Are you interested in intimately experiencing quintessential pieces of Vancouver’s culture? This October, the Roundhouse presents a fundraiser that is a unique mix of two of the city’s most popular pastimes: beer and burlesque. Billed as an “adult carnival for the senses”, Beerlesque IV brings together BC’s best burlesque performers and craft beer breweries for one special night of old-time fun. It will be the perfect introduction to an integral and consistently changing aspect of the city, and a night definitely not to be missed.
Microbreweries are independently owned with a small production size compared to its large-scale corporate counterparts. The craft beer that is produced is high-quality and rich with flavour. Interest in this specialty beer has risen in recent years, in BC and especially in Vancouver. This March The Vancouver Sun reported that in the past four years the market share for artisanal beer in BC has more than doubled. Ten new microbreweries opened in this province in 2013, and at least 28 more are opening this year. Vancouver is a city that understands the value of supporting local businesses, including farmers and food producers. We also crave unique treats that can only be found in this city, so it is seems natural our craft beer has become a staple.
A beer-drinking newbie might find it difficult to wade through the growing amount of brands and styles to find a few favourites. Where do you start and how do you even know what you might like? Sampling events like Beerlesque, and partner Vancouver Craft Beer Week, are the perfect opportunities to test out different craft beers and discover new favourites. Every year the number of breweries at Beerlesque has increased, and this year there will be 25 of the best microbreweries and importers in the province. Some of the Lower Mainland breweries include Parallel 49, R&B Brewing, Steel & Oak and Dageraad.
Since the 1990’s there has been a revival of the traditional American burlesque style that was popular in the early 20th century. This neo-burlesque movement has seen new performance styles emerge while still paying tribute to the glamour and theatrics of the time-honoured art form. Vancouver has been somewhat of a hub for neo-burlesque in Canada. The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival (VIBF) is the longest running and arguably most successful burlesque festival in the country. Since 2006 the festival has brought international burlesque stars to town, while also showcasing local performers and offering classes for new and experienced dancers. Next year VIBF will celebrate its tenth year, a true milestone for any multi-day festival.
Many of the performers from this year’s VIBF will be performing at Beerlesque IV, including Melody Mangler, the artistic director for Vancouver’s Screaming Chicken Theatrical Company. She can be seen teaching the art of seduction in this short video, where she explains her goal of putting on a show the audience can’t see anywhere else, especially on the internet or TV. This exclusivity perhaps sums up the appeal of the risqué art form for Vancouverites. Although it has reemerged throughout the country, the burlesque here is another unique treat that has been finely tuned to this city, just like our craft beer.
Musical accompaniment during beer tasting will be care of the “alt-country-gypsy-circus” band Blackberry Wood. Beerlesque attendees are encouraged to dress up with the carnival/circus/Vaudeville theme in mind, as there will be event photographers, a photobooth and a prize for best dressed. If you’d like to find new favourite Vancouver-only gems, while supporting a local centre for culture and community in the city, then this is definitely the night for you.
By Odette Wilson, Roundhouse blogger. Odette’s bio.