2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

April 11, 2019 – 7-8pm

Come to a party at our Annual General Meeting. We’ll be providing updates on new developments at Pride in Art Society, and giving a sneak peek into this year’s festival.

Not only does the AGM provide us the opportunity to hang out with you in advance of this year’s festival, but AGM attendance is a key factor for some of our funders (so please show up!).

ASL Interpretation will be provided.

Pride in Art Society’s 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held:

Thursday April 11, 2019

SUM Gallery
425 – 268 Keefer St, Vancouver

All members invited to attend. Membership renewal and signup for new members will take place before formal business.

RSVP at events@queerartsfestival.com with AGM in the subject line.

Can’t come, but still want to support? If you are unable to attend the AGM, please consider appointing a proxy by filling out this Proxy Form and sending it to Lalia Fraser.



This location has not yet had an accessibility audit.
The BC Artscape-Sun Wah building is wheelchair-accessible.
– Building entrance is street level with no steps, the front doors of the building are automatic.
– Lobby has a ramp with a handrail, and stairs with a handrail, to reach the elevator.
– The fourth floor has two non-gendered multiple stalls washrooms, including one universal washroom with grab bars and wheelchair clearance. The washroom entrance is 32 inches wide.
– Support animals are welcome. BC Artscape is dog-friendly.
– The front door of our suite is 32 inches wide, swinging inward. The automatic door operator is at 35 inches high.
– Our events are scent-reduced. Please refrain from wearing cologne, perfume, scented personal care products or essential oils. Visitors who wear scented products will be asked to leave.
– The gallery space has no windows.
– The gallery floor is flat, with no internal stairs.
– Chairs are without arms.

Transportation & Parking:
The address is 268 Keefer St., between Main St. and Gore Ave. The SUM gallery is located on the 4th floor, suite 425.

Transit access:
Skytrain: Main Street-Science World or Stadium-Chinatown; Bus: 22 on Gore; 03, 08, 19 on Main; 14, 16, 20 on Hastings.

There is a paid parkade as part of the building, that unfortunately closes at 7pm. After 7pm, we recommend people to park at EasyPark – Lot 7 and the address is 180 Keefer Street; or street parking.

Land acknowledgment:
We respectfully acknowledge that this event will take place on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded Indigenous territories of the wməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. We recognize their sovereignty, as there are no treaties on these lands, and we are dedicated to building a new relationship between our nations based on respect and consent.
We would also like to acknowledge that this event is taking place in Chinatown, which is home to low income and Chinese immigrant communities. We are thankful and consider it a privilege to be able to do our sharing here.

Please let us know if you have any requests or need more information.

Interviews with Valérie d. Walker and Samantha Nock

Practicum students from the Social Justice Institute at UBC, Nikita Day and Emily Irvine, interview 2018 DECADEnceVisual Art curator Valérie d. Walkerand 2017 UnSettled Literary curator Samantha Nockabout their experiences curating for the Queer Arts Festival, their artistic practices, and the significance of queer art in the past, present, and future! Check it out!

> Queer Arts Festival podcast <

We’re pleased to have Samantha Nock as one of the readers at Lay of the Land, our annual night of erotic reading curated this year by Daniel Heath Justice. As curator of last year’s literary evening, Samantha rebranded the event as Lay of the Land.
Lay of the Land is June 19, 7pm in the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall and is pay what you can!Community Partners: Social Justice Institute at UBC and Unceded Airwaves http://www.citr.ca/

UnSettled: curatorial statement

Curatorial Statement by Adrian Stimson, Queer Arts Festival visual art curator 2017

We live in Unsettling times — the world feels under siege, unsafe, tensions between alt-right and social left, neo-liberalism, ongoing wars, Orlando, Chechnya gay purge, the US Republican Administration rollback of civil and gay rights, fake news, mutual assured destruction, resource exploitation, identity politics, reconciliation and on and on. For Indigenous peoples, specifically Two-Spirited people, endurance of these kinds of fears has been going on for centuries, our resilience and continued presence is a lesson for us all, we have, and will continue into the future unsettle the colonial project.

It is more important now than ever before that we speak up, act out and strengthen our social justice systems. We know from history that in times of strife, it is the artists and intellectuals who are targeted first, like conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa who put to death male homosexual sodomites dressed as women to the dogs in 1540. Balboa realized where the power of the community lay, and immediately had them rounded up and fed to the dogs, effectively annihilating, silencing and driving the diversity of sexual beings of the Americas’ underground for centuries.

For too long, the absence of representations of Two-Spirit people, art, and being from contemporary popular culture has been endured; it is part of the colonial project, to eradicate, to deny our natural beings, to dominate, assimilate, to ultimately erase our beings and memory from time. UnSettleddeploys artistic and critical discourse to focus on Two-Spirit resilience with work addressing power, representation, sexuality, language, body, tradition, memory, colonial narratives, and knowledge sharing.

