Too Spirited

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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_

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Glitter is Forever Pajama Party

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Glitter is Forever Pajama Party |

| Closing Binge | July 26 | 4 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. 

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Pride in Art Community Art Show

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Pride in Art Community Art Show | July 16 -26 |

From the roots of the Queer Arts Festival, this open visual art show honours our founder, Two-Spirit artist Robbie Hong and 21 years of Pride in Art organizing.

This show will launch online on July 16 and run through to July 26.

2020 Artists

Chris Watson
CREATEIIV
Edward Bader
Ilena Lee
Jackson Photographix
Kate Braun
Kyla Yin
Michel Dumont
Mikayla Fawcett
Vladimir Kolosov

This Crazy Show

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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.

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

A Conversation on Queer Mentorship

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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.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE AND REGISTER AHEAD OF TIME.

The Darlings, Uncensored

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The Darlings, Uncensored |

| Drag Performance | July 24 | 7 pm |

The QAF proudly welcomes The DarlingsContinental 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.

MAIDEN CHINA

https://www.instagram.com/queenmaidenchina

ROSE BUTCH

https://www.instagram.com/rose.butch

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

https://www.instagram.com/contibreakfast

PM

https://www.instagram.com/pmforagoodtime

This event is ASL interpreted. 

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE AND REGISTER AHEAD OF TIME.

Underground Absolute Fiction

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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.

Dramaturgy by Veronique West
Featuring AJ Simmons, Claire Love Wilson, Julia Siedlanowska and Sara Vickruck
Cultural Consultant Julia Siedlanowska
Promotional photo by Kimberly Ho

This event is ASL interpreted.

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A Night of Storytelling

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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 Ramadan, 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. 

Jillian Christmas lives on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam people, where she served for six years as Artistic Director of Versəs Festival of Words. An educator, organizer, and advocate in the arts community, utilizing an anti-oppressive lens, Jillian has performed and facilitated workshops across the continent. 

jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux indigiqueer writer with roots in Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. they often write about being queer in the Child Welfare system, as well as being queer and Indigenous. their work has been featured in Poetry Is Dead, This Magazine, PRISM international, SAD Mag, GUTS Magazine and Room. simpson resides on the unceded and ancestral territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), səlilwəta’Ɂɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations peoples, currently and colonially known as Vancouver, BC.

Amber Dawn is a writer and creative facilitator living on unceded Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver, Canada). She is the author of five books and the editor of three anthologies.

Erin Kirsh is a writer and performer. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared in dozens of literary journals internationally. Her greatest accomplishment to date is that one time she painted her nails without getting the polish all over the place.

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation, and lives in Vancouver. He is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at UBC. His books are THIS WOUND IS A WORLD, NDN COPING MECHANISMS, and A HISTORY OF MY BRIEF BODY.

This event is ASL Interpreted.

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 |

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| Return to Sodom North | Sun July 19 | 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).

RUPTURE PROBE | Queer Inquiries & Remediations | Sat, Jul 18 | 7PM PST 

Recent queer shorts rupture normative notions of gender, pleasure, and activism. Employing remediation and experimental narrative and forms, artists probe transgender and non-binary experience, new erotic signifiers, and inventive strategies for dissent and celebration.

Framing Agnes (Chase Joynt, 2018, 19min)   

Lesbian Hand Gestures (Carol Short, 2011, 3min)   

 Less Lethal Fetishes (Thirza Cuthand, 2019, 10min)

Slumberparty 2018 (Cait McKinny & Hazel Meyer, 2018, 24min)               

Paisa (Dorian Wood, Graham Kolbeins, 2019, 9min)

RETURN TO SODOM NORTH | Vancouver Queer Video 1993-2000 | Sun, Jul 19 | 7PM PST

At Video In and elsewhere in the ‘90s, a new generation of queer artists were expanding the west coast response to ongoing racialized and gendered suppression of queer bodies, expression,and desire. Experimental narrative, appropriation, and remediation marked video storytelling. Characteristics of abbreviation, play, and provocation portent the queer potential of new platforms and emergent counterpublics that would define the new milennium. The sum of this work speaks to the desire for a more equitable future; one executed with rigour, joy, and delicious wickedness. 

*The title is derived from R.E.A.L. Women’s attempt to ban the 1990 Gay Games, warning B.C. would become Sodom North. The moniker was quickly appropriated for the queer publication, Sodomite Invasion, and Video In’s screening, Sodom North Bash Back.  

