The 2021 Queer Arts Festival
Jul 24 – Aug 13 | 2021
Access all events at a 40% discount!
At a Glance
For the first time, Queer Art Festival’s (QAF) suite of visual art, performance, music, literary and workshop events will be presented in a dispersed and hybrid format across the Lower Mainland—from the depths of the Sun Wah Centre, to SUM and the rooftop overlooking historic Chinatown, to Mountain View Cemetery, False Creek and QAF’s usual stomping grounds, the Roundhouse Community Arts Centre. QAF will also have an online component.
QAF 2021 shows artists upcycling and recycling apocalyptic fear and dread into art and social change. Green symbolizes not only our relationship to each other and the lands we occupy, but also difference and marginalization, exemplified by popular culture green underdogs Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West and Rainbow Connection, Kermit the Frog. It’s not easy being Green, fighting for a world that consistently rejects us. With imminent climate catastrophe upon us, we witness the world grappling with the end times, but when were the queered privy to life outside the apocalypse?
When green is all there is to be, it could make you wonder why, but why wonder?— Kermit the Frog
ArtParty! | Sat Jul 24, 7 – 10pm
Festival Opening | SUM & Sun Wah 268 Keefer
QAF’s Gala opening party: With music, dazzling views, and art on multiple levels of the Sun Wah Centre to explore, we’re launching the Dispersed QAF in champagne style (have a glass or two or a nibble or three on us) with DJ O Show!
Curated Visual Art Exhibition
Sat Jul 24 – Fri Aug 13 • Visual Art Exhibition
Tues Jul 27, 5pm • Visual Art Tour
Sun Wah 268 Keefer Lower Ground
Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour and SD Holman curate artists who transmute our collective broken heart of forced dislocations with departures and arrivals, using art as transformative praxis and practice towards social and spiritual metamorphoses.
Language as a Virus: Queer Isolation Stories
Sat Jul 24 – Fri Aug 13 | Sonic Installation | around False Creek & Online
An interactive audio/radio/networked soundwork from Bobbi Kozinuk that invites the user to explore themes around the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on queer and diverse communities. Featuring Jae Lew.
Language as a Virus: The Tour
Mon Jul 26, 5pm • Audio Art Tour | Roundhouse Community Arts Centre Roundabout
Take a stroll or a bike ride along False Creek and tune in to WENR 88.9FM Isolation Radio with your host Bobbi Kozinuk and explore her multi-layered work, Language as a Virus: Queer Isolation Stories.
Mon Jul 26 – throughout festival • Digital Discourse | Online | tbd
In the connective void that has been this pandemic pause, QAF takes you on a few house calls. We visit with several festival artists in their creation spaces, a digital dialogue to allow a connection from the artist in their corner of space to you and where you call your place.
Curator Tour with Guest Artists
Tues Jul 27, 5pm | Visual Art Tour
Come together for our Visual Art Tour with the curators Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour and SD Holman, guest artists, and a gallery of intimate friends old and new.
Sat Jul 31, 9pm • Media Art Screening | SUM & Sun Wah 268 Keefer Rooftop
Curated by Fergie and Ben! A rooftop screening of very queer and rather green short films.
BYOB (bring your own blanket).
Mon Aug 2, 8pm • Literary Readings | SUM & Sun Wah 268 Keefer Rooftop
Curated by Josie Boyce, slip into a little green something and enjoy readings by Vancouverite writers.
BYOB (bring your own blanket).
Ceremony for Rebel Spirits – Onibana Taiko and Alvin Erasga Tolentino
Sat Aug 7, 8pm • Dance and Music | Mountain View Cemetery
When Japanese folk tradition meets punk, audience members are invited to commune with the ancestors via Obon dance, song, sensu (fan) cheerleading, fue, shamisen and kick-ass taiko.
Sun Aug 8, 8pm • Performance Art | Mountain View Cemetery
With Full Circle First Nations Performance, we build on Annea Lockwood’s conceptual classic music composition with a new commission by Lil’wat composer Russell Wallace, a fireproof ball gown created by Métis designer Evan Ducharme, and a piano on fire played by Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa.
Glitter is Forever
Fri Aug 13, 7-10pm • Closing | SUM & Sun Wah 268 Keefer Rooftop
Join us for the festival closing with DJ O Show and your last chance to see all the art @ QAF 2021 with us at the Sun Wah Centre, from the basement, to the SUM gallery, to the rooftop (take it all in!! the art, the views!!).
SATELLITE ACADEMY : Workshops, Community, Discourse +
Sat July 24 – Fri Aug 13 | Community Visual Art Showcase | Online
The digital culmination of the Kindred Spirits digital artist residency run by and for 2Spirit and Indigiqueer artists. Guided by Faculty members Dayna Danger, DJ O Show, Raven Davis and Art Auntie Shane Sable, this digital exhibition focuses on re-storying 2Spirit identities and futures through community connection and self-portraiture beyond colonial constructs.
Pride in Art Community Show
Sat Jul 24 – Fri Aug 13 • Visual Art | SUM & Sun Wah 268 Keefer
This community visual show honours Pride in Art founder, activist, and Two-Spirit artist Robbie Hong’s legacy with an open community exhibition. This year, we’re throwing what was once refused up on our walls. Join community artists in a Salon des Refusés (or perhaps Recyclés) celebrating works that were previously censored.
Pillows for the Pandemic
Wed Jul 28, 7:30pm • Workshop | SUM gallery & Online
Falak Vasa leads us in a pillow-making workshop, based off of their own series of pillows created during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic offering small controllable comforts.
Gathering of Wishes and 1000 Paper Butterflies Wed Aug 4, 6pm • Workshop | SUM gallery & Online Naoko Fukumaru and Eva Wong in Phase 1 of Mass Reincarnation of Wish Fragments 願片大量転生 (Ganhen Tairyou Tensei), where participants create origami and utilize the ink bleeding process to create a butterfly with their own unique patterns and colours.
Queerer than Queer: Lessons from Nonduality for Deep Planetary Healing
Thu Aug 5 & Fri Aug 6, 7pm • Workshop | SUM gallery & Online
Is the universe queerer than we can suppose? From the foot of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, Tejal Shah will guide us through this two-part interactive workshop that explores the fine line between illusions and reality. We will explore the possible impact an embodied understanding of nonduality can have on our affective world and on our relationships with ‘others’.
Mary Kathleen Brookes
Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa
Martin Tugdual Frederic L’Anton
Bruce Munro Wright
Viewed as one of the top five queer arts and cultural festivals in the world.
Melbourne Herald Sun
Concise, brilliant, and moving.
Robin Laurence, Georgia Straight
On the forefront of aesthetic and cultural dialogue today.
Easily one of the best art exhibitions in Vancouver.
Some of the most adventurous programming of any local festival.
Stay informed! Find out all the latest information about our artists, performers and the people who help put this festival together.