This year’s QAF exhibition UnSettledfeatures the works of Indigenous artists who identify within the Two-Spirited context yet also challenge this binary through their own experience and cultural understandings.

To honour the past, we have included 3 deceased artists: Aiyyana Maracle, Mike MacDonald and Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew; we honour those who came before us, who paved the way, who took risks, who never failed in bringing their art forward in an often hostile world, we are the sum of them.

In the present, Two-Spirited artistic and intellectual expressions are blossoming; we have an explosion of people and ideas. UnSettledis honoured to present the work of 19 contemporary Two-Spirit artists; Their perspectives in exploring contemporary roles and experiences, as well providing a platform for innovation and experimentation at the intersections between the Indigenous and queer art milieu are a continuum of indigenous knowledge and being.

UnSettledexplores the art and being of Two-Spirit artists, and in turn, they expose the issues of historical extermination, heteronormativity, the lack of alternative indigenous sexuality and gender in contemporary Western culture/media, it is a reclamation of Two-Spirit identity, theory and praxis.

UnSettledis the signature exhibition of Queer Arts Festival 2017. The annual artist-run multidisciplinary Queer Arts Festival is programmed this year by Two-Spirit and Indigequeer artists.

For more information, click HERE.

Sat Jun 17–Wed Jun 28, Roundhouse Exhibition Hall

Queer Arts Festival announces Indigenous LGBTQ+ theme

Explorations of two-spirit identity will take forefront at annual event this year.

Two-spirit perspectives that aren’t often heard will be featured at Vancouver’s annual Queer Arts Festival this summer — and its curator hopes it will open the door for more work of the same theme to be shown across Canada.

In many Indigenous communities, the term “two-spirit” is used to describe a gender, sexual and spiritual identity that often encompasses all LGBTQ+ people, but it’s something that has been stifled by colonization.

The Queer Arts Festival announced earlier this month that its 2017 event called UnSettled will focus on reclamation in the two-spirit world, featuring performances and an art exhibit curated by Blackfoot artist Adrian Stimson.

“It really means that one body, both genders exist. It comes from a more spiritual space,” Stimson said. “These two-spirited people have the ability to stand in both worlds.”

Stimson said when he was first asked to curate the festival last August, the general theme was about residential schools and reconciliation.

“I thought to myself, that is an important part but it shouldn’t be the premise of the exhibition,” he said.

“Indigenous artists have been dealing with those themes for years … I decided to drop the reconciliation part and look at the history of the two-spirit art movement and queer Indigenous theory.”

It’s something Stimson has explored academically, as well as in his own art. He occasionally performs with a gender-bending altar ego called “Buffalo Boy,” who sports a buffalo g-string, disco cowboy hat and fishnet stockings.

Since he is curating art in the festival, Stimson said he won’t be performing as Buffalo Boy. But he has chosen 17 artists whose work relates to the contemporary, two-spirit Indigenous theme.

The artists from across Canada will include Cree painter George Littlechild and B.C.-based artist Raven John.

Stimson said he had a hard time choosing artists, because there are so many who he believes deserve recognition.

Walking Stick by Adrian Stimson.

Walking Stick by Adrian Stimson. COURTESY ADRIAN STIMSON

That’s why, after the festival is over, he plans to look into creating more two-spirit focused exhibits across Canada.

“Part of my purpose in curating this is to actually broaden the scope a bit,” he said.

“Individual artists get recognized and that’s great but I want to, through a series of exhibitions, open it up because there’s a lot of two spirit artists out there.”

The Queer Arts Festival will happen at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre in late June.

The two-spirit artists breaking down the colonial narrative for Canada 150

UnSettled will feature the works of 17 two-spirit artists at the 2017 Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver

DailyXtra – Mar 24, 2017 – Chahira Merarsi.

After years as a tribal councillor with the Siksika Nation, Adrian Stimson’s life changed when they took the plunge and applied to art school.

“I sort of asked myself that question, as I’m sure we all do, ‘What is it that I want to do when I grow up?,’” says Stimson, who uses the gender-neutral pronoun “they” in tribute to the Siksika language, which Stimson says has no gender-specific pronouns.

A residential school survivor, Stimson says art helped them deal with the trauma of that experience and the history of living on reserves.

“It allowed me to unpack and work through some of those issues that I faced while going through residential school, and the racism within the general public and the world, to create art that hopefully speaks to challenging a lot of those notions,” they explain.

Stimson is curating UnSettled, the visual arts portion of this year’s Queer Arts Festival.

After seven years as QAF’s artistic director, Shaira (SD) Holman decided to hand over this year’s festival to two-spirit curators and artists to coincide with Canada’s 150th year since Confederation.

“It was really important for the festival as a whole, rather than being a settler organization, to just step back and give over the entire curation,” Holman says.

