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Odysseo by Cavalia gallops into Vancouver

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As Surrey604’s resident automotive editor, I normally cover horses of a different nature, that is, those theoretical measures of engine power that are under the hood of a car.

But being a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil, I was thrilled to hear that Cavalia was coming back into Vancouver after a 2 year hiatus. I could not pass up the chance to write about this show.

At the special media preview, Cavalia mastermind Normand Latourelle mentioned that they usually wait for 3-5 years before returning a show back into town. But in 2011, Vancouverites responded so positively to the original Cavalia show that they sped up their timeline to return back into town.

In this new creation, Odysseo, Cavalia marries equestrian arts, acrobatics, stage arts, and high tech theatrical effects at never seen before levels. With the world’s largest touring big top (aka “The White Big Top”), the biggest stage, three IMAX-sized screens, the greatest number of horses at liberty, this $30+ million dollar setup pushes the limits of live entertainment.

You definitely don’t have to be a horse lover to appreciate the show, located at 299 West 1st Ave in Vancouver in Olympic Village.

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Some fun facts about the White Big Top:

  • The White Big Top is 107 metres long by 73 metres wide.
  • The surface covered by the White Big Top is 9,910 square metres, the size of two NFL football fields.
  • The stage is made of 10,000 tons of stone, dirt, sand as well as 1,490 square metres of specialized carpet and pool liner to help build the basin.
  • An underground water system is built to flood 300,000 litres of water onto the stage for the finale. After the show, it takes 15 mins to drain the water.
  • Seating capacity is for 2,000 people.
  • 110 semi-trucks are required to move the colossal production from city to the next city.
  • 80 Cavalia’s Odysseo employees are required to set-up and tear down the show
  • Over 600 meals are served at their kitchen

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In addition to the special media preview where we were allowed to take photos, I also had the pleasure of attending the show on opening night, My first time experience as a Cavalia Rendez-vous VIP ticket holder did not disappoint.

The Rendez-vous Experience

The Rendez-vous experience includes access to an exclusive tent where ticket holders enjoy dinner and an all-inclusive bar before the show, as well as desert and coffee during intermission. After the show, guests can take a photo with the artists, and enjoy a private tour of the stables.

If this is your first time attending a Cavalia show or if you’re a fan of horses, go for the full Rendez-vous experience. It’s definitely the icing on the cake and just adds that little bit of something extra to an already fantastic performance.

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The Cast: Two and Four-legged stars of the show

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There are 67 horses that represent 11 different breeds from around the world in Odysseo. All of the horses are male – stallions and geldings (males that have been neutered). The presence of mares would make things just that much more difficult as the males would always be fighting.

The horses come from 7 different countries with their average age being 10 years old (youngest at 5, oldest at 15).

Cavalia’s training methods ensure that the horses enjoy training and are excited to perform on stage. This is a show where deep-seated respect for the four-legged stars comes first, and you’ll see that first hand in the performances where their trainers pay amazingly close attention to the horses in order to ensure that patience, trust, and reward are delivered.

It’s truly a magical thing to see the age-old bond between human and horse come alive on stage.

As far as the two-legged stars of the show, there are 48 artists from 13 countries – acrobats, aerialists, riders, dancers, and musicians.

350 costumes and 100 pairs of shoes and boots are on hand, and some artists may have up to 7 different costumes with no more than 90 seconds for costume changes between numbers.

How did I like it compared to Cirque du Soleil?

Being a huge Cirque du Soleil shows (having seen 13 of them to date), it is easy to see why the large-scale multimedia performance that was delivered is often compared to Cirque du Soleil.

It was no surprise then, that Cavalia founder Normand Latourelle was one of the four original co-rounder of Cirque du Soleil.

For all intents and purposes, the Odysseo’s acrobatics, dancing, musicians were equally as impressive as Cirque’s.

But the focus on the show is on the grace, majesty, and power of the horses. Much like I sat in my seat mesmerized by the acrobats, I was equally awestruck by the sheer number of horses galloping on stage and executing perfectly choreographed movements without a visible trainer on stage.

The combination of acrobatic and equine acts, but more importantly the shared human-animal joy combined with the daredevil acts, is what sets this performance apart from any other.

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Perhaps what was different was that each of Cirque du Soleil’s shows has a obvious storyline that is introduced and played throughout the show.

Odysseo was more of a voyage, a journey if you will, as the audience is taken through some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. Under the Big White Top, we were transported through the different seasons to parts of the world including the Mongolian steppes, the African savannah, the Nordic glaciers, and Easter Island.

