Woodward’s is SFU’s arts and culture hub

Welcome to Woodward’s Watch, a new column dedicated to bringing you the latest news from SFU’s arts and culture hub. I’m a fourth year student in the dance program at SFU, and I’ll be introducing you to the Woodward’s building, one of our main Vancouver campuses along with a cluster of other buildings downtown, including Harbour Centre.

Since the building’s redevelopment, the location has become an integral part of the local arts scene in downtown Vancouver.  The building is designed for dance, theatre, music, film, visual art, and art and culture studies, and while the majority of spaces were made for a specific discipline, it was also designed with the flexibility to accommodate a variety of works and collaborative processes.

As the heart of the School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA), students devote their time to studying their respective arts and spend a vast majority of this time at the Woodward’s building. Each week, students will dedicate long hours to a single course, and will often spend extra hours in rehearsals, in editing suites, or gaining hands-on experience elsewhere. It is therefore not an exaggeration to state that Woodward’s is indeed a ‘home away from home’ for many of our contemporary arts students.

Alongside the SCA is the other resident organization of Woodward’s, the SFU Cultural Unit, and together the two bring forth a series of events and performances to the Woodwards campus throughout the year. During the year there are student mainstage shows, film screenings, black box shows, and works by the faculty. Events brought from the outside community often include the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF), the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), and the PUSH festival in the spring, to name a few.

To give a brief preview, the upcoming VLAF Festival “celebrates the distinct Latin American style and artistic approach to cinema.” It brings together films that have been “recognised internationally for a curatorial vision” and honours both established and emerging Latin American filmmakers. The festival runs from August 28 to September 7, and more information can be found on their website, www.vlaff.org.

Another upcoming show is Dancers Dancing’s 20.20.20, developed by Judith Garay, a professor of dance at SFU. The work “looks at 20 intersections in the city to set 20 dancers in motion.” The movements are inspired by the city and seek to bring the intricacies, the architecture, elevations, and dynamics of the people and the animals into a dance. The performance will run from September 24 to 27 in Studio T of the Woodward’s building. More information can be found on their website, www.dancersdancing.com.

Stay tuned for more exciting news about upcoming events and performances at SFU Woodwards!