Fringe BYOV Applications available!

The Firehall joins the ranks of the BYOV for the fourth consecutive Vancouver International Fringe Festival in September 2013. We will be selecting five shows for six to eight performances each in our wonderful intimate theatre space and two shows for our outdoor enclosed courtyard area, also, for six to eight performances.

To download the application, click here.

Looking for Gift Ideas?

The holidays can be stressful, trying to find the perfect gift for friends and loved ones. Let me offer some ideas: what about tickets, a pass or a gift certificate to the Firehall?

We still have many shows left in our 2012-2013 Season: TJ Dawe’s Medicine in January, the incomparable Mary Walsh in Dancing with Rage and Zee Zee Theatre’s My Funny Valentine in February, the new play from Drew Hayden Taylor, God and the Indian, in April, not to mention our dance productions from Fujiwara dance inventions and Arkadi Zaides!

Click here to buy now!

So go forth, relax and enjoy the holidays, now that your quest for gifts is over. Go tobogganing, drink some eggnog or mulled wine and cuddle down by the fire.

You’re welcome.


Donna Spencer’s Response to Colin Thomas

In this week’s issue of the Georgia Straight, critic Colin Thomas reviewed Kid Gloves and took fault with Firehall Artistic Producer Donna Spencer’s choice to produce an “unpolished” play. This is her full response, a portion of which was sent in to the Georgia Straight as a Letter to the Editor.


Letter to the Editor

Re: Kid Gloves Stylistically All Over the Map, November 22, 2012

In closing his recent review of Kid Gloves, Colin Thomas takes me to task in my role as the Firehall Arts Centre’s Artistic Producer for producing this new play, advising that “Spencer’s biggest mistake was at a programming level … she should have looked beyond the historical and contemporary relevance of the subject matter and recognized it for being the artistic grab bag that it is”. One would assume from this statement that he is suggesting that the play should have never been produced. I am not writing to respond to his criticisms of the play, as they are his personal opinion, but rather to take Mr. Thomas to task for his cavalier and dismissive comments which seem to suggest that only polished and perfect plays should be produced. As a playwright himself, surely he does not truly believe this and if he does, what is it about theatre that keeps him drawn to writing about the imperfections of theatre? Is he questing for the perfect play, which frankly may only exist in the minds of academics and playwrights who have become critics? If only perfect plays should be produced, why are we still enjoying Shakespeare 400 years later?

One of the mission statements of the Firehall is to give voice to new and emerging works from both established and emerging theatre artists which have relevance to Canadians. That indeed is a risky business and one that allows for failure and success. Our thirty-year history reveals that we take our mission seriously, with the most recent evidence of that being our highly successful production of Chelsea Hotel.  Not a perfect play but indeed a highly imaginative artistic expression. And our production of Kid Gloves is a continuation of that mission.

I would remind Mr. Thomas of the purpose of theatre through two quotes from playwrights whom I am certain he has admiration for:  “I regard theatre as the greatest of all forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being”- Oscar Wilde. In response to his suggestion that the perfect play should take precedence over relevance, I remind him of the words of Dario Fo, famed Director, Playwright and Activist whose plays are recognized for their criticism of organized crime and political corruption,  “A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time does not have relevance”.

Sally Stubbs’ Kid Gloves is indeed an artistic expression that does speak for its time, has relevance and does share with another the sense of what it might have been like to be the first women in Canada sworn in with full police powers.  It does “hold a mirror up to nature” (Shakespeare) and reminds us that women still go missing; gender bias still exists and good people still fight for positive change.

We’ve teamed up with the Police Museum for Kid Gloves!

We are proud to announce that for the run of Kid Gloves, the Firehall will be working with the Vancouver Police Museum to present a rare and special educational opportunity!

On November 14, 21, & 28, the Firehall and the Vancouver Police Museum are offering a double header in the form of a Lunchtime Q&A session with two currently serving members of the Vancouver Police Department and the matinee performance of Kid Gloves!

Colleen Wheeler and Dawn Petten in Kid Gloves by Emily Cooper

You will begin at the Police Museum, where Constable Alison Gailus and Constable Jennifer Luccock, will be sharing their experiences as female officers and answering questions about the challenges of contemporary policing, particularly in an inner-city neighbourhood like the Downtown Eastside.

The session will offer attendees the chance to consider the evolution of women’s roles in society and the ever-changing nature of law enforcement, the justice system and society itself. Take a tour of the current exhibit, 100 Years of Women in Policing, and see how the role of women in the force has evolved.Then, walk next door to the Firehall to catch the 1pm performance of Kid Gloves, a fictionalized account of Canada’s first two female policewomen who were hired by the Vancouver Police Department in 1912.

This great opportunity gives you the chance to hear from officers today about their experiences and then travel back to the beginning of women in the force.  Great for secondary school and university students as well as history buffs and police aficionados.