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The graphical and technical teams definitely earned their pay cheques with some of the most spectacular high definition images I’ve seen, projected by the 18 high definition projectors simultaneously.

This landscape projection, combined with sheer size of the 10,000 ton man-made hill, makes for one of the best entrances I have seen in a live performances. As the humans and horses crest the 10,000 ton hill over the horizon, I truly felt that they were coming from somewhere outside the tent. So close but yet so far. Truly dazzling.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the show comes at its finale where the stage fills with water seemingly appearing from nowhere, like a dry river bed in Africa suddenly being rejuvenated again due to a flash storm. This is something you have to see to appreciate, and worth the price of admission alone.

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Odysseo is in Vancouver until January 12th (extended past its original date of Jan 5th) at the Olympic Village. You can purchase tickets at: http://www.cavalia.net/en/odysseo/tickets-info/vancouver-bc-can

This is one show that you don’t want to miss before it gallops out of town!

Andrew is a proud car and tech geek who has worked in Surrey for over the last 10 years. He comes from a communications/marketing background and has worked for automotive-related companies such as Edmunds.com, BenzWorld.org since 1999. From track driving, to rally driving to autocross, he has done it all. When he’s not reading or writing about the latest automotive news, he can be found outdoors snapping pictures at various events around town. You can contact him at Andrew (at) surrey604.com

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6 events you need to attend in Surrey: Aug. 6-14

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There is so much to do in Surrey next week (Steve Smith / Shutterstock)

Looking for something to do? You’re in luck! From outdoor movies to a butterfly release, there is so much to do in Surrey this week.

Aug. 6: Movies Under the Stars

 

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You can head over to Holland Park for a free movie under the stars starting on Aug. 6. The fun starts at 6pm with plenty of games, singers, crafts, draws, and so much more. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and some yummy snacks to enjoy. The movie schedule is as follows: 

Aug. 6: Sing 2

Aug. 13: Encanto

Aug. 20: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.

 

Aug. 6-7: Music and Meditation Festival

Need some relaxation? Visit Surrey City Hall on Aug. 6 and 7 for the Music and Meditation Festival. The event starts at noon, and on Aug. 6 there will be “meditative flute music by Edgar Muenala, Indigenous dance by the Wild Moccasin Dancers, meditation workshops with Rani Thompson of Raaga with Rani and multi-instrumentalists The Nair Brothers, activities for children and parents, and much more! On Aug. 7 you can enjoy free outdoor music from members of Sahaja Yoga BC from noon–2pm, and free meditation classes at the Surrey Central Library from 2-4pm.

Address: Surrey City Hall, 13450-104th Ave.

 

Aug. 6-7: Play Time: Heritage Board Games

Tired of Monopoly? Learn about the board games that residents in Victorian Surrey would have played. This event is free and the only thing you need to supply is the players. 

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd.

 

Aug. 10: Sounds of Summer: Dalannah Gail Bowen

 

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Enjoy a free outdoor concert in Holland Park on Aug. 10 from 6:30–8pm. This week’s performance is Dalannah Gail Bowen who is a “76-year-old Afro-Canadian Cherokee singer, songwriter, actress, play writer, storyteller, event producer, social activist, International Memphis Blues Awards semi-finalist (2017) and a Blues Hall of Fame Master Blues Artist (2015).”

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd.

 

Aug. 13: Habitat for Humanity 11th Annual Butterfly Release

Watch a live butterfly release at the Fleetwood Villa on Aug. 13 starting at 11:30am. This event is free to watch but you’re also able to purchase a butterfly to release, with all proceeds going towards Habitat for Humanity. Butterflies cost $20 each and include a butterfly cookie. There will also be live entertainment and a barbecue lunch. For more information on how to reserve your butterfly, check the City of Surrey website

Address: Fleetwood Villa, 16028 83 Ave.

 

Aug. 13-14: Play Time: Old Fashioned Toys

You can visit the Historic Stewart Farm to play with the toys that the Stewart children would have enjoyed in the early 1900s. You’ll also be able to play some outdoor games and make your own toy to take home! This free event is a part of the Historic Stewart Farm’s themed summer weekends. 

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd.

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6 events for you to check out in Surrey: July 1–9

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From ice cream making to free concerts in the park, there is so much to do in Surrey (@thecityofsurrey / Instagram)

Looking for something to do? Well, you’re in luck! There is so much to do in Surrey this week.