QAF’s director of development, Rachel Iwaasa, says two-spirit curation is important because showcasing two-spirit art isn’t enough.

“We’re working with indigenous partners so that it’s not up to us to decide what constitutes an authentic indigenous, two-spirit representation,” Iwaasa says. “It’s important to us that we’re not the voices represented in the publicity.”

Stimson has curated the works of 17 established, novice and deceased artists for UnSettled in a bid to bring together and honour those who have been part of the collective history and being of two-spirit people.

Stimson hopes the artists’ work will challenge multiple narratives, including settler and heteronormative accounts. “I think it’s something that two-spirited artists do naturally and I think they continue to do.”

Adrian Stimson, curator of this year’s QAF visual arts exhibition, UnSettled. Courtesy Adrian A Stimson

The work of Coast Salish and Stó:lō artist Raven John, whose ancestral name is Exwetlaq, will also feature at the festival. John says working as lead sculptor on Four Faces of the Moon, an animated short film, helped them through tragedy last year.

“It really is life-saving,” John says. “One of my aunts was murdered last year around February and it was a huge blow to our family. Having someone so close be added to this gross list of missing and murdered indigenous women was really hard for me.”

As a younger artist, John says they were interested in making “unreal worlds real through film.” Working on a feminist, indigenous film with a mostly indigenous and femme crew was “really life-affirming” in the midst of loss and the uncertainty of whether there would be justice for their aunt, John says. “It gave me an outlet to know there’s something better coming, there’s something better to strive for.”

Raven John’s painting, Two-Spirit Transformation Blessing, will be featured in UnSettled. Courtesy Raven John

Classically trained cellist Cris Derksen applauds Holman and Iwaasa for stepping back while indigenous artists take the curatorial lead. Derksen, who uses music as a way of criticizing appropriation and reconciling their own identity, will perform their Juno-nominated album Cris Derksen’s Orchestral Powwow at the festival.

Derksen says classical music has appropriated a lot of indigenous work. “As a classically trained indigenous human, I feel like this is a time that we can step up and say, ‘Hey, these are our songs, these are our stories, let us tell the story.’”

Noting their Cree and Mennonite heritage, Derksen says the album is a means of reconciling the various facets of their background and bringing them together in a way that allows the indigenous voice to be “heard loudly and respected.”

Classically-trained cellist Cris Derksen will be performing their album Cris Derksen’s Orchestral Powwow at this year’s QAF. Courtesy Cris Derken

Most chamber music has a conductor, Derksen observes. “I think it’s time that we listen to the aboriginal people first, so the beat of the drum dictates our show.”

John says that two-spirit inclusion needs to go beyond this year’s festival. “We need to address our histories, and one thing that I would love to see change in the arts community in general is that we don’t have to have an Indigenous or two-spirit exhibition,” they say. “We end up having women’s shows or queers shows or Indigenous shows or, in this case a two-spirit show, and as important as it is to increase awareness, we need to be included in other exhibitions.”

Holman says she’s committed to two-spirit inclusion beyond 2017.

“We don’t know yet that we have the funding  but we’re hoping to mentor more young queer, POC [people of colour], and especially two-spirit people in these kinds of positions so that it’s not just, ‘Oh yeah, 2017 we did this,’ and then we just moved on.”

Orlando Furioso: A Message from QAF Artistic Director SD Holman

The scale of the loss in Orlando is unfathomable. This horrifying violence is a reminder that we live in a false paradise, that homophobia is still killing us. It’s important that we don’t fall for the rhetoric of crazy lone gunman and terrorist act—except insofar that every queer-bashing is a terrorist act, meant to keep us invisible and silent and in fear for our lives. 

I speak only for myself—I can’t claim to speak for the breadth of our queer communities. But I think a lot of us are feeling PTSD right now. So many of us have stories of violence done to us. I am thinking of the man that came with a gun to my house in Rock Creek to shoot me, a story I have never told, until now—what’s yours? 

My heart goes out to the families, chosen and biological, of the dead and wounded. We are going to be grieving for a very long time. Hate cannot bring an end to hate—only love can. 

And since Sunday, we’ve been loving each other extra hard—reaching out to friends and chosen family, saying I’m glad you’re queer, I’m glad you’re alive.

While we mourn in our queer communities, it is important to remember that Orlando’s carnage is part of a bigger picture. Part of a system in which people of colour, black and latinx and indigenous people, are disproportionately targeted, assaulted and killed, often by the police, then blamed for their own murders. Part of a system in which assault weapons are easily available—when America’s founding fathers mandated the right to bear arms, they meant muskets, not semi-automatics. 

And before we get too smug up here in Canada, we should note that 66% of homophobic/trans*phobic hate crimes reported in this country are violent attacks—2 to 3 times the rate of violence in racist or religious hate crimes. That man coming to my house with a gun, that was in the great safe country of Canada. I’m told there was a gay-bashing in Vancouver on Sunday, on the way to the Orlando vigil. Queers are a community in which our fundamental rite of passage, coming out, remains an act of courage.