Open to groups of 10 or more, there is limited availability so book today!  Call our box office at 604.689.0926 for more information and pricing.

The Lunchtime Q&A is offered with the support of the Vancouver Police Foundation

Vocal Eye at Chelsea Hotel


On Friday, October 12 at 8pm and Wednesday, October 17th at 1pm, Vocal Eye will provide live audio descriptions at performances of Chelsea Hotel.

Vocal Eye provides vocal description if theatre and performing arts to blind and low vision patrons.

“Each patron is given a personal receiver with a single earpiece and volume control that allows him or her to hear both the show
and our live audio description at the same time. The broadcast begins 15 minutes before curtain with detailed descriptions of the
set, characters and costumes. Once the show begins, the describer transmits pertinent physical action and visual detail between
the lines of dialogue. Brief program notes are provided at intermission.”

– from the Vocal Eye page on Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture website

We are delighted to be able to work with Vocal Eye on these performances of Chelsea Hotel!


Changes to Saturday evening show times

We’re making a change!

For the 2012-2013 Season, the Firehall has eliminated Saturday 2pm matinees and has added a 5pm evening performance in its place. We’re also moving the 8pm performance to 9pm to accommodate this development.

Trying to make it to an 8pm show often leads to patrons having a hurried meal before hand, or alternately, getting out at 10pm and finding it’s too late for dinner.

Our aim is to help Firehall patrons have a terrific Saturday night: join us at 5pm for one of our great shows, and be out for dinner around 7pm. Or, enjoy a leisurely meal at one of the wonderful restaurants, bistros or bars in the neighbourhood and come to the Firehall for a 9pm performances.

No rush, no fuss.


Season Brochures on their way!

We know you’ve been waiting to get your hands on a copy of the Firehall’s 2012-2013 Season brochure, and I’m here to let you know that they will soon be arriving at the Firehall! We will be mailing them out to subscribers and distributing them around town.

We have a very exciting and full season to help us celebrate our 30th anniversary, and we hope to see you all here throughout the year!

For a PDF of the Firehall’s 2012-2013 Season Brochure, click here!



‘Good Timber taps into a fascinating part of our cultural heritage’

It’s official, the critics are loving Good Timber!

With only five performances left in Vancouver, this show is a must see!

Photo by David Lowes

“Imagine a really great Vancouver Folk Festival set with remarkable projection footage and you’ll have some idea of the Good Timber experience.”  -Jerry Wasserman via The Province

“The last time I saw such a group of talented performers was in New York at the Tony-award winning musical, Once.”FunFun Vancouver

Good Timber taps into a fascinating part of our cultural heritage and presents its stories in a lively, infectiously reverent way.”
-Vancouver Weekly

“…the love many loggers had and have for the forests comes through loud and clear in Good Timber. In these ecologically dangerous and divisive times, that’s good to remember.”
Colin Thomas via The Georgia Straight


Good Timber is an engaging show that shares an important part of BC’s colourful history. If you’d like to learn more about the history of forestry in BC check out the links below.

Special thanks to Susan of  the Coast Forest Products Association for her support!


Good Timber at the Firehall

Photo by David Lowes

It isn’t often that we get the chance to honor our history and tap our toes at the same time! Good Timber does just that as The Other Guys Theatre brings the stories of loggers and logging in British Columbia to life at a time before helicopters, pine beetles and clear-cuts became a part of the forest industry.

And what better place to see this rollicking musical revue than in the 105-year-old Firehall building?  Just outside our doors on Cordova Street in the early days of the province, logs went skidding by on their way to ships that would carry them to Scotland and far afield. The Firehall building itself sits on stone blocks from Scottish quarries that were used as ballast in the ships sailing into the harbor to pick up timber for their return journey.

We hope you’ll join us tonight for a 2 for 1 preview of the play, or sometime during the run from August 7 to 19!

Click here to purchase your tickets to Good Timber today!

Logging Fun

As a kid, I used to watch YTV because it was awesome.  Cartoons and “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” were staples on channel 25 (Holla mid-90s Vancouverites!), as were NFB shorts.  My all-time favourite was the Log Driver’s Waltz, and so it pleases me to no end to be able to post the video and gush about it in anticipation of Good Timber – Songs & Stories of the Western Logger, which runs here at the Firehall August 7 to 19.

We haven’t presented a summer show in a number of years, and are pleased to be able to bring The Other Guys Theatre’s production here to Vancouver.  Good Timber is a musical revue celebrating the golden age of logging in the Pacific Northwest and for folk music lovers, it’s a must-see.

So, to get you in the mood for Good Timber, I present one of the greatest NFB shorts of all time! Enjoy!

Log Driver’s Waltz Image from the NFB.