The Vancouver Queer Arts Festival (QAF), the annual artist-run showcase of queer arts, culture and history, gets ready to launch with this year’s theme of ReGenerations.
“This year’s theme, ReGenerations, is a defiant reframing of the Nazi term ‘degenerate art,’” explains QAF Artistic Director, Rachel Iwaasa. “Tyrants throughout history have banned artists and their works of art in fear of the power that they hold. The festival taps into the visceral power of the arts to build a better world, bringing diverse communities together in the intimate act of sharing as artists and audiences, and dispelling hatred through the visibility, recognition and celebration of lives that transgress sexual and gender norms.”
Calling ReGenerations a celebration of queer heritage across generations and national boundaries, the QAF 2014 lineup includes artists from age 18 to 80, mentorships that team emerging and established artists, and programming that connects historical queer icons to the present. This year’s festival brings together artists from 27 nations addressing topics such as addiction, disability, and solidarity for those continuing the struggles for queer rights, both internationally and at home.
The three week festival gets underway on July 23 with Art Party!, the opening night gala celebrating the start of the festival and both the curated and community-based exhibitions.
Returning in 2014 is the Queer Arts Festival’s signature visual arts exhibition Queering the International curated by interdisciplinary artist Laiwan and curatorial assistant Anne Riley. As its title suggests the exhibition will feature artists from around the world exploring queer identity.
The Pride in Art Community Visual Art Show also returns showcasing the talents of emerging and established visual and media artists from the local queer community.
Other highlights at this year’s Festival include Canada’s only professional choir of queer singers, Cor Flammae, makes its debut and the frank theatre company curates the sixth edition of Clean Sheets, a play-reading series of new queer-themed plays in development. The Vancouver Men’s Chorus also returns with its always sold-out Big Gay Sing!, a post-Pride parade sing-a-long that will get you out of your seat and into the performance.
The 2014 Vancouver Queer Arts Festival runs July 23 – August 9 at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Visit http://queerartsfestival.com for tickets and information.