To our queer Muslim siblings, my hope is that our communities will stand with you, and refuse to allow this hateful act to fuel further Islamophobia. As a queer pagan Jew, I promise you, we are family.

As I sit here trying to work on the Queer Arts Festival opening in just a few days, I am engulfed, and sputtering in rage and sadness and trying to carry on. But this thought helps: I am reminded again why we do what we do. 

Together, our communities have carved our own spaces out of a hostile world, spaces where we can sing and dance and draw and rhyme and fuck our resistance, spaces that meld struggle with celebration, politics with sex, serious purpose with more fabulous than anyone could ever swallow. Together.

If, in the weeks ahead, you find yourself needing to be with other queers and transfolk and gender creative people, know that the Roundhouse is queer space until the end of June. We are here now setting up, then once the festival opens Tuesday, the galleries will be open from 9am-10pm, and there are shows or talks or readings or screenings every night, where on the walls and the screens and the stage and even the hallways, Queer lives are Centred and Valued and Loved. 

Come for the art, come for a drink, come to help out, come just to hang out with us queers: us dykes, fags, nancy boys, bulldaggers, girlymen, mannish women, fairies, fence-sitters, and deviants. Come be with your people. Come because you are not afraid, or because you are. You are wanted here, and you are not alone. 

The 2016 Queer Arts Festival is lovingly dedicated to the memory of all the beautiful queers who died in Orlando on June 12, and to all those who survived.


SD Holman
QAF Artistic Director

Pride in Art in the Scotiabank Vancouver 5K & Half-Marathon

Pride in Art is a registered charity in the Scotiabank 5K and Half-Marathon on Sunday June 26! Sponsor a runner or walker, and proceeds go towards producing the Queer Arts Festival. We are running for our lives. 

You can sponsor:


All sponsors receive a tax receipt for the full amount donated. 

Are you a cardio contender who wants to raise money for a good cause? 

There’s still time to sign up to walk or run for the Pride in Art Society in the Scotiabank Vancouver 5K & Half-Marathon!

Walkers and runners who register with our code (16VPRIDE) receive a discount on the race feean all-access rush pass to the Queer Arts Festival 2016 and a QAF 2016 T-shirt ($200 total value). Participants who raise $100 or more will have the option to have their registration fee reimbursed. Plus, Pride in Art board member Thierry Gudel is generously donating a bottle of bubbly to the team member who raises the most money!

Runners and athletes with racing chairs will begin the half-marathon at 7:30 am. The 5K begins at 9:30 am and is open to runners, walkers, those in wheelchairs, and those with strollers. Dogs are also welcome in the 5K!

To register

  1. Right-click HERE and select Pride in Art Society from the Charity Challenge drop-down menu.
  2. Enter 16VPRIDE on the initial application form (not the coupon box on the payment screen) to receive a discount on the entry fee.
  3. When you receive your confirmation email, follow the instructions to set up your fundraising profile.
  4. Invite friends and family to sponsor you! 

Having trouble navigating Scotiabank’s online system? You’re not alone… Please email or phone our Director of Development Rachel Iwaasa for assistance — 604.816.0218.

QAF needs you | Call for poets and composers

As 2015 comes to an end, I’d like to give a great big Thank You to all the amazing Queer Arts Family who have answered our 2015 fundraising call. It’s been an overwhelming outpouring of support in the past month, which has brought us to 92% of our $25,000 goal for the year.
Today, I am reaching out to you personally to ask your support. As a friend of QAF, you know how unique our festival is. But that uniqueness is precious and often makes it hard for us to raise funds traditionally. We are asking for your help by making a donation today, or if you’ve already given, to please share this final 2015 call.     This year is a critical turning point for the festival, as we change our dates to June 21-30, marking the Stonewall anniversary. Audiences have been asking for this for a very long time, and we are excited to be able to finally make the move. But change always comes with risk – and we have only 10 months between festivals to plan,  our most compressed festival schedule ever (packed into only 10 days!), and thousands of QAFeurs we need to tell to come a month early.     We are calling on you, our Queer Arts Family, to help us through this exciting but challenging transition. QAF is a charitable organization, and every last dollar goes back into the festival. Ticket prices only cover 5% of what it takes to put on the event. Your donation will help us to:bring queer art luminary Jonathan D. Katz to curate the 2016 visual arts exhibition. We are thrilled to bring his profound curatorial vision to Vancouver audiences, and to introduce him to new voices among out city’s tremendously talented artists.keep our festival financially accessible for all, and continue our pay what you can events, and free access to workshops for youthcontinue our practice of ASL translation or captioning for our language-based showsspread the word, making sure the festival faithful hear about the date change, and the rest of Vancouver hear about the creative capital of queer communitieskeep taking risks on challenging programming, exposing the voices of the full rage of queer artists, of diverse cultural backgrounds, varying abilities, all ages, emerging and established     When our federal funding was withdrawn in 2013, queers stood up and said loud and clear how important this festival is to our communities – YOU got that crucial grant restored. We needed your help then, and we need it again now.     It is up to all of us to make the festival possible. Thank you for being a part of QAF, for building with us an engaged, reflective and participatory creative queer community in Vancouver. Inspiration and dedication can only take us so far. Without you, we wouldn’t have what’s needed to realize this lovingly curated sensory experience, or bring our audience the fabulous queer space we all deserve.Wishing you and yours Happy Holigays and a Merry New Year,