 

Surrey Canada Day

Canada Day 2022 is coming up quickly and the City of Surrey has plenty of plans to celebrate. You can check out an Indigenous Village, the Summer Market, or enjoy some live music from artists like Arkells! There will also be plenty of food trucks and amusement park rides to enjoy. You can check out our previous article for a full breakdown of everything happening. 

Address: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176th St and 64th Avenue, Surrey

 

Ice Cream Making

From July 1 to 3 you can visit the Historic Stewart Farm to learn how to make your own homemade ice cream like Surrey residents from the 1900s. Not only that, but you’ll be able to take some home. 

Address: 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey

 

Surrey Rides

 

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If you’re 18 or younger and like to skateboard, bike, or scooter, then head over to South Surrey Youth Park on July 5 from 4 to 8 pm for Surrey Rides. There will be free snacks, good jams, and prize giveaways for everyone who attends. Helmets are mandatory and spectators are welcome. Be sure to visit the City of Surrey website for a full schedule of Surrey Rides. 

Address: South Surrey Youth Park, 14601 20 Avenue, Surrey

 

Sounds of Summer: Sons of Granville

 

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Visit Glades Woodland Garden for a free summer concert with Sons of Granville on July 5. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket or chairs and you’re encouraged to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy. Sons of Granville started as a busking duo back in 2010 and have since gained popularity and brought on more band members. This is definitely a concert you won’t want to miss. Gates open at 5 pm and the concert starts at 6:30 pm. 

Address: The Glades Woodland Garden, 457 170 Street, Surrey

 

FVDED in the Park

FVDED in the Park returns to Holland Park this year on July 8 and 9. Headlining the iconic Surrey festival are Illenium, Excision, Rick Ross, and Don Toliver. Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them online

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey

 

SHIAMAK: spirit of India

BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company is coming to the Bell Performing Arts Centre on July 8 at 7:30 pm to perform “spirit of India.” This is a celebration of India’s spirituality, mythology, colourful festivals, weddings, music, dances, Bollywood, and will include over 90 performers! Tickets start at $36 and can be purchased onlineAddress: Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street, Surrey

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BC’s biggest Bollywood dance company, SHIAMAK, is performing “spirit of India” in Surrey

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This event is to celebrate the 75th year of India’s Independence.

SHIAMAK is coming to Surrey on July 8 for the “spirit of India,” a celebration of the 75th year of India’s Independence with music and dance. 

The performance will include India’s spirituality, mythology, colourful festivals, flamboyant weddings, magnificent music, exhilarating dances, and, of course, Bollywood — this production manifests the true spirit of India’s multiculturalism.

There will be over 90 different performers who come from all over the Lower Mainland and the performance will include a retelling of the Ramayana, one of the largest ancient epics in world literature.

Not only is this a must-attend event but this will be SHIAMAK’s return to the stage since their last performance in 2019.

You can buy tickets to “spirit of India” online starting at $28. The performance will take place at the Bell Performing Arts Centre on July 8 starting at 7:30 pm. 

Address: Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144th Street

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Here’s what to expect from Surrey’s Canada Day Celebration

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The event will be headlined by Arkells and have an Indigenous Village, amusement rides, a summer market, and more! (City of Surrey / Facebook)

Canada Day 2022 is coming up quickly and the City of Surrey has plenty of plans to celebrate. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s celebration. 

 

Music:

There will be musical performances for the entire day with Arkells headlining the show. You can also expect performances from Shawnee Kish, Haviah Mighty, En Karma, Teon Gibbs, Ashley Pater, Glisha, Kung Jaadee, Pleasant Trees, and many more! Plus, all of these performances are free so you can enjoy as much music as you want. 

 

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Summer Market: 

Plenty of local vendors will be making their way to the Canada Day celebration this year, and they’ll be set up in the Summer Market. Some of the vendors include Mysgreen, lil so&so handmades, The Refill Shop, Mountain Mornings, and So Fresh Air Fresheners. 

 

Food Trucks:

No Canada Day celebration is complete without food, and there will be tons of food trucks available for you to choose from. Whether you’re feeling like some delicious sandwiches from Bread and Cheese, Bannock from the Bannock Queen, vegan delights from the Dirty Vegan, Japanese-inspired hotdogs from Japa Dog, or mini donuts from Mr. Ken’s Donuts, Surrey’s Canada Day will have it all! There will be over 30 different food trucks at the event. 

