Vancouver Moving Theatre is dedicated to art creation that celebrates the power of the human imagination and spirit; builds shared experiences that bridge diverse cultural traditions, social groups and artistic disciplines; and gives voice to residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and beyond.
Vancouver Moving Theatre
Now celebrating its 34th Anniversary, Vancouver Moving Theatre (VMT) is an award-winning Downtown Eastside-based professional arts company. They are dedicated to art creation that celebrates the power of the human imagination and spirit; builds shared experiences that bridge diverse cultural traditions, social groups and artistic disciplines; and give voice to residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and beyond.
Founded (1983) by Terry Hunter (Executive Director) and Savannah Walling (Artistic Director), VMT is recognized for its leadership role and contributions to the field of interdisciplinary arts practice and arts-based community development; garnering local, provincial, and national praise for the quality, originality, impact, accessibility and transformative power of its unique programs and productions.
VMT has created over fifty original interdisciplinary creations; originated four community residency templates; co-produced twenty annual inter/multi-arts festivals, two national community play symposiums, five contemporary adaptations of classical literature, and two public art installations by Indigenous artists.
VMT completed sixteen tours of B.C., six tours of Western Canada, five Canadian tours and seven international engagements (Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Europe and USA).
Samarambi: Pounding of the Heart
“A primal dance of life and death with a grace and wit that verges on sublime...pure theatre of colour, vision, sound and action"
– Brisbane Courier-Mail, Australia
Since 2003, VMT has focused on interdisciplinary arts and community building projects in their inner city community. Selected co-production highlights:
In the Heart of a City: The Downtown Eastside Community Play
“The community play stands as a shining example of how arts and culture are making a positive impact in this community.”
– Mayor Larry Campbell, City of Vancouver
We’re All In This Together: The Shadows Project – Addiction and Recovery
“…nothing short of stunning…hypnotic and moving.”
– Georgia Straight
Crime and Punishment - w/Neworld and PuSh Festival.
“The simple power of it all is enough to make you weep.”
– Georgia Straight
Against the Current
“...at once a great piece of art and a reminder of the dispossession and reclamation of culture common to First Nations and Japanese Canadians...Two interwoven cultures, both with a common love of the sea; unbowed by past historic injustice; standing together in song, dance, drumming and spoken word.”
– The Bulletin
“Incredibly beautiful and so well woven…everyone shone from story, to performances, integration of traditional into the present, direction, integrity and spirit…”
– Marie Clements
VMT also produces the annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival (2004 - ), which typically features over 1,000 artists performing in 120 events at over 55 locations throughout the neighbourhood’s historic districts.
VMT co-productions are recipients of Jessie Awards including Outstanding Production (The Good Person of Setzuan and Crime and Punishment) and Significant Artistic Achievement in Spectacle Design. Vancouver Moving Theatre was honoured with the City of Vancouver Cultural Harmony Award (2008), and co-awarded the TELUS Innovation Award (2016) with the Indigenous arts organization imagi’NATION Collective.
In recognition for their contributions to arts and community in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, VMT co-founders and directors Hunter and Walling have been honoured with the British Columbia Community Achievement Award (2008), Vancouver Mayor’s Award - Community-engaged Art (2010) and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013).
For further information: vancouvermovingtheatre.com