Sat Jun 17 | 7pm

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall – 181 Roundhouse Mews

Join us as QAF 2023: Queers in Space officially launches into orbit! This year, ArtParty! returns to the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre’s Exhibition Hall for the first time since 2019. Party amidst our signature Visual Art Exhibition, bumfuzzled monachopsis: innerspace out, curated by Zandi Dandizette, while enjoying delicious food and drink, gyrating to the spins of the incredible DJ Nea Stone Fox, and celebrating with the Queerdos of our community!

It’s Art. It’s a Party. It’s the best combination of both.

This event is ASL Interpreted.

bumfuzzled monachopsis: innerspace out

Curated Visual Art Exhibition

Sat Jun 17 – Wed Jun 28 

Mon – Fri 9am – 9pm
Sat – Sun 9am – 5pm

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall – 181 Roundhouse Mews


Zandi Dandizette, Curator

bumfuzzled monachopsis: innerspace out

Free Guided Curator Tour with Zandi Dandizette

Sat Jun 24, 2pm

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall – 181 Roundhouse Mews

This event is ASL Interpreted.

bumfuzzled monachopsis: innerspace out reflects the uncertain times in which our collective world does not ascertain belonging to those occupying it. Our parallel universes of experience, never quite overlapping, seeking out an idealized community, that “me-shaped” hole in which inclusion is touted. A confused subtle space of emotion as the external world points at what we are and who we are, yet never quite where we are welcome to be. 

The present state in which queer artists take up space, share space, and embody the ownership of it. Sharing our inner worlds out visually via developed characters, worlds, or visual language that provides safety in exploring identity or the relation to the spaces around them. 

Zandi Dandizette’s curation asks viewers to “wander the maze of our hearts and open them to the multiplicity of being.” We are not a homogenized whole, but many individuals all seeking that future space in which belonging can be achieved. 

Zandi Dandizette, QAF 2023 Visual Art Exhibition guest curator

Zandi Dandizette is a nonbinary settler-immigrant interdisciplinary arts and cultural worker that likens their medium as space whether 2D, 3D, or 4D. Their work vacillates between focus shifts on identity, dis/connection, and collective problem solving. Zandi’s practice attempts to investigate and share the lessons they’ve absorbed in navigating the complexity of existence by utilizing repeating shape and colour motifs.  Zandi has a BMA in Animation (2014) from Emily Carr University and has shown varied new media and installation works over the last decade across Canada and internationally. They balance their artistic practice with supporting arts advocacy and community building. Zandi Dandizette co-founded and leads The James Black Gallery (2014) which is located on the stolen unceded ancestral lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. They are a current board member of CARFAC National, and chartering member of the Arts and Cultural Workers Union (ACWU local 778-B).  

Cosmic Connections: Queer Indigenous Astronomy (A View From Above and Below)

 Preston Buffalo AR works

Sat Jun 17 – Wed Jun 28

9am to 9pm daily

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall – 181 Roundhouse Mews

Augmented Reality artist Preston Buffalo secretly brings the Roundhouse to life with Indigiqueer pasts and futures – including a creation story of how the Cree People originated from the Pleiades star cluster. Buffalo’s AR images are invisible and inaudible to the naked eye and ear – but revealed when your phone scans a QR code! Presented in partnership with Little Chamber Music

Preston Buffalo

Preston Buffalo (he/him) is a Two-Spirited Cree man residing in the unceded Coast Salish Territories in British Columbia. His interdisciplinary practice is centred around exploring personal Indigenous iconography and symbolism through the use of photography, alternative photo processes, digital illustration and AR. Preston’s work is informed by pressing issues faced by Indigenous communities, including mental health, harm reduction, loss of culture and language resulting from displacement and the residential school system. By intersecting traditional material practice with contemporary techniques, his work seeks to challenge viewers’ perceptions of contemporary Indigenous Identity.