Boulevard of Broken Sync (Winston Xin, 1996, 3min)

Helpless Maiden Makes an I Statement (Thirza Cuthand, 1999, 6min)

Defiance (Maureen Bradley, 1993, 6:50min)

Surfer Dick (Wayne Yung, 1997, 3:20min)

Unmapping Desire (Sheila James, 1999, 6:42min)

Transmission (Ivan Coyote, 1998, 7min)  

Water Into Fire (Zachery Longboy, 1994, 10min)

View (Shani Mootoo, 2000, 6min)

Search Engine (Wayne Yung, 1999, 4min)

VIVO Media Arts Centre, incorporated as Satellite Video Exchange Society, is a steward of critical history and an agent for emergent experimental media arts practices. Our programs foster formal and critical approaches to media arts, and reflect the diversity of contemporary technologies and communities that coalesce around new forms of knowledge and creativity. VIVO builds an engaged audience through workshops, production support, distribution, artist residencies, workshops, performances, exhibitions and curatorial and archival research. Through these activities and the extensive resources of Western Canada’s largest repository of media art history, VIVO plays a unique role in facilitating and fostering artistic practices in the region including of queer artists, activists, collectives and organizations.

VIVO’s Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive and Video Out Distribution steward and disseminate a queer media, publications, and histories from the 1960s – present. Many are freely available online at vivomediaarts.com/archive. All materials are accessible in-house. Holdings can be searched through Every Queer Thing (vivomediaarts.com/archive/every-queer-thing).

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| Rupture Probe | Sat July 18 | 7 pm
| Return to Sodom North | Sun July 19 | 7 pm

ArtParty!

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Curator Tour |

Curator Statement |

Queer life is a reality of ongoing survival. From government and societal oppression, to family rejection and social isolation our memories and experiences have been defined and shaped by the structures that are designed to contain us.

Our identities and experiences are mediated. Living is a constant battle against and with these systems of containment.

Wicked brings together a multigenerational group of artists living and producing work across Canada and the United States as they explore the body, community, and architecture of homonormativity. 

In 2020 we’re learning to live through a new form of containment during a global health pandemic. Our long fight for recognition and the foundations of community infrastructures that we created to sustain us are being fundamentally questioned.

We’re now asked to rethink how we build individual and collective responses to queer and trans trauma and erasure? 

With new connections and intimacy now mediated by requirements to shelter in place, artists critically examine our communities’ oppression and expose implications of complicity in the homonormative systems created to contain us.

-Jonny Sopotiuk.

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.

Artist Panel Discussion chaired by Jonny Sopotiuk with participating artists Tom Hsu, Avram Finkelstein, Elektra KB, and Tajliya Jamal.

Following our official welcome, guest visual art curator Jonny Sopotiuk gives a virtual tour of the Curated Visual Art Exhibition joined by guest artists.

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/

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

Tajliya Jamal is a queer, mixed-race artist of Cantonese and Indian heritage. She uses illustration, text, and storytelling, often to highlight relationships between race, sexuality, and (in)visibility. Focus on pattern and detail aim to involve viewers more intimately.

https://tajliyaj.tumblr.com/

Born and raised on Coast Salish Territory, Shanique (also known as Softieshan) is a DJ and event producer widely known for her femme-forward, hip hop heavy sets.She founded ‘LEVEL UP’, the city’s only QTBIPOC centred hip hop dance party, and works adamantly to carve out community space for folks who exist within marginalized communities. Softieshan is a resident DJ at the Fox, the American, The Boxcar and has recently embarked on a new initiative “Cue Club” which offers low barrier DJ and professional development workshops for women, LGBTQ2+, disabled and BIPOC folks in a fun and supportive environment. 

This Event is ASL Interpreted.

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

Wicked: Curated Visual Arts Exhibition

Wicked: Curated Visual Arts Exhibition

| Curated by Jonny Sopotiuk | July 16 – 26 |

Queer life is a reality of ongoing survival. From government and societal oppression, to family rejection and social isolation our memories and experiences have been defined and shaped by the structures that are designed to contain us.

Our identities and experiences are mediated. Living is a constant battle against and with these systems of containment.

Wicked brings together a multigenerational group of artists living and producing work across Canada and the United States as they explore the body, community, and architecture of homonormativity. 

In 2020 we’re learning to live through a new form of containment during a global health pandemic. Our long fight for recognition and the foundations of community infrastructures that we created to sustain us are being fundamentally questioned.

We’re now asked to rethink how we build individual and collective responses to queer and trans trauma and erasure? 

With new connections and intimacy now mediated by requirements to shelter in place, artists critically examine our communities’ oppression and expose implications of complicity in the homonormative systems created to contain us.

Visual Artists

Avram Finkelstein
Christopher Lacroix
Dayna Danger
Elektra KB
Flash Collective
Joseph Liatela
Kama La Mackerel
KUNST
Love Intersections
Micheal Morris
Shauna Dempsey + Lori Millan
Tom Hsu
Xandra Ibarra

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Wicked

QAFonline is now LIVE! REGISTER HERE. See our COVID-19 response here.

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.