SD Holman
QAF Artistic DirectorImage Credit: Bon and Monica take in Emilio Rojas’s “The Glory.” Photo by belle ancell photographyCall for Poets and ComposersQAF is thrilled to be presenting the 6th edition of the Art Song Lab program. #ASL2016 will be an amazing opportunity for emerging and established composers and poets to have their work rehearsed and developed by world class art-song performers, receive a world premiere (and archival recording) at QAF, attend workshops and receive mentorship with composer Jeffrey Ryan and poet Rachel Rose, and more!Application deadline is Jan. 15, 2016.

MACHiNENOiSY Dance Society is looking for performers for a performance project

PROX:IMITY RE:MIX is a 2 week process that offers skill building in dance, theatre and new media and highlights the unique identities and talents of local queer and allied youth (ages 15-24). No previous performance training is necessary. The content is created from a series of discussions with the youth group around issues of identity, trust, self-respect, self-confidence and touch. The youth will then participate in the creation of the performance along with MACHiNENOiSY artistic Directors Delia Brett & Daelik, and professional dancers.

PROX:IMITY RE:MIX establishes new dance as a positive tool for education and liberation. The youth participants needn’t be previously trained in dance or theatre. Participants will learn the skills they need in physical awareness, and communication through improvisational scores, peer-peer mentorship and by training in Contact Dance. The process engages young and developing queer and non-queer community in an exciting and informative physical dialogue on, performance, identity and collaboration.

Participants will need to be available to rehearse and perform July 20 – Aug 4, 2015
Participants will be paid an honorarium for their time

The performance will take place at the Roundhouse Community Centre as part of the Queer Arts Festival, on Aug 4, 2015. Click HERE for more details.


New start time for Alien Sex

We met with the team on Sunday, and we’re excited to report that their creative juices have been flowing freely. They’ve spawned so much more material than we anticipated for this point in the workshopping process, that we realized the 8:30 start time for the performance was going to run indecently late. 

So we’re announcing a new format for the evening. Rather than hosting the gala in advance, we’ve moved showtime up to 7:30pm. This allows the artists to take their time for some sweet, unhurried Alien Sex, lots of time for post-show talk-back in the afterglow, with the party to follow. All patrons are invited to come dressed as their planet of origin – Earthlings welcome. Capture it all in the mobile photo booth by fabulous festival photographer belle ancell. 

To repeat: the Alien Sex show begins at 7:30PM, not 8:30 as previously advertised.

WE Vancouver | Three Must-See Queer Arts Fest Events

By Robert Mangelsdorf – Published July 30, 2014, WE Vancouver

Throughout history, tyrants have banned “degenerate” artists or artworks under the argument that they posed an imminent danger to the social fabric. The theme of Queer Arts Festival is a defiant response to that.

ReGenerations, which opened July 23 and runs until Aug. 9, embraces the premise that art can be dangerous, even revolutionary. In the intimate act of sharing, both artists and audiences find meaning, transformation, and the strength to enact change.

This year’s festival brings together artists from over 20 countries navigating queer identity across the international diaspora, speaks to healing and renewal by addressing topics such as addiction, and provides solidarity for those struggling for queer rights.

The festival’s remaining highlights include:

Alien Sex

Tentacles wrestle the sexual status quo; secret identity exposes itself; and the Empire is challenged by authentic expression in a work that mixes whimsy, savage poetry, heartbreaking vulnerability and B-movie joy.

Get your alien on in this transdisciplinary evening, featuring the work-in-progress presentation of Alien Sex. Come dressed in an outfit original to your planet of origin. Prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed queer aliens.

Actor/director and Alien Sex instigator David Bloom brings together an exciting team in a multi-genre, multi-generational feast. The all-star cast features Vancouver genderqueer creators Olivia B (performance poet/tap dancer) and Floyd VB (performance poet/visual artist), propelled by the visceral and immutable life force of taiko drummer Eileen Kage, composer/dancer/video artist Sammy Chien, actor/dancer/visual and performance artist Robert Leveroos, and photo-based artist/actor SD Holman (of BUTCH: Not like the other girls).