Love After the End: Joshua Whitehead & Friends

QAF + Talking Stick Festival: a day in celebration of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Artists

Sun Jun 18 | 3pm 

Free cinq-à-sept reception to follow at 5pm

Roundhouse Performance Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews

Joshua Whitehead, Curator

Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction is an exciting and ground-breaking fiction collection showcasing a number of new and emerging Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer writers from across Turtle Island, edited and compiled by renowned author Joshua Whitehead. Whitehead joins us along with fellow visionary Indigenous authors and anthology contributors for a literary event demonstrating how queer Indigenous communities can bloom and thrive through utopian narratives.

While this event is ticketed, the cinq-à-sept reception that follows at 5pm is free and open to all. This reception takes place in the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall and features a book signing with the participating authors, presented in partnership with Massy Books, and DJ set by DJ Kota, courtesy of Full Circle: First Nations Performance

These two events are part of a day-long trilogy of events celebrating Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer artists. Please see Virago Nation Burlesque for our 7pm event.

Joshua Whitehead

Joshua Whitehead (he/him) is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary where he is housed in the departments of English and International Indigenous Studies (Treaty 7).

He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017) which was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. He is also the author of Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press 2018) which was long listed for the Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction, the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and Canada Reads 2021.

Whitehead is the editor of Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction, which won the Lambda Award in 2021.

Whitehead’s latest book Making Love with the Land was published in 2022 with Knopf Canada, exploring the intersections of Indigeneity, queerness, and, most prominently, mental health through a nêhiyaw lens. The book was shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Award for Nonfiction.

Nazbah Tom

Nazbah Tom (Diné), somatic practitioner/poet. They are published in Lambda Literary Award winner Love After The End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction. As a somatic practitioner they use conversation, breath work, gestural work, bodywork, and somatic skills to guide groups through a process of embodied transformation.

Nathan Adler

Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler (he/they) is the author of Wrist, a windigo story written from the monster’s perspective, and Ghost Lake, an inter-connected collection of short stories (both published by Kegedonce Press), and co-editor of a dream-themed anthology of Indigenous writers called Bawaajigan ~ Stories of Power (Exile Editions). Nathan has an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC, a BFA in Integrated Media from OCAD, and a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Native Studies from Trent University. He is recipient of an Indigenous Voices Award for prose, a Hnatyshyn Reveal award for literature, and first-place winner of an Aboriginal Writing Challenge for poetry. His writing has also appeared in various magazines, websites, and anthologies (Exile, Bedside Press, Arsenal Pulp Press). He is Jewish and Anishinaabe, Two Spirit, and a member of Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation.

jaye simpson

jaye simpson (she/they) is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation. simpson is a writer, advocate and activist sharing their knowledge and lived experiences in hope of creating utopia. she is published in several magazines including Poetry Is Dead, This Magazine, PRISM international,  SAD Magazine: Green, GUTS Magazine, SubTerrain, Grain and Room. They are in four anthologies: Hustling Verse (2019), Love After the End (2020), The Care We Dream Of (2021), and Queer Little Nightmares (2022). Their first poetry collection, it was never going to be okay (Nightwood Ed.) was shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Award and a 2021 Dayne Ogilvie Prize Finalist and won the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry in English. Their next collection of poetry, a body more tolerable, is forthcoming Fall 2024.

Virago Nation Burlesque

QAF + Talking Stick Festival: a day in celebration of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Artists

Sun Jun 18 | 7pm

Roundhouse Performance Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews

Our day-long slate of events centred on Two-Spirit & Indigiqueer art concludes with breathtaking burlesque brought to you by the badass babes of Virago Nation, Turtle Island’s first all-indigenous burlesque collective! A festival favourite of the virtual QAF 2020: Wicked, Virago Nation returns with a brand new, in-the-flesh performance exploring the many facets of indigenous sexual rematriation, with special guest Continental Breakfast!

Virago Nation reminds viewers to embrace their EXTRA and that heteronormativity is inherently colonial and that queerness is a gift to be celebrated! Their message is consistent, loud & clear—colonial and patriarchal ideologies have no place here. Using storytelling, comedy, pop culture, and striptease, Virago Nation continues to show that Indigenous sexuality is multi-faceted, dynamic, powerful and an experience that is deeply personal.

