by BROADWAY WORLD VANCOUVER News Desk Jul. 13, 2020  

The stage is set, the glitter is dusted and the 12th Queer Arts Festival – WICKED (rated one of the top 3 festivals of its kind in the world) is ready to showcase the best of queer art (digitally-ish) to the world over 11 days July 16 – 26, 2020.

With many special events curtailed or downright cancelled around the globe due to the COVID crisis, this always cutting edge organization upped their on-line game with a re-imagined festival celebrating queer art, culture and history.

The organizers felt it vital that in presenting the WICKED programming online, it should provide the audience as close an actual theatre/stage experience as possible. By registering for tickets on the Eventbrite page and accessing the QAF Online HUB at showtime, the audience can expect to feel in the thick of the action from their own personal “front and centre” seat, wherever that may be worldwide.

From “zines to screens”, #QAF2020 promises a queerly-digital-visual experience across varied platforms ensuring everyone the opportunity to participate in this year’s Queer Arts Festival. WICKED features streaming art tours, on-line presentations of the performances, installations throughout the city, and a hard copy QAF free Zine that encompasses the entire festival with artist and programming notes, behind the scenes commentary and additional art content for the reader. Keep your eyes peeled for the Two-Spirit Public Art Project, Shift a series of posters in transit shelters across Vancouver, and in The Sun Wah lobby, created by interdisciplinary artist Kinnie Starr as well as the Flash Collective out on the Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen Presented in partnership with grunt gallery.

Highlights include the official QAF opening this Thursday July 16th at 5pm showcasing the Visual Art Exhibition: enjoy the visual art tour and artist panel with Curator Jonny Sopotiuk and guest artists as they take the audience through the featured exhibition at The Cultch. Then a new link awaits to take you to the artparty! hosted by Continental Breakfast for an online mingle and closing set by DJ Softieshan, featuring a gallery of intimate friends old and new.

Abandon your alliance to nation and gender borders! After the tour apply online for a stateless and genderless passport designed by Brooklyn artist Elektra KB that will be mailed to the first 500 lucky participants. Enjoy the rest of the festival with your limited-edition passport in hand!

An internationally acclaimed dancer, a minimalist stage and 16 (disco) balls… prepare to trip the queer light fantastic with Noam Gagnon as he presents his swan song performance of the raucously vulnerable This Crazy Show.

QAF proudly welcomes Vancouver faves, avant-drag collective The Darlings with a new performance created around the festival theme of “wickedness”. Expect the unexpected with a show titled “UNCENSORED…”

Virago Nation’s Too Spirited; bombastic burlesque from the badass babes of Virago Nation. Tit-illatingly queer and proudly indigenous!

A Night of Storytelling and A Conversation on Queer Mentorship offer up award winning LGBTTQ+ writers and storytellers. Media Nights with VIVO features back-to-back screenings starting with Rupture Probe sampling queer shorts that rupture normative notions of gender, pleasure and activism and then Return To Sodom North – 90’s queer video out and uncensored (in partnership with VIVO Media Arts Centre). Experience speculative theatre with Underground Absolute Fiction: an immersive play-meets-punk-concert inspired by the apartment theatre of 1980’s Poland; a co-production between QAF and the frank theatre company.

And for our finale, join QAF’s Glitter is Forever Pajama Party Closing Binge-fest; get your best dress-jammies on, grab popcorn and bevvies and feast your senses on the entire line up of festival programs, with plenty of additional surprises and prizes! Interact with friends on the QAF online HUB while gorging on the fabulous showcase of our 2020 queer art and artists!

It is recommended to register in advance for festival programming at the Queer Arts Festival website, ticket prices are by donation.

QAF’s Wicked reimagines identity politics, exposing the implications of homonormativity as erasure. 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. QAF revels in the quintessentially queer traditions of scandal and excess with visual art, performance, theatre, music, dance, and literary events!

Events at a Glance: (all times are pacific standard)

  • Art Party! | Cinq-à-Sept Festival Opening | Thu Jul 16, 5 – 7PM | QAF’s opening: Luxuriate in a cinq-à-sept afternoon delight to come together with visual art curator Jonny Sopotiuk, Wicked Visual Art tour w/ guest artists, and a gallery of intimate friends old and new. Wonderfully Wicked…
  • Curated Visual Art Exhibition | Thu Jul 16 – Sun Jul 26 | Visual Art
  • Pride in Art Community Exhibition | Thu Jul 16 – Sun Jul 26 | Visual Art
  • Too Spirited | Fri Jul 17, 7PM | Indigenous Burlesque
  • Rupture Probe: Queer Inquiries & Remediations | Sat Jul 18, 7PM | Media Art Screening
  • Return to Sodom North | Sun Jul 19, 7PM | VIVO Media Art Screening
  • A Night of Storytelling | Wed Jul 22, 7PM | Literary Readings
  • Underground Absolute Fiction | Thu Jul 23, 7PM | Speculative Theatre
  • The Darlings | Fri Jul 24, 7PM | Drag Performance
  • A Conversation on Queer Mentorship | Sat Jul 25, 12PM | Lunch Discourse
  • This Crazy Show | Sat Jul 25, 7PM | Sun July 26, 2PM | Dance Performance
  • Glitter is Forever: Pajama Party | Sun Jul 26 | 4PM ’til late | Closing Binge

About the Queer Arts Festival (queerartsfestival.com)