The Pride in Art Society (PiA) produces, presents and exhibits with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking contemporary art that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue, including through the Queer Arts Festival (QAF), an annual artist-run, transdisciplinary festival, and SUM Gallery, one of the only permanent spaces dedicated to the presentation of queer art worldwide. PiA brings diverse communities together to support artistic risk-taking, incite creative collaboration and experimentation and celebrate the rich heritage of queer artists and art. We harness the visceral power of the arts to inspire recognition, respect and visibility of people who transgress gender and sexual norms.
If you found yourself here from the SUM gallery, click on the icon above to go back.
Brief History: Pride in Art (PiA) began in 1998, founded by Two-Spirit artist Robbie Hong, Black artist Jeffery Gibson and a collective of visual artists mounting an annual art exhibition at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Spearheaded by Jewish artist SD Holman and Japanese artist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, Pride in Art incorporated as a nonprofit in 2006, mounting their first multidisciplinary Queer Arts Festival in 2008. obtained charitable status in 2012, and achieved operating status with the BC Arts Council in 2013 and the City of Vancouver in 2015. Since incorporation, we have developed from a tiny, grass-roots, volunteer-run, community-based organization to a professional cutting-edge festival receiving funding from all three levels of government, employing a small team of year-round and seasonal staff, and providing hundreds of hours of volunteer opportunities yearly. PiA has presented over 3,000 artists in more than 500 events, welcomed more than 120,000 patrons, and incited the creation of dozens of new Canadian works, notably the highly acclaimed 2013 commission and the premiere of Canada’s first lesbian opera by Leslie Uyeda and Rachel Rose.
In 2018, Artistic Director SD Holman (now Founding Artistic Director Emeritus) went on to found SUM gallery as a permanent space and the year-round programming arm of the Queer Arts Festival presenting multidisciplinary exhibitions and events.
To view work and images from previous QAFs, visit our ARCHIVES HERE.