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