Glitter is Forever Pajama Party

Glitter is Forever Pajama Party |

| Closing Binge | July 26 | 8 pm |

Get your dress jammies on, grab a drink and binge-watch the entire Queer Arts Festival with us (take it all in!!). Expect surprises and special prizes. 

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

Save the date and register to let us know you’re coming.

This Crazy Show

This Crazy Show |

July 25 | 7pm |
July 26 | 2pm |
| Dance Performance | July 25 | 7 pm | July 26 | 2pm |

In his Swan Song, contemporary dance legend Noam Gagnon sashays the fine line between pain and pleasure in a fetishization of something glamorous and beautifully twisted: a monster beautified.

Synopsis: This piece is a reflection on the quest for love, through revisiting the worlds of childhood, both real and imagined.

How do we feel when we are hammered or deformed under pressure, but not quite enough to break? How can we be malleable and flexible, deform and reform without losing our core selves?

In ‘This Crazy Show,’ the body becomes a place of transformation, of transmutation, and of transfiguration. Alternately agitated, delicate and humourous, Noam Gagnon choreographs and performs, pushing himself to his physical limit to explore and expose “the art of artifice” in a culture obsessed with pretending authenticity. ‘This Crazy Show’ explores just how precarious and ambiguous identity can be, through the evolution of the body and the self as both are continuously morphing, unfixed and boldly celebrated.

“Because I dream, I’m not.” – Léolo

I wanted to take up the challenge of exploring new avenues of creation by playing with the range of humanly possible transformations, transmutations, and transfigurations. ‘This Crazy Show’ tackles the theme of the perpetual quest for love by revisiting the worlds of childhood, real and imagined, through the bionic woman as superhero metaphor.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the McGrane-Pearson Endowment Fund.

Visit Vision Impure website.

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

Save the date and register to let us know you’re coming.

July 25 | 7pm |
July 26 | 2pm |

A Conversation on Queer Mentorship

A Conversation on Queer Mentorship |

| Lunch Discourse | Jul 25 | 12 pm |

Hiromi Goto and Erica Isomura explore the nuances of intergenerational mentorship as queer POC writers.

Hiromi Goto, an emigrant from Japan, gratefully resides on the Unceded Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil Waututh Territories. She’s the author of many books. Her first graphic novel, Shadow Life, with artist Ann Xu, is pending with First Second Books. Hiromi is currently being guided by land-based learning and at work on a second graphic novel.

Erica Isomura (@ericahiroko) is an emerging writer and community organizer living on unceded Musqueam, Skwxwú7mesh and Tsleil Waututh homelands. In 2019, Erica’s work won Briarpatch Magazine’s Writing In The Margins contest, selected by Alicia Elliott. She is coping with the pandemic by drawing quarantine comics and creating poetic installations in her living room window.

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE AND REGISTER AHEAD OF TIME.

The Darlings, Uncensored

The Darlings, Uncensored |

| Drag Performance | July 24 | 7 pm |

The QAF proudly welcomes The Darlings—Continental Breakfast, PM, Rose Butch and Maiden China—to the stage, ahem, screen, with a new performance created around the festival theme of ‘wickedness.’ The multidisciplinary, non-binary drag performance collective has been taking the Vancouver scene by storm for the last two years and is currently titillating social-distancing audiences through aptly titled online performances Quarantine I & II. Their work challenges the boundaries of conventional drag, and explores genderqueer, non-binary, and trans experience through the use of movement, poetry, performance art, theatre, and immersive/interactive installation.

The Darlings are Chris Reed, Desi Rekrut, Rae Takei and Kendell Yan.

This event is ASL interpreted. 

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE AND REGISTER AHEAD OF TIME.

Underground Absolute Fiction

Underground Absolute Fiction |

| Speculative Theatre | July 23 | 7 pm |

Underground Absolute Fiction is an immersive play-meets-punk-concert, inspired by the apartment theatre of 1980s Poland. It invites audiences into a secret meeting at a post-Communist home. There, they join a queer punk band and Lena, a Polish-Canadian settler.

Created by Anais West, the co-writer of Jessie Award Nominated musical Poly Queer Love Ballad, Underground Absolute Fiction asks audiences to grapple with the complex legacies of diaspora, queer rights movements, and white supremacy—in both Europe and Turtle Island (Canada). Directed by Fay Nass as an Associate Project with the Frank Theatre.

This event is ASL interpreted.

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

Save the date and register to let us know you’re coming.

A Night of Storytelling

A Night of Storytelling |

| Literary Readings | July 22 | 7 pm |

A Night of Storytelling is back for its fifth year and once again hosted by the much-beloved Danny Ramdan, this time around as a new online experience. Spend a night in with the talented LGBTQ2+ voices of the CanLit scene. Danny brings prominent writers from the Queer and trans community into your homes as they explore their identities through the medium of the written word. A Night of Storytelling features readings from Billy Ray Belcourt, Amber Dawn, jaye simpson, Jillian Christmas, and Erin-Brooke Kirsh.

