Serving Greater Vancouver & the Fraser Valley
Union Gospel Mission

Bez Arts Hub

by Keri Vermeulen

 

An intimate new performing arts space in Langley has opened, and it should set hearts pounding for lovers of live theatre, dance, story telling, and music. Bez Arts Hub is a black box style theatre and dance studio that provides home for creative performance, but also foundational education for a new generation of artists to thrive. And there is a trio of local movers, shakers and thinkers heading it all up with passion and welcome: Sandy Rosen, husband Russ Rosen and their friend Dwight Friesen.

Bez Arts Hub is also home to Langley’s beloved Dance Barn Studio, which has been offering dance training in a variety of styles for 12 years, under the direction of Sandy Rosen. When she had to move her dance studio recently, the Rosens decided to create a community space for live performance of all kinds, and Bez Arts Hub was born.  It provides home also for Russ’s Big Tree Publishing, which produces songs, stories and shows, from creating to publishing and curating.

“This space is really a shared space for creativity for the community,” shares Russ. “And our emphasis right now is expanding our training for young adults.”

That training falls under the Mirror Arts programs, which is an expansion of a dance study program that Sandy originally started in 2005 at Dance Barn Studio.

“Mirror Arts programs is focused on training young adults towards a professional level, with a very strong creative emphasis,” explains Sandy. “They train for up to four-years in this full time program. So this year is the first year that the Mirror program is expanding to an arts program. We are adding a film program and a music program to what we’ve already been doing with dance.”

Mirror Arts brings together mentorship, skills training, and interactive thought, which are grounded in Christian faith and contemporary culture. Friesen, who brings an academic focus to Bez Arts Hub and Mirror Arts programs, holds a doctorate in the study of media and theology. “The approach we’re taking here is to have a focus on the creative,” Friesen explains. “We’ve expanded Sandy’s vision. We’re investing in lives and combining thinking rigor, which I think is missing sometimes in the development of the arts, and combining that with the community where people are actually active in practicing and learning foundational skills, and thinking through spiritual formation.” Soon, Friesen would like to see Bez Arts Hub also hosting Ted Talks style conversations between forward thinkers in the creative arts and the community.

Bez Arts Hub brings together performing arts, community, faith discussions and training in a way that is not at all lofty, but rather relaxed, inviting and alive with possibility. The black box style theatre holds space for about 100 audience and performers. With black pipe and curtain, a movable stage, chairs and risers and a sprung floor, the room practically buzzes with possibility, and beckons invitation to all. Don’t miss the next performance, by multi-award winning singer/songwriter/storyteller Cheryl Bear, who shares faith and journey stories of Indigenous life. Friday, April 7, 7:30 to 9:30 pm.

For more information, upcoming shows, or to purchase tickets, visit bezartshub.com

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