Courtney Love performs on the main stage at Rifflandia at Royal Athletic Park Sept. 13

2013 in arts

We look back at some of the entertainment highlights from the last year

Monday Magazine saw a year of big changes.

On June 27the magazine transformed from an alternative weekly to a comprehensive arts and entertainment guide. Black Press’ Greater Victoria community newspapers — Victoria News, Saanich News, Oak Bay News and the Goldstream News Gazette – all began hosting an expanded, Monday-approved arts and entertainment section on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Alongside the voice of arts writer Mary Ellen Green, effervescent film reviewer Robert Moyes and the ever-popular horoscopes by Georgia Nichols, Monday began featuring popular CTV entertainment reporter Adam Sawatsky, arts maven Janis La Couvée, independent film advice from Victoria Film Fest director Kathy Kay, the contemporary musings of CBC Radio host Jo-Ann Roberts, tips from interior design consultant Sheri Peterson, comedic relief from Mike Delamont, fashion it-girl Emma Yardley and well-known gastronaut Don Genova.

Here are some of the year’s highlights:

Rock the Shores, a two-day rock festival at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre’s lower fields saw the likes of Weezer, City and Colour, Matthew Good, Sam Roberts and 54-40, along with 12,500 fans and proved a success thanks to massive support from the West Shore community. Half of the tickets sold were to residents of the West Shore, and while organizers Atomique encouraged cycling and worked with BC Transit to add extra buses in light of congestion fears, they weren’t expecting to see empty parking spaces directly outside the venue. Two-thirds of attendees took alternate forms of transportation to the festival.

The Victoria Film Festival saw another record-breaking year, selling out 22 feature screenings over the 10 days for the 19th edition of the festival. The year also brought the renovation and reopening of The Vic Theatre, just prior to the closure of the Empire Capitol 6 Theatre, a screening venue for the festival, as well as its headquarters. The VFF also continued with The Art of the Cocktail festival for a fifth year and Free-B Film Festival.

The local long-form improvisers of Paper Street Theatre, led by artistic director Dave Morris, took home Pick of the Fringe at the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival in 2013 for their Improvised Quentin Tarantino. Some 18,000 people attended the festival’s independent theatre shows and outdoor events hosted by Intrepid Theatre in August and September 2013, with another 1,800 coming out to see solo performers from around the globe during last May’s Uno Fest. Up next for Intrepid is Winterlab, Jan. 25 – Feb. 1.

Courtney Love was for many an unexpected addition to  Rifflandia 6’s lineup of 170 acts at Royal Athletic Park and 14 stages across town, on a lineup as eclectic as the festival fashion. Headliners included Death From Above 1979, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Stars, Matt & Kim and James Murphy and Pat Mahoney, of DFA/LCD Soundsystem fame. Visitors to RAP not only experienced a range of sounds, Victoria’s fickle climate also came out to play, with lightning temporarily stalling the action on the final day at RAP. Some 12,500 spectators came out daily, with 36 per cent from outside of Victoria. Rifflandia, and all that it entails across artistic mediums, grows each year, with organizer Atomique Productions planning the same for 2014.

Your favourites:

More than 1,500 Monday readers cast votes in 44 categories for the 11th annual M Awards, with the difference between favourite artists in some categories separated only by a vote or two. Those who took home a yellow ukulele award in 2013 included:

Favourite band: Current Swell

Favourite solo artist: Steph MacPherson

Favourite album: Let it Go, Jon and Roy

Song of the year: “Vibrant Scene,” Jon and Roy

Favourite emerging artist/band: The Archers

Favourite overall production: Little Shop of Horrors, Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre

Favourite performer: Sara-Jeanne Hosie

Favourite director: Jacob Richmond, Little Shop of Horrors, Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre

Favourite dance performance by a local company: Romp! in the Square, Suddenly Dance Theatre

Favourite comedy performer: Mike Delamont

Favourite spoken word artist: Jeremy Loveday

Favourite art show: Donkey/Kong, Wolf/Sheep Arthouse

Favourite visual artist: Kristen “Urbanheart” Grant

Favourite emerging visual artist: Carollyne Yardley

Favourite local filmmaker: Scott Amos

Favourite fiction book: Floating like the Dead, Yasuko Thanh

Favourite non-fiction book: The Zero-Mile Diet, Carolyn Herriot

Favourite boozy event: Great Canadian Beer Festival

Favourite film event: Victoria Film Festival

Favourite music event or festival: Rifflandia

Favourite non-music event or festival: Fringe Festival

Favourite not-for-profit: Canadian College of Performing Arts

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