Curator Danny Ramadan is an award-winning Syrian-Canadian author, public speaker and LGBTQ-refugees activist. His novel, The Clothesline Swing, won multiple awards. His children’s book, Salma the Syrian Chef, is out now. 

This event is ASL Interpreted.

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

Save the date and register to let us know you’re coming.

Media Nights with VIVO

Media Nights with VIVO

| Rupture Probe | Sat July 18 | 7 pm |

| Return to Sodom North | Sat July 18 | 7 pm |

Rupture Probe and Return to Sodom North look at the continuity of themes across the two decades that separate the works. They also illustrate the resilience of shorter experimental forms that emerging queer festivals preferred and rapidly evolving technologies coveted. However, while Vancouver artists in the ‘90s were informed by previous decades, their work suggests an impatience for the new millenium. Today, as artists approach this fifth decade of queer Canadian media art, Rupture Probe also samples works that reflect on the past, applying critical remediation to its radical legacies (Slumberparty 2018) and incisive dismantling of historical oppressions (Framing Agnes, Less Lethal Fetishes).

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

Save the date and register to let us know you’re coming.

| Rupture Probe | Sat July 18 | 7 pm
| Return to Sodom North | Sat July 18 | 7 pm

Too Spirited

Too Spirited |

| Indigenous Burlesque | July 17 | 7 pm |

Embrace your too-muchness with bombastic burlesque brought to you by the badass babes of Virago Nation, Turtle Island’s first all-indigenous burlesque collective. Featuring special guests Monday Blues and Lynx Chase! Whether you’ve seen it before or always wanted, now’s your chance to relish the many facets of indigenous sexual rematriation from the comfort of your living room. 

https://www.viragonation.ca/    https://www.facebook.com/ViragoNation/    

Performer Bios 

Shane Sable  “Mover, Shaker, Mischief Maker; the Furiously Flirtatious Force of Nature”

 2Spirit Gitxsan artist and activist Shane Sable has slayed stages all over Vancouver in front of and behind the scenes since 2011. Shane has an abiding hunger for audience engagement and delights in the tension created by breaking the 4th wall of burlesque. Shane is the convening member of Virago Nation – Turtle Island’s first all-indigenous burlesque collective and Festival Administrator for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.

RainbowGlitz is one of Virago’s Nations founding members and Vancouvers Rainbow Slut spreading her love medicine in a mix of classic, nerdlesque, exotic dance and pussy cat doll hip hop movements. This Haida, Squamish, Musqueam and black artist will leave you wanting to throw your gold at the end of her rainbow.

Instagram: @jaibrend

Scarlet Delirium: Vancouver BC’s Raven Goddess! The Kwakiutl Indigi-Babe! Scarlet Delirium has been enjoying the slow burn of Burlesque and Cabaret since 2010 and is a founding member of Virago Nation. During the daylight hours doubles as Costume Designer for herself and her Burlesque family.  

Instagram: @scarlet_delirium

Sparkle Plenty is Vancouver’s glamedian, weirdlesquer, and word-maker-upper who has been delivering beautifully bizarre burlesque acts for over 10 years! This fiery goddess is Cree and Metis with mixed heritage and is a proud sister of the first ever all Indigenous burlesque group, Virago Nation. You can find her teasing and emceeing with the Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society as well as on stages all over Vancouver, Toronto, Las Vegas and more. 

Instagram: @sparkleplentys

Monday Blues is an Afro-Indigenous burlesque artist, and has been performing burlesque professionally since 2011. Monday has traveled the globe as a solo female adventurer and loves to live outside her comfort zone. Her most recent endeavours include being an avid entrepreneur, both in Sex Work and coaching capacities, as well as pursuing her passion on the burlesque stages all over Canada and the US. Monday strives to exist without limits and wants to help others feel just as empowered. 

Instagram: @missmondayblues

Lynx Chase: A true showpony at heart, Lynx Chase has always been passionate about movement and performance arts. Over the years she has trained in a variety of disciplines ranging from Aerial Hoop, Silks, Contortion, Partner Acrobatics, Bellydance & Capoeira;  however it wasn’t until she discovered Pole Dancing in 2012 that she found her true vocation. Lynx has been professionally teaching in Vancouver since 2015 and has also showcased her gravity defying acts at various events and festivals across the province such as Retro Strip Show, Bass Coast and Shambhala Music Festival. It is her hope to continue to share her craft with the world by demonstrating the strength, sensuality, artistry and grace that goes hand in hand with the art of pole and exotic dance.

