Vancouver’s Queer Arts Festival Marks A Decade of Provocative and Innovative Programming

Image from PROX:IMITY RE:MIX with MACHiNENOiSY (June 25-26, 2018)

For its tenth year, the Queer Arts Festival (QAF) will be a showcasing an array of multidisciplinary artists who offer complex, nuanced, and boundary-challenging work meant to incite conversation.

This year’s QAF will feature performance, panels, curated exhibitions, and parties that will be sure to engage attendees in new avenues of thought and artistic creation.

Running from June 16 to 28, 2018, the QAF takes place at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). This year’s festival is so monumental, not only because of its tenth anniversary, but also because Pride in Art is celebrating their two decades in existence. Organizers hope to continue to give voice and space for those marginalized and/or silenced, as well as to bring to the forefront the possibilities of contesting what is considered normative and acceptable. The QAF is special in that it is artist run, and is considered one of the top five festivals of its kind.

Here are five events/exhibitions/programming to look forward to:

Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts)

June 19-23, 2018 (June 19 preview)
This world premiere, written by Lesley Ewen and presented with the frank theatre company, is a multimedia performance that looks at the early years of Paul Wong and a project of his, “Murder Research.” It explores the fraught nature of creativity, the ghosts of past artistic work, and the difficulties of racialized artists to create within the nation.

DECADEnce: Curated Visual Art Exhibition

Image from DECADEnce: Curated Visual Art Exhibition of work by Raven Davis titled It’s Not Your Fault

June 16-27, 2018
Curated by Valérie D. Walker, DECADEnce considers what is marked and what is unmarked within a “settler colonial society,” particularly drawing attention to that which exists beyond official and mainstream notice. Artists represented include Jenny Lin, TJ Norris, Chandra Melting Tallow, and Guerrilla Girls.

Jeremy Dutcher: Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Maliseet Songs)

Image from Jeremy Dutcher: Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Maliseet Songs)
provided by Jeremy Dutcher

June 27, 2018
Jeremy Dutcher, an operatic tenor, will sing traditional pieces from his Wolastoqiyik ancestors. He will incorporate, in his performance, recordings from century-old archival wax cylinders that he was able to locate.

Skin & Metal: Homoerotic Music Theatre Works by Barry Truax

Image from Skin & Metal: Homoerotic Music Theatre Works by Barry Truax; Image provided by Barry Truax

June 24, 2018
This thirty-year retrospective concert looks at the work of Barry Truax, a ground breaking electro-acoustic Vancouver composer. Music will be performed by Erato Ensemble with special guest Jerry Pergolesi, with selections focusing on those that leverage music’s ability to challenge boundaries.


Image from Everything by Yvonne Chew

June 26, 2018
This performance by dancer Lee Su-Feh promises to be a complicated examination of Asian diaspora, Canadian indigeneity, and the conflict and possibilities of movement and object flight.

Lay of the Land

Image by Melvin Yap

June 19, 2018
Curated by Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation), the evening will entail erotic literary readings. Writers featured include Lydia Kwa, Smokii Sumac, and Johnny Trinh.

Further info and tickets can be found on-line.

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