Please note: this performance is 18+.

This event are part of a day-long trilogy of events celebrating Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer artists presented in partnership with Full Circle: First Nations Performance. Please see Love After the End: Joshua Whitehead & Friends for our 3pm & 5pm events.

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.

Instagram: @shanesable

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: @therainbowglitz22

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

Manda Stroyer: Indigibabe Manda Stroyer is a Dakota artist who’s been performing burlesque since 2011. She performed with and co-produced the whimsical troupe “Boutique Cabaret” and has found her home with Turtle Island’s first all indigenous troupe “Virago Nation”. She’s also a momma of 2 and believes fiercely in breaking the stereotype that motherhood means giving up sexual expression. When she’s not raising the future generation off stage she will be raising your temperature on stage.

Instagram: @mandastroyer

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_

Ruth Odare: Ruthe Ordare is the Indigifemme Amuse Bouche serving up hips, thighs and bedroom eyes since 2011. She is a performer from the Mohawk Nation and a founding member of the all-Aboriginal troupe Virago Nation. Dubbed the Canadian Meringue for being light on her feet and twice as sweet, Ruthe serves up classic glamour with a contemporary pulse! In her international travels, Ruthe has been awarded “Best Solo” at the Texas Burlesque Festival and “Best Duo” at the Oregon Burlesque Festival. She has performed at the Burlesque Hall of Fame’s Movers, Shakers & Innovators Showcase in 2015 & 2017 and the Tournament of Tease in 2013. 

Instagram: @ruthodare

Queers in Space: Pride in Art Community Show

Mon Jun 19 – Sat Jul 8

Exhibition open Tue thru Sat, 12 – 6pm

The James Black Gallery – 144 E 6th Ave.

Opening Reception: Mon Jun 19, 7pm

Long regarded as the bedrock of the Queer Arts Festival, the Pride in Art Community Show honours the legacy of founder, activist, and Two-Spirit artist, Robbie Hong. Each year, QAF opens submissions to artists of all skills levels to submit their work, preferably centred around the festival theme. For the second year running, QAF has teamed up with queer partner-in-crime, The James Black Gallery, to showcase the otherworldly artwork of our local 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

Featured Artists:

Ale Cabiddu
Avery Chace
B Malinsky
Caden Lane
Dana Ayotte
Delaney Yvonne
Dmitrii Severov
Ilena Lee
lisa g
Nico McGiffin
Rafael Zen
Sunny Nestler
Thomas Anfield
Viviana (Ming) Ni
Wilson S. Wilson

Kiss & Tell Collective: Lesbian Imagery & Sexual Identities

Thu Jun 22 | 5:30pm

Or Gallery – 236 E. Pender St.

In this community presentation and Q&A, Dr. Kristen Hutchinson discusses the history and impact of the pioneering Vancouver-based Lesbian artist collective Kiss & Tell. Presented in partnership with Or Gallery.

Where do you draw the line between censorship and freedom of expression? Representation and exploitation? Art and pornography? In 1990, the pioneering Vancouver-based artist collective Kiss & Tell raised these provocative questions with Drawing the Line, a genre-defining and ground-breaking photographic exhibition about lesbian sexuality. With their radical images of women engaged in various erotic practices, from kissing to bondage to voyeurism, the collective—consisting of members Persimmon Blackbridge, Emma Kivisild, and Susan Stewart—not only drew attention to the lack of lesbian representation in Canadian art, but also used visual culture to address hotly debated questions within the queer community. Kristen Hutchinson’s research examines how Kiss & Tell created artworks, books and performances that allowed women to see themselves represented in art through a queer female gaze.

This presentation will include a conversation with Kiss & Tell collective member Susan Stewart,
followed by an audience Q&A.