Drawing upon energetic interpretations of the transgressive BDSM poet Linda Smukler/Samuel Ace and the divisive heterosexual playwright David Mamet, gay, lesbian, bi, queer, straight, vanilla, kinky and yet-to-be-named perspectives collide in a speculative fiction that explores the beautiful, and sometimes inexplicable territory of human sexuality.

July 31 at 7:30-9:30 pm; $20 (all funds raised go to support the Pride in Art Society); 181 Roundhouse Mews 

I Sing The Body Electric: Walt Whitman and The Beat Generation

Just in time for Pride weekend, Erato Ensemble’s I Sing the Body Electric celebrates the queer spirit of Walt Whitman and the Beat Generation, who dared to express an individual language and lifestyle in the midst of the conservative social mores of their times, changing our culture forever.

Walt Whitman’s poetry is the basis for an emotional love story of two men – from meeting, to falling in love, to separation by war and death. Music by Kurt Weill, Charles Naginski, William George and world premieres by Lloyd Burritt and Ben Schuman. The Beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Diane Di Prima inspire new works by David Del Tredici, David Sisco, Jerome Kitzke, Steven Ebel, Anthony Ocaña, a “Beat Madrigal,” and a world premiere by Catherine Laub.

Aug. 1, 7:30-9:30 pm; $30 General Admission; $15 Youth/Seniors/Underemployed; 181 Roundhouse Mews

Queering the International 

QAF’s signature visual arts exhibition, Queering the International, features a lineup of established and emerging artists from around the globe who are immigrant, indigenous, undocumented, displaced.

Recent homophobic events in Russia, India, Uganda, and elsewhere have made it timely to highlight artists who address queer identity on an international scale, and whose work celebrates the complex human condition. 

Queering the International asks the artists, “What is queer, what is international, what is your diaspora, and what is identity?”

Brought together by the curatorial talents of Zimbabwe-born Laiwan and curatorial assistant Anne Riley, who is of Dene/Cree ancestry, it features artists from a range of nations including Brazil, Canada, the Cree Nation, Guatemala, Guyana, the Haudenosaunee Territories, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Russia, South Africa, Trinidad, the United States, and more, covering a breadth of viewpoints and perspectives from queers near and far.

Until Aug. 9; by donation, gallery hours 10:30am-10pm weekdays; 10:30am-4:30pm weekends; 181 Roundhouse Mews © Copyright (c) WE Vancouver

New start time for Alien Sex

We met with the team on Sunday, and we’re excited to report that their creative juices have been flowing freely. They’ve spawned so much more material than we anticipated for this point in the workshopping process, that we realized the 8:30 start time for the performance was going to run indecently late. 

So we’re announcing a new format for the evening. Rather than hosting the gala in advance, we’ve moved showtime up to 7:30pm. This allows the artists to take their time for some sweet, unhurried Alien Sex, lots of time for post-show talk-back in the afterglow, with the party to follow. All patrons are invited to come dressed as their planet of origin – Earthlings welcome. Capture it all in the mobile photo booth by fabulous festival photographer belle ancell. 

To repeat: the Alien Sex show begins at 7:30PM, not 8:30 as previously advertised.

Message from the Artistic Director, January 2014

Dear Queer Arts Family,

Happy New Year! 2014 is a year of big changes at QAF.

QAF offices have moved – from our East Van basement headquarters to a bright top floor loft in Gordon Neighbourhood House at Broughton and Comox. As we relocate from one Vancouver gaybourhood to the other, we are happy to have found offices that are more accessible in every way – easy to find, more public, and much easier to move around in for people who are either mobility challenged or tall. A big thanks to Paul M. Taylor and the whole team at GNH for inviting us into their space, and to QAF all-star volunteers Kathy, Jayden, Marnie and Laurie and all our staff for making the relocation a smooth and painless process. If you’re in the neighbourhood, swing by and say hello, or come spend a little longer and volunteer.

We have big changes on our staffing front too. I’d like to welcome Theo Jakob, joining the QAF team as our new Managing Director, a position created thanks to a Capacity Building Grant from the BC Arts Council. Many of you may know Theo from his work with the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and the All Bodies Swim. Our Director of Operations, Rachel Iwaasa, will be taking the helm as Acting Artistic Director, while I take a one-year sabbatical for 2014. It’s been an intense 7 years developing from the all-volunteer Pride in Art exhibition into the 3-week transdisciplinary festival QAF has become. An awful lot has happened along the way, and it’s time for me to step back to take time for some quiet contemplation and professional development – working on my MFA, touring my show BUTCH: not like the other girls, and developing it into a book. I will also be delving into two other projects on grief around my beautiful wife Catherine and her death: Still Life, portraits of absence, and Pazapapilgrimage variations, a transdisciplinary piece about the journey of grieving through my walk across Canada. Ok, so maybe not so much time for quiet contemplation. Rest assured, I’ll miss the festival too much to disappear. My commitment to the work remains as strong as ever, and I’ll still be available to the team as consultant and volunteer – in the meantime, our programming is all set for2014, and I know I’m leaving the festival in very capable hands. Warmest thanks to the whole Queer Arts Family for all your support of the festival over the years. It’s been a rewarding and challenging learning cliff, and I look forward to returning in a year.

