Chosen Family Portraits at MOV

One of the Vancouver family portraits on display at MOV's "Chosen Family Portraits" exhibit. Photo: MOV

“There are the families we are born with and there are the families that we choose.”

That’s the theme of a engaging new exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver (MOV): Chosen Family Portraits. Created in conjunction with the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Chosen Family Portraits is a community-based art project that lovingly captures “chosen” (i.e., not necessarily biologically or legally linked) families among Vancouver’s queer, gay, lesbian, and transgender population.

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Chosen Family Portraits at MOV

Ace of Base Heats up 2011 North America Outgames, Sat. July 30

In the 1990s, Swedish pop sensation Ace of Base burned up the radio charts with hits like All that She Wants, Don’t Turn Around and The Sign.  This July the band will rekindle its infectious pop grooves in Vancouver as part of the July 30 closing party of the 2011 North America Outgames, held at the Plaza of Nations on False Creek.

Staged from July 25-31, the Outgames is an international sporting event that welcomes athletes from around the world, regardless of sexual orientation or skill level.  Competitors participate in dozens of events, both traditional and not-so-traditional.  Sports this year include badminton, soccer and softball, as well as 10-pin bowling, Texas hold ‘em poker and a dance contest.   More than 2,000 participants from around the world are expected for the year’s largest gay and lesbian athletic event.

But sports are only part of the action.

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Ace of Base Heats up 2011 North America Outgames, Sat. July 30

Vancouver Gears up for the 2011 North America Outgames: July 25-31

Opening Ceremony - World Outgames 2009

The countdown begins.  The largest LGBT sporting event of 2011 will descend on Vancouver next month, when 3,000 athletes come to town to participate in 18 different sports as part of the North America Outgames.

Started in 2006 to celebrate LGBT athletes and culture, the Outgames are open to all participants, regardless of sexual orientation.  Anyone can take part, regardless of experience, and competitions are arranged according to skill level.

Sports range from traditional activities, including softball, swimming, tennis and track and field, to less conventional offerings, such as dragon boat racing, ten-pin bowling and poker.  There’s even a 4-kilometer recreational walk planned in picturesque Stanley Park.   Early bird registration for athletes is going on now, with entry fees as low as $15.

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Vancouver Gears up for the 2011 North America Outgames: July 25-31

Playing with Pride: Vancouver gears up for North America OutGames

Last year, the eyes of the world were on Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.  This summer, the city will once again be in the sporting spotlight, as host of the 2011 North America OutGames.

From July 25-31, up to 4,000 LGBT and queer-friendly participants from around the world are expected to converge on the city for a week of athletic competition, workshops and conferences.   Among the 18 different sports open to competitors are familiar favorites like badminton, volleyball, swimming, tennis and softball.  But there will also be a range of less conventional offerings, from poker and dragon boat racing to bowling and a full alpine marathon in Whistler.

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Playing with Pride: Vancouver gears up for North America OutGames

Vancouver’s Gay Top Model finals – April 23

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mirateca.com by Daniel JollyConner is a 26-year-old originally from Korea with a clean-cut look and  brown eyes.  Rory is a lean and lanky 19-year-old of Cambodian heritage. Kolin is a long-haired 26-year-old from Vancouver with a fondness for piercings.

They, along with seven other contestants, are vying for the coveted title of Vancouver’s Gay Top Model 2011.  Loosely based on the reality TV modeling show hosted by Tyra Banks, the annual competition brings together the city’s premier gay talent to face off for a chance to gain professional modeling experience.

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Vancouver’s Gay Top Model finals – April 23