Kristen Hutchinson is an adjunct professor of art history and women’s and gender studies and
an inaugural Redefining Canadian Art History Fellow at the Art Canada Institute where she is writing an online, open access book about Kiss & Tell. They received their PhD in the History of Art from University College London in 2007.

New Yams Festival

 Odera Igbokwe solo exhibit

Thu Jun 22 – Fri Jul 28

Exhibition is open Tue-Sat, 12 to 6pm

SUM gallery – #425-268 Keefer St.

New Yams Festival
Opening reception with Odera Igbokwe

Thu Jun 22, 7pm

SUM gallery – #425-268 Keefer St.

SUM gallery presents a solo exhibition by Odera Igbokwe, an illustrator and painter who celebrates the magic of the African Diaspora and QTBIPOC. New Yams Festival is a direct reflection, response, and Queer reclamation of The New Yam Festival of the Igbo people. Traditionally, it is a celebration of abundance, ancestral veneration, and protection. In referencing The New Yam Festival, Odera seeks to create a visual lineage between Queer Afrofuturism and ancestral rituals.

Igbokwe’s colourful, sensuous visions of Queer Black Futurisms opens with a reception on June 22 and will remain on display at SUM gallery until July 28.

Odera Igbokwe

Odera Igbokwe (they/them & he/him) is an illustrator and painter located on the unceded and traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Odera loves to explore storytelling through Afro-diasporic mythologies, Black resilience and magical girl transformation sequences. Their work explores the magic of the Black imagination, and responds to the fractures that occur via diaspora and displacement. Ultimately their paintings celebrate joy, mundanity, and fantasy coexisting alongside pain and healing. As a freelance illustrator, Odera works with clients and galleries to create work that is deeply personal, soulful and intersectional.

Sujit Vaidya: Breathe In The Fragrance

Fri Jun 23 | 7pm

Roundhouse Performance Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews

Breathe In The Fragrance is Sujit Vaidya‘s celebration of erotic ritual — of taste, of smell, of song, of dance, of sensations awakened by Jasmine — to make space for the in-betweenness of things to exist. Combining traditional Indian dance elements with modern choreography and queer eroticism, Breathe In The Fragrance features Vaidya and fellow dancers Kiruthika Rathanaswami and Malavika Santhosh, with live music by Curtis Andrews, Arno Kamolika and Ramya Kapadia.

Sujit Vaidya (Choreographer/Dancer) is an independent dance artist based in Vancouver BC. Trained in Bharatanatyam, he predominantly works as soloist and continues his training in Bharatanatyam with Guru A.Lakshman.

His artistic choices reflect the curiosities and experiences he holds as a queer artist of colour, while deeply engaging with an art form rooted in tradition. His choreographies question the narrative and relevance of non inclusive traditional texts. He aims to create space for queer expression within the context of Bharatanatyam and seeks collaborations with other queer artists of colour.

Witch Prophet

Sun Jun 25 | 5:30pm

šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square – Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza – 750 Hornby St.

Queer Arts Festival partners with Vancouver International Jazz Festival for the second year in a row to present Witch Prophet: the evolution of Toronto based singer-songwriter Ayo Leilani. Think Erykah Badu meets Lauryn Hill meets Portishead. Leilani finds depth and connection in creating music as a portal for self-growth and discovery, as she navigates and better understands her Ethiopian/Eritrean roots and queer identity.

The free Downtown Jazz concert series takes place outside the Vancouver Art Gallery and šxwƛ̓ ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25. The Georgia Street Stage sits near the corner of Hornby and West Georgia Streets. Tickets or advance registration are not required.

Witch Prophet

Etmet Musa, also known by her alias Ayo Leilani and her stage name Witch Prophet, is an Ethiopian/Eritrean musician based in Toronto, Ontario. As Witch Prophet, she has released two albums: The Golden Octave and DNA Activation.