SD Holman,QAF Artistic Director

Photo credit: belle ancell

Theo Jakob joins the Pride in Art in January 2014 in the position as Managing Director, created with the generous assistance of a BC Arts Council Capacity Building grant. Theo comes to us with nine years experience in program management and administration of multi-stakeholder programs, especially focused on community empowerment and engagement with queer and trans communities, and seven years experience in volunteer coordination and human resource management. Theo has worked since 2010 as Festival Program Coordinator at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, where he assisted with coordinating Festival production, including 2011’s Celebrate Queer Vancouver activities, and spearheaded their accessibility initiatives. Theo’s particular expertise is as a consultant and community programmer whose work often centres around policy, organizational development, sustainability, anti-oppression and accessibility. We are excited to welcome this brilliant young arts administrator to our team, as part of our commitment to nurturing and cultivating queer arts talent in Vancouver.

Flamers, Sunny Drake, and Playing for Our Team!

By SD Holman Queer Arts Festival |  March 17, 2014Whats new at QAF? We’ve got some exciting news and changes this month, including a job posting, new staff, and exciting upcoming projects. Here’s what we have to share with you.

Art changes people; people change the world

Become a Pride in Art patron. Imagine a world without homophobia — then help make that world a reality. Whether you make a one-time gift, or commit to sustain the festival with a monthly contribution, your tax-deductible donation helps QAF commission and incubate cutting-edge new queer work, nurture the next generation of queer talent, and to celebrate with the wider world the best our communities have to offer.


QAF is partnering with Qmunity Gab Youth and the Access to Music Foundation to bring you a 16-week songwriting workshop for queer and allied youth ages 14-24.  All levels of experience are welcome!Led by queer singer/songwriters Sarah Wheeler and Melissa Endean, QSONG incorporates recording, broadcasting, and mentorship opportunities, plus a live appearance at QAF2014!Funded in part by:

Initial drop-in Workshops Mar 26, and Apr 30 4-6 pmWeekly workshops May 16 – Aug 9Located at our QAF offices: Gordon Neighbourhood House, 1019 Broughton St. Room 2


QAF is incredibly excited to announce Sunny Drake as one of the performers in our upcoming festival season.Sunny has created his own unique style of multi-genre theatre, which he has been evolving since he was a teenaged girl. Sunny has performed in theatres, festivals, living rooms, streets, work places, deserts, schools, universities, basements, backyards &amp; conferences in Australia, the USA, Canada, and Europe.  He recently won the Arts Professional Award in the SummerWorks Performance Festival (2013) as well as being named by NOW Magazine for “Outstanding Performance” and “Outstanding Design”. Watch for details when the full QAF line-up is announced later this spring, and visit his website here!“Sunny Drake…is a force of nature. A real-life cartoon. He bounds, jumps, fizzes and cranks his way across the stage, full of pluck and charisma–and we can’t look away.”– Mike Anderson, Mooney on Theatre



Warm up those lovely pink vocal folds and audition for Canada’s first queer classical chorus! Cor Flammae will be holding auditions for classically-trained Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass singers on March 15 and 16th in Vancouver. See www.corflammae.com/auditions for more info, and sign up to reserve your audition time. Cor Flammae is Vancouver’s budding chamber chorus of classically trained, queer singers, performing historical and modern queer content. Composed from the ranks of Vancouver’s top-flight choral ensembles and singers, the choir seeks to reveal the hidden queer heritage often ignored in the conservative world of classical music. Cor Flammae is looking for your support: your donations are needed, and will go towards paying highly-trained musicians, purchasing sheet music, and rental fees for venues and rehearsal spaces. To help Canada’s first classical queer chorus continue to perform queer content, click the button below!


New Communications Coordinator at QAF

Kenneth Yuen joins the team at QAF this month as the new Communications Coordinator.  Over the past 5 years, he has worked with various local artist-run organizations including Access Gallery and On Main Gallery.Kenneth comes from a visual arts background and has worked as a project assistant on many projects with video artist Paul Wong – highlights include the ‘5’ project, commissioned by The City of Vancouver through its Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program, as part of Mapping and Marking Artist-Initiated Projects for Vancouver 2010.  Most recently, he was the Kickstarter campaign manager for On Main Gallery’s MIMMiC Project, and SD Holman’sBUTCH: Not like the other girls.We are excited to welcome Kenneth as part of our team, and look forward to the upcoming festival season with him  – feel free to contact him at kenneth@prideinart.ca

ROOM MAGAZINE Call for Submissions

Room Magazine, Canada’s oldest literary journal by and about women*, is having an open call for polished unpublished fiction, poetry, and non-fiction on any theme for their upcoming issue edited by Christina Cooke and Taryn Hubbard. Deadline: Wednesday, April 30, 2014

To learn more about page limits and how to submit, please refer to the Submission Guidelines listed on their website at http://www.roommagazine.com/submit.*Room accepts submissions from cisgender, trans and genderqueer authors written from a feminine perspective, regardless of sexual orientation or current identification. Room is presently in the midst of re-branding the journal to reflect that reality. So long as your work features feminine perspectives, they’d love to read it!

