Director of Development Rachel Iwaasa and Artistic Director SD Holman. Belle Ancell Photography.

The Queer Arts Festival (QAF) is an annual artist-run multi-disciplinary summer arts festival at the Roundhouse in Vancouver, BC. Recognized as one of the top 5 festivals of its kind worldwide (Melbourne Sun Herald), QAF produces, presents and exhibits with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue. Each year, the festival theme ties together a curated visual art exhibition, performing arts series, workshops, artist talks, panels, and media art screenings. QAF’s programming has garnered wide acclaim as “concise, brilliant and moving” (Georgia Straight), “an out-and-out cultural bonanza” (Vancouver Sun),” some of the most adventurous of any local arts festival” (Vancouver Province) and “on the forefront of aesthetic and cultural dialogue today” (Xtra).

The QAF Team

SD Holman

SD Holman

Artistic Director

Elliott Hearte

Elliott Hearte

General Manager

Rachel Iwaasa

Director of Development

Kimberly Sayson

Arts Administrative Assistant

About The Pride In Art Society

2014 QAF Gala Opening

Emilio Rojas at QAF Art Party 2014. Image by belle ancell photography

Mission Statement

The Pride in Art Society (PiA) produces the Queer Arts Festival (QAF), an annual, professional, artist-run, multidisciplinary festival that harnesses the visceral power of the arts to inspire recognition, respect and visibility of people who transgress gender and sexual norms. PiA produces, presents and exhibits with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue. PiA brings diverse communities together to support artistic risk-taking, incite creative collaboration and experimentation and celebrate the rich heritage of queer artists and art.


Brief History: Pride in Art (PiA) began in 1998 as a collective of queer visual artists mounting an annual community art exhibition. PiA was incorporated as a Not for Profit in 2006, mounted our first multidisciplinary Festival in 2008, rebranded as the Queer Arts Festival in 2010, obtained charitable status in 2012, and achieved operating status with the BC Arts Council in 2013 and the City of Vancouver in 2015. Since incorporation, we have developed from a tiny, grass-roots, volunteer-run, community-based organization to a professional cutting-edge festival receiving funding from all three levels of government, employing 9 year-round and seasonal staff, and providing hundreds of hours of volunteer opportunities yearly. PiA has presented over 1,735 artists in more than 219 events, welcomed 61,500 patrons, and incited the creation of dozens of new Canadian works, notably the highly acclaimed 2013 commission and premiere of Canada’s first lesbian opera by Leslie Uyeda and Rachel Rose.

To view work and images from previous QAFs, visit to our ARCHIVES HERE.

Board of Directors

  • Jeff Gibson, President
  • Nicola Harwood, Vice
  • Thierry Gudel, Treasurer
  • Joseph Bardsley, Secretary
  • Alida Kinnie Starr
  • Janine Fuller
  • Ken Yeung

Advisory Board

  • Bernard Sauvé
  • Coral Short
  • David Pay
  • Glenne Alteen
  • Karen Knights
  • Paul Wong
  • Rob Gloor
  • Rodney Sharman

The Roundhouse

The Roundhouse


We are proud to be partners with the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Most events, workshops & performances are held there: 181 Roundhouse Mews (Pacific & Davie). The Roundhouse is a fully wheelchair accessible venue. To view full accessibility audit, click HERE. Thanks to the Radical Access Mapping Project for their audit of the Roundhouse. You can learn more about the project or about having an accessibility audit performed at your space by visiting their website.