Presented in association with Coastal Jazz and Blues Society

Hymnen an die Nacht:

Claude Vivier Retrospective

Tue Jun 27 | 7pm

Roundhouse Performance Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews

In 1983, Canada’s queerest and most cosmic composer, Claude Vivier, shockingly left this world at the age of 34, murdered by a rent boy in Paris. In this retrospective, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of his death with performances by the Standing Wave Ensemble, soprano Sarah Jo Kirsch, and pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, along with musical tributes by composers Rodney Sharman, Matthew John Knights and Gabriella Yorke. Presented in partnership with Little Chamber Music.

Claude Vivier

Many consider Claude Vivier the greatest composer Canada has yet produced. At the age of 34, he was the victim of a shocking murder by a prospective lover, leaving behind some 49 compositions in a wide range of genres, including opera, orchestral works, and chamber pieces. György Ligeti once called Vivier “the finest French composer of his generation.”

Standing Wave

Western Canada’s foremost contemporary chamber ensemble, Standing Wave is a sextet of intrepid new music interpreters dedicated to commissioning and performing cutting-edge music from today’s most forward-thinking composers. Acclaimed internationally for their virtuosity, vision, and artistry, Standing Wave has cultivated a reputation for electrifying live performance that pushes the boundaries of what chamber music is and can be. 

Sarah Jo Kirsch, soprano

An accomplished interpreter of western art music, Sarah Jo Kirsch (they/she) has performed across Canada, in Europe and West Asia as a soloist and collaborator. They have been hailed as “…one of the finest contemporary dramatic vocalists in Canada today,” (Calgary Herald) “…with the ability to get under the skin of everything she sings,” (Winnipeg Free Press). Beyond opera and oratorio, Sarah curates and produces sociopolitically relevant art song experiences of works from the last three centuries. An avid and capable interpreter of new music, they have premiered more than 30 new works for voice by Canadian composers.

Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, piano

Hailed in the press as a “keyboard virtuoso and avant-garde muse” (Georgia Straight) with the “emotional intensity” to take a piece “from notes on a page to a stunning work of art” (Victoria Times Colonist), Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa is recognized among Canada’s foremost contemporary music pianists.  Selected to close the ISCM World New Music Days 2017 in Vancouver, Rachel has performed in the Netherlands, Germany, US and across Canada, with engagements including Muziekweek Gaudeamus, Music TORONTO, Music on Main, Vancouver New Music, Redshift, Western Front, Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, the Aventa Ensemble (Victoria), CONTACT contemporary music (Toronto), New Works Calgary, Groundswell New Music (Winnipeg), and Vancouver Pro Musica.

Glitter is Forever

Wed Jun 28 | 7pm  

Roundhouse Exhibition Hall — 181 Roundhouse Mews

Our 16th Queer Arts Festival comes home to dock in spectacular fashion, featuring drag performances by the “only nationally acclaimed All-Asian drag family,” House of Rice and music by DJ Bella Sie! Take in our curated visual art show one final time and come together in the spirit of cosmic camp all of that and it’s free, too.

This event is ASL interpreted.

House of Rice is Canada’s only all Asian drag family. Chock-full of artistry and talent, the members of this house have collectively and individually become inspiring leaders for the queer and Asian communities. Since its inception, the House of Rice has been featured in 3 documentaries, 2 theatre festivals, and many artist collaborations, which leaves no question as to how important their work is.

House of Rice matriarch Shay Dior is an androgynous drag performer who strongly advocates for queer Asian visibility in the community. Shay also founded Ricecake: Vancouver’s Queer + Asian Dance party, a bi-monthly club night that is open to everyone, but celebrates queer Asian talent by showcasing an all Asian lineup of DJs, performers, and gogo dancers.

Bella Sie (they/them/their) is an established DJ and Event Producer from Vancouver, BC. Powered by love for the LGBTQ2+ community that they represent, Bella brings life to every party whether they are DJing a set or producing the event. You might recognize Bella as the resident DJ and co-producer of Ricecake (Vancouver’s premiere queer & Asian dance party), and you’ll soon never forget them once you’ve experienced their brilliant energy on stage and behind the scenes.

Scenes from Glitter in 2022

Chris Randle Photography