This week in (gay) Vancouver: celebrating International Women’s Day


Minnijean Brown Trickey

This week in (gay) Vancouver we celebrate international Women’s Day with a civil rights leader, a piece of Canadian history and a documentary that explores the ongoing issues of equality between men and women.

Celebrate International Women’s Day at West Coast LEAF’s 28th Annual Equality Breakfast (Mar 3). This year’s keynote speaker is Minnijean Brown Trickey (photo above) of the Little Rock Nine, one of nine Black high school students who bravely desegregated Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Minnijean’s experience reminds us that rights are meaningless if we cannot exercise them and that nearly 60 years later the legacy of institutionalized racism and structural inequality remains alive and well.

The Firehall Arts Centre celebrates International Women’s Day with Toronto artist Heather Hermant’s show ribcage: this wide passage (Mar 3-8), the true story of Esther Brandeau, the first Jewish woman to land in Canada. Arriving in Quebec in 1738, Brandeau passed herself as Jacques La Fargue, a Christian male labourer who was eventually found out and brought before the authorities. As Jewish migrants were forbidden in the colony at the time, she was ejected from the country. In this interdisciplinary urban ink production, Hermant brings to life the historical archives that illustrate Brandeau/La Fargue’s journey through performance, video and live music.

The YWCA Metro Vancouver and The Cinematheque Education Department presents a special International Women’s Day screening of The Mask You Live In (Mar 3), a documentary that follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating narrow definitions of masculinity. The follow-up film to Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s much-acclaimed Miss Representation, The Mask You Live In explores ongoing issues of equality between men and women.


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