhile.” 

Ticket sales start on Tuesday, Sept. 14 (for members and 2019-20 season subscribers) and on Tuesday, Sept. 21 for general sales. 

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