 

Indigenous Village:

For this year, the City of Surrey is putting a big emphasis on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. On the Surrey Canada Day Website, the City said “July 1st is a day to chart a new and better path forward. Together, we can work towards reconciliation and a more equitable society for all. We invite you to come together to experience diverse cultural expression, as well as the best of Canada and its hope for the future. Surrey Canada Day is committed to sharing music, education, entertainment, and the cultural practices of many Indigenous and multicultural artists. Event organizers are working with leaders from land-based Nations and an Indigenous consultant in the planning and programming of this event.”

One of the highlights of this year’s celebration is the Indigenous Village with plenty of different sections to check out. The Siam Stage (which means “Respected Ones” in Coast Salish languages) will feature Indigenous cultural sharing, the Residential School Survivor Honouring Ceremony, and contemporary music performances. There will also be a sharing circle where “the public is invited to participate in discussions with Residential School Survivors to learn first-hand about the hardships they lived through while attending the schools. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet the children of the Residential School Survivors, who will share how their lives were impacted by the inter-generational trauma caused by the Residential School system.” 

In addition, there will be traditional teachings, doll-making demonstrations, game playing from the Onyota’aka Nation with S^yowah (Son-Yo-Wah), ribbon skirt making, and a community mural painting with Brad Henry.

 

Amusement Rides:

If you’re looking for some thrills then you’re in luck, there are plenty of amusement park rides available at Surrey’s Canada Day celebration. You can ride on the Ferris wheel, crash into some bumper cars, get turned around in the Zipper, or walk through the Kreepy Kastle. To get on these rides you must buy tickets, with one ticket costing $1.50. You can also buy 20 tickets for $30 or 40 Tickets for $50. There will be 16 different rides to choose from. 

 

Fireworks:

The celebrations will end with a fireworks display starting at 10:15 pm that you will not want to miss. 

 

For more information on everything happening for Surrey’s Canada Day, be sure to visit https://www.surrey.ca/canadaday/

Address: Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, 176th St and 64th Avenue, Surrey

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7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18

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7 events for you to check out in Surrey June 10–18
There's so much to do in Surrey (Oleg Mayorov / Shutterstock)

Looking for something to do? Well, you’re in luck! There is so much to do in Surrey this week.

 

June 10: Seniors Week

Visit the Historic Stewart Farm on June 10 from 11 am to 2 pm for Seniors Week. There will be live music and performers, heritage activities and demonstrations, tours of the 1894 farmhouse, samples of delicious homemade treats, and activities in recognition of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Road

 

June 11: Magical QUIRK-E Tour

QUIRK-E (Queer Imaging and Riting Kollective for Elders) is hosting numerous spoken word and video performances at the Museum of Surrey on June 11 from 2 to 4 pm. There will be cartoons, videos, short films, songs, a scene from a play, stories, and poems. This event is 14+. 

Address: Museum of Surrey, 17710 56a Ave

 

June 11: Car-Free Day

Car-Free Day is coming to Surrey Saturday, June 11. This event will turn 137 street into a car-free paradise with tons of local merchants, musicians, and family-friendly activities like balloon twisting, jugglers, and face painting. There will also be a beer garden (for the grown-ups) and plenty of food trucks. 

Address: 7380 King George Blvd

 

June 16–19: Strawberry Tea on the Farm

If you missed Seniors Week, then you can visit the Historic Stewart Farm from June 16–19 for strawberry tea on the veranda. There will also be ice cream and other treats for you to enjoy. Tickets cost $18.20 and you can register for them online or by calling 604-501-5100.

Address: Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Road

 

June 17: Youth Pride Dance

Youth ages 13 to 18 are welcome to attend the Youth Pride Dance, an inclusive and welcoming event to celebrate Pride. There will be dancing (of course), games, snacks, and prizes for the most creative outfits. LGBTQ2S+ and allies can attend this event. Registration for this free event is available online

Address: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107A Avenue

 

June 18: International Picnic Day

Visit Hazelgrove Park for International Picnic Day on June 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Bring a packed meal and your friends and family to enjoy an evening full of fun activities. There will be mini-golf, storytime, different fun park activities, and different vendors from the Cloverdale Farmers Market. This event is free and open to all ages. 

Address: Hazelgrove Park 7080 190 Street

 

June 18: Surrey Fest

This year is the 22nd anniversary of Surrey Fest! Head over to Holland Park from 11 am to 4 pm to enjoy music, prizes, vendors, and more! This event is free but expect it to get busy. 

Address: Holland Park, 13428 Old Yale Rd

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