Instagram: @aylaylay_

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

Save the date and register to let us know you’re coming.

ArtParty!

ArtParty! |

| QAF Opening | Thu Jul 16 | 5-7 pm |
QAF’s opening: Luxuriate in a cinq-á-sept afternoon delight! Come together for our Visual Art tour with curator Jonny Sopotiuk, guest artists, and a gallery of intimate friends old and new. Wonderfully Wicked…
Artist Panel Discussion chaired by Jonny Sopotiuk with participating artists Tom Hsu, Avram Finkelstein, Diyan Achjadi, and Elektra KB.
Following our official welcome, guest visual art curator Jonny Sopotiuk gives a virtual tour of the Curated Visual Art Exhibition joined by 4 guest artists.

Jonny Sopotiuk is a visual artist, curator and community organizer living and working on the Unceded Indigenous territories belonging to the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh-ulh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and Tsleil-Watututh peoples in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His interdisciplinary practice explores compulsion and control through the lenses of production, labour, and work. Jonny is the President of the Arts and Cultural Workers Union (ACWU), IATSE Local B778, Vice-President of CARFAC BC and a founding member of the Vancouver Artists Labour Union Cooperative or VALU CO-OP.

Tom Hsu is a studio-based visual artist whose works seeks to investigate the curious condition of spaces, and their correlation to the bodies that attend them, as communicated through the photography of the everyday mundane. He comes from a base in analog photography, and this stability allows him to extend into made, found, and choreographic sculpture, all of which deal with the everyday mundane. He currently lives and works in Vancouver and holds a BFA in Photography from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. He undertook a residency at Burrard Arts Foundation from April to June 2018. He has exhibited at Centre A, Unit/Pitt, Index Gallery, and Yactac Gallery in Vancouver.

www.tomhsu.com     

Avram Finkelstein is a founding member of the Silence=Death and Gran Fury collectives. His work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, The Whitney, The New Museum and The Brooklyn Museum. He is featured in the artist oral history at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, and his book, “After Silence: A History of AIDS Through its Images” was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in Nonfiction, and an ICP Infinity Award in Critical Writing. 

http://avramfinkelstein.com/

Diyan Achjadi’s practice considers surface ornamentation, historical prints and illustrations as pictorial archives, and the potential of these forms as sites for knowledge transmission. Her formative years were spent negotiating different educational, political and cultural systems, leading to an ongoing interest in how our understanding of ideologies is influenced and informed by the visual popular culture that surrounds us. Achjadi received an MFA from Concordia University, Montreal, and a BFA from the Cooper Union, New York. She has exhibited widely at galleries and film festivals across Canada and beyond.

www.diyanachjadi.com     

Elektra KB is a Latinx immigrant artist, living and working in Brooklyn, NY. They graduated with an MFA from Hunter College in 2016 and received a DAAD award, pursued at UDK—Berlin with artist Hito Steyerl. Their work engages corporeal sickness and disability, with utopian possibilities and alternative universes. KB investigates: gender, migration, transculturality, and abuse of power. Their work entangles mutual aid, political action, and communication, often with a documentarian-sci-fi-like hybrid approach, exploring utopia and dystopia. Across: photography, textiles, video, installation and performance. KB’s work has been written about in: Art Forum, Artnews and The New York Times. Recent shows include: ‘Nobody Promised You Tomorrow’ at the Brooklyn Museum.

elektrakb.com

This Event is ASL Interpreted.

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.

Save the date and register to let us know you’re coming.

Wicked

Wicked

| Queer Arts Festival 2020: WICKED | Jul 16 – 26, 2o2o |

“Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.”

Oscar Wilde

This past decade has seen the mainstreaming of gay; sexual difference wins approval so long as it is palatable, marketable, and doesn’t stray too far from bourgeois notions of taste and morality. Our 2020 theme Wicked reimagines identity politics, exposing the implications of homonormativity as erasure. The commodification of queer experience is inextricably linked to the pathologization of the queer body, where medical and sociological interventions adjudicate which anatomies and passions are accepted as authentic. What do we lose—who do we lose—if we accept induction into the dominant order, and reframe ourselves as a “moral minority”?

There’s no place like home for the Wicked Witch of the West, green by devilment and through her magical aberrance. QAF 2020 forsakes the yellow brick road that leads only to a man behind a curtain gentrifying our desires. Instead, for 11 days of visual art, performance, theatre, music, dance and literary events, we invite you to revel in the quintessentially queer traditions of scandal and excess. 

Highlights include Jonny Sopotiuk’s visual arts curation; choreographer Noam Gagnon’s raucously vulnerable Swan Song, This Crazy Show; Indigenous Burlesque with Virago Nation’s Too Spirited; and the latest offering from non-binary drag collective The Darlings.

Queer Arts Festival is going remote. See our COVID-19 response here.