Arts & Culture

'Transform: A Cabaret Festival' features local

By Lorraine Graves

Published 12:36 PDT, Wed October 2, 2019

Last Updated: 2:10 PDT, Tue October 22, 2019

Transform: A Cabaret Festival opens Oct. 2 at three Cultch venues. It is the creation of many minds, include Richmondite Sandy Scofield. Living in the artists’ colony on Sea Island Way, near the north end of No. 3 Road, Scofield works as a full-time artist, composer, sound designer, educator and performer with many impressive entries in her résumé.  

As an example she says, “I wrote the Indigenous welcoming song for the 2010 Winter Olympics, when they brought the people from the four directions.” 

The opening ceremonies in Vancouver were broadcast over the world and seen by over a billion people.   

Scofield, who has a new album Red Earth coming out in the new year (, stresses that all are welcome to Transform: A Cabaret Festival and that it is not just by or for Indigenous people. 

Of the eight-day extravaganza, spread over two weeks, Scofield says, “I’m participating on an evening of women, it’s a local Vancouver group called M’Girl with Leela Gilday.

This festival is co-curated by Cultch executive director Heather Redfern and Corey Payette, the Oji-Cree playwright, composer and director of Children of God. In that musical, Scofield toured in the role of Rita, the mother, in 2018. It was a smash hit in our region when it opened. After it toured the country, then played to sold-out crowds at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa before touring its way back across Canada and closing the series to more sold-out crowds at the Cultch’s York Theatre venue. 

Redfern describes this upcoming festival as, “Daring, fresh, and extraordinary.”

It’s a three venue extravaganza of different forms of staged entertainment highlighting the lower mainland’s varied roots and genres of entertainment from Indigenous to drag and everything in between. 

Scofield is clear, the festival is aimed at everyone, not just the Indigenous community. The hope is the festival will not only entertain but in that mood of entertainment, create many bridges of understanding and compassion.  

On Oct. 10 Scofield’s performances will be doubly exciting. 

“We’ll be performing at one venue and then moving to another venue and doing another performance there,” she says. “I’m really excited to be invited to perform.”  

Redfern adds of the production, “It will be rough and ready, brash and beautiful, polished and political. Your heart will be wrenched, your minds inspired, and you’ll laugh until your belly hurts.” 

Transform: A Cabaret Festival runs from Oct. 2 until Oct 12. 

For for information and tickets go to

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