VocalEye Almost Live – New Year Full of Zoom

January 20 to August 11, 2021

VocalEye’s New Year Full of Zoom replaces our live events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the success of our Summer Full of Zoom and Another Season Full of Zoom, we’ll be presenting a variety of described performance videos (theatre, opera, dance), festival highlights, visual art tours, described film screenings and cultural tours featuring local artists and other special guests that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home, free of charge via the magic of Zoom.

Almost Live Zoom events are hosted by Amy Amantea and designed to be accessible for audience members who are blind and partially sighted. Sighted supporters and guests with other disabilities are welcome to attend. We are unable to provide ASL interpretation or live captioning, but any recorded Almost Live events will be posted on our YouTube channel with captions provided.

Almost Live Zoom events are scheduled for Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm Pacific Time, starting January 20, 2021. We hope to include a few Sunday matinées, which will be marked with an asterisk * in the schedule below. Events will be posted on this website as they are confirmed and will also be shared on the toll-free VocalEye Hotline 1-833-548-3393 (833-LIVE-EYE). You can also subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates.

Register for your VocalEye Zoom invitation or call 604-364-5949. 

VocalEye broadcasts from the Pacific Time Zone (Vancouver). Friends from other time zones can use this handy Time Zone Converter

EVENT SCHEDULE 2021 (subject to change)

Jan 20: Time Lapse: Posthumous Conversations, a Geoff McMurchy retrospective and tribute to this trailblazing artist, disability rights advocate and founder of Kickstart Disability Arts. This virtual tour will include an overview of the Sum Gallery exhibit with descriptions and commentary from special guest curators.

Jan 27: A History of Water in the Middle East, an audio play from the Royal Court in London that uses theatre, poetry, music and humour to explore the impact of water on the lives of women living across the region.

Feb 3: Gimpy: A New Musical, tells the story of a young woman with a disability who dreams of becoming a Broadway musical star. Written by Realwheels playwright-in-residence, Kirsten Kirsch, who will join us for a Q and A after the reading.

Feb 10: Artificial Things is an award-winning dance film from Stopgap Dance Company. The described film will be followed by Amy’s interview with the creator of the Rationale Method of audio description, Nathan Geering, and audio describer Mo Pickering-Symes.

Feb 17: The 13th is an acclaimed documentary film that explores the history of the 13th amendment to the US Constitution. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” A special one-time screening with audio description.

Feb 24: 3 Part Disharmony plus other highlights from Us: A Black Peoples Month Festival, with special guests from Vancouver’s Ensemble Theatre Company.

March 3: Pandemic Postcards will introduce you to artists from around the world living with disability in this selection of performance postcards inspired by the pandemic, with special guests.

March 10: To See or Not to See, a video recording of the original Kelowna theatre production by Ruth Bieber, who is a member of the blind community with audio description by VocalEye.

March 17: Unexpecting, a comedic look at modern motherhood, presented in partnership with the Arts Club Theatre as part of their Listen to This audio play series.

March 24: A Taste of Baroque: Corelli, Janitch and J. B. Bach concert performed by Early Music Vancouver and the Baroque Mentorship Orchestra followed by conversation with special guests, violinist Jiten Beairsto and flutist Heather Beaty.

March 31: Raising Stanley/Life with Tulia tells the story of a guide dog user and a guide dog raiser through words, paintings and embedded audio description. Created and performed by special guest, Kim Kilpatrick, a member of the blind community in Ottawa.

April 7: off/no program

April 14: Shameless: the Art of Disability follows five artist-activists with diverse abilities across Canada. Filmed in 2006, this documentary by Bonnie Sherr Klein shows us how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go in the area of disability rights and representation in the arts. This special screening includes audio description and is presented courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

April 21: Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, a special screening of this Academy Award-nominated documentary film, with audio description and special guest, disability advocate and post-doctoral research fellow, Alfiya Battalova.

April 28: Crowd-Source Description: Visual Art, VocalEye presents the results of our crowd-sourced description project, a virtual art tour of four paintings with multiple descriptions.

May 5: You Can’t Get There From Here, audio plays from Toronto’s Factory Theatre with special guest podcasters and Torontonians, Christine Malec and JJ Hunt.

*May 9: My Mother’s Story, special Sunday matinée program for Mother’s Day! True stories about real mothers told by four of our favourite actresses on Sunday, May 9 at 1:30 pm Pacific Time.

Wed May 19: Whose Chinatown?, a virtual art tour of the Griffin Art Projects exhibit, an art history of Chinatowns and their communities by historical and contemporary Canadian artists.

May 26: off/no program

June 2 (Access Awareness Week)Imagine Van Gogh, highlights from the touring immersive art exhibit with visual descriptions of selected paintings with Jessa Alston-O’Connor.

June 9: Opera at the Movies, famous arias in famous films, with professional opera singer and community member, Julia Bonnett.

June 16: Flying in the Dark, storytelling with Ottawa community member, Kim Kilpatrick.

June 23: The Art of Making the Invisible Visible with special guests Dr. Kimberly Arcand, Visualization Scientist at NASA’a Chandra X-Ray Observatory and Melissa Walter, a mixed media artist and science illustrator.

Jun 30: off/no program

July 7: You Can’t Get There From Here, More Audio Plays from Toronto’s Factory Theatre with special guests Torontonians.

July 14: Alice in Wonderland, a family musical from Soulpepper’s associate company, Bad Hats Theatre, with audio description by Eileen Barrett.

July 21: Tippi and Stan navigate the pandemic in part 5 of this live storytelling series with award-winning writer/composer/musician, Dorothy Dittrich.

July 28: Highlights from Indian Summer Festival 2021 with special guest, Laura June Albert.

Aug 4: Night Passing, audio play from the Arts Club Theatre, inspired by the true stories of LGBTQ+ Canadians, with playwright Scott Button.

Aug 11: A Future for Memory: Art and Life After the Great East Japan Earthquake, a virtual tour of this Museum of Anthropology exhibition with special guest curator Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura.

This is when we take our season break. We’ll be back September 22, 2021!

What Our Zoom Guests Are Saying:

“My experience on Wednesday evening was a satisfying one from beginning to end. I look forward to the next performance!” 

“Zoom worked very well for me and I had no technical issues.”

“Love being able to watch from home. Hope these virtual shows will continue even after Covid.”

“I was very impressed with the overall presentation, what a great idea.”

“I watched the play with my sighted husband, and he also enjoyed it greatly.”

“This was fabulous!  Thank you so much.”

“I loved, loved, loved Tippi and Stan!”

“I enjoyed the show so much. The description was great and there were no technical glitches. Thank you for another great evening.”

“In a word, fantastic! Even though I knew the play very well, this was my first described experience with it. What a treat to have these virtual described theatre performances! Thank you!”

“Excellent production, excellent description, very informative pre-show notes, no technical issues at my end.”

“Love these online shows, and hope they will continue, both after humbug time and even once the pandemic finally ends.”

“Thank you for these evenings! They add to my week immeasurably.”

“It was exciting watching a show after not attending a show for such a long time due to the pandemic. I actually cried tears of joy. Thanks for making this possible.”

“PHENOMENAL!!! The entire experience, from the virtual Lobby, to the introduction, the play with the verbal description, to the Q&A session.  All was done to truly give blind/low vision attendees the complete sense of the production.”