 Here’s to 2014!

How do I transgress thee? Let me count the ways… One more week!

We are now 7 days away from the opening night of the 2013 Queer Arts Festival: TransgressionNow.

Hope y’all are coming down to our Art Party! Wednesday July 24, from 7-10pm at the Roundhouse, because it’s gonna be a blast. The opening night gala is always a queer-tastic, inclusive, all-ages event for everyone to see some art and build community. Proudly sponsored by Health Initiative for Men(HIM).

And the Art Party! is just the tip of the iceberg. For almost three weeks, we are presenting an incredible array of shows, workshops and outreach activities. Check out all our events on our website or on our Facebook page.

If you like the weird and the wonderful, the unexpected and fresh, then make sure you come to this evening of transdisciplinary performance art inspired by short queer films. queerartsfestival.com/event/reflection-refraction

Reflection/Refraction flips the gaze of the artist. Cellist Cris Derksen drapes her layers of sound around the flirty awkwardness of Narissa Lee’s The Bus Pass. David C. Jones develops gender musings through physical theatre with a tip of the heel to The Hawker by Elisha Lim and Coco Riot. Mette Bach evokes complex personal histories in contrast to Kent Monkman’s playful cultural critique Dance to Miss Chief.

Dancer Ralph Escamillan holds Clark Nikolai’s Galactic Docking Company gently and pushes far beyond the reaches of space. Mr Cobalt 2013, Tran ÀPus Rex, challenges the dragged-up Herr by John Greyson with choreography by Vancouver’s Joe Laughlin.

Reflection/Refraction is curated by Kristina Lemieux, Artistic Producer of Brief Encounters, and Jen Crothers, artist and filmmaker (Butch Tits), who share a love of queer interdisciplinary arts.
Buy tickets now: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/407953
Queer Migration and Homing:
A g/local world cafe dialogue

To broaden the impact of our commissioned opera When the Sun Comes Out, QAF is partnering with Rainbow Refugee to engage in community outreach programs; giving voice to a wide range of true-life stories surrounding the issues raised by the opera: homophobic violence, migration, and the search for community and home. We invite you to come and just listen or share your own story.

Speakers: Tehseen A. (Rainbow Refugee), Chris Morrissey (Rainbow Refugee), Dai Kojima (UBC, Liu Institute), Fatima Jaffer (Trikone, UBC)

Dialogue Facilitators: members of Our City of Colours, My Circle, Queer Migration Collective, Rainbow Refugee, and cast and creators of When the Sun Comes Out

Sunday July 28, 5-7pm, at the Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, 2nd Flr, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street.

Pride Legacy Awards
We are PROUD to announce that two of our 2013 curated artists, Joe Average and SD Holman, are finalists for a a Pride Legacy Award, for their contributions to Art in Vancouver.

Presented by Vancouver Pride Society and TELUS, the awards ceremony will take place this Sat. July 20 at the Imperial, and will be hosted by Fred Lee. See Facebook event

View our TransgressionNow Curated Visual Art Exhibition, showing July 24 – Aug 9 in the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, to see their work.

Congrats and good luck!

GayVancouver.Net is yet another homo-fabulous new Media Partner this year, and we just loooove all the twitter buzz and editorial they’ve been providing this year!

GayVancouver.Net (Gay Vancouver Online) is Vancouver’s LGBTQ online guide. Check it out: gayvancouver.net


Become a Pride in Art Patron
Imagine a world without homophobia — then help make that world a reality.

Whether you make a one-time gift, or commit to sustain the festival with a monthly contribution, your tax-deductible donation helps QAF commission and incubate cutting-edge new queer work, nurture the next generation of queer talent, and to celebrate with the wider world the best our communities have to offer.

Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!


How do I buy tickets?
Buy in-person at Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium, 1238 Davie St.

Purchase online through Brown Paper Tickets!

Or, take your chances and purchase from Box Office the night of the show. Opens 30 minutes before showtime, accepts cash only.

Festival passes
A screamin’ deal – 4 shows for $69 (excluding the Big Gay Sing, surcharges apply to Kinnie Starr/Cris Derksen, and When the Sun Comes Out). To assure seating, QAF passholders can book available shows online up to 72 hours in advance. Or live dangerously and come with your pass when the box office opens.

$5 youth tickets
(24 and under)
Available for select shows, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the TD Come Out for Art youth ticket program.