Local promoters Pat Hogan and Claire Robson return with the sixth edition of BOLDFest in September, bringing together lesbians and dykes from across North America for a weekend of fun and learning.
Originally inspired by two east coast events, for Hogan it wasn’t simply a matter of copying and hosting them in Vancouver for she knew she wanted them to be so much more to allow older lesbians and dykes to grow, learn and even “kick some ass”.
“It’s a weekend when we, as lesbians and dykes, many of us older, can come together in one place, be ourselves, talk dyke talk, share and be informed on all sorts of issues – whether it be health, legal, relationships, whatever – in a safe atmosphere,” explained Hogan.
As well, says Hogan, BOLDFest provides an opportunity for lesbians to be around other lesbians.
“There are many lesbians who are simply never around other lesbians,” said Hogan. “For whatever reason – in the closet, live in remote areas, busy lives – so BOLDFest is that one time of the year where they can be part of a lesbian community. Many return year after year, from all over Canada and the US.”
For those that attend, Hogan says they come to BOLDFest for a variety of reasons: to meet other women, to have fun, to get support in their process of coming out or ageing. But it is also about thinking and learning.
“We sometimes put out challenges and ideas that some women have never thought about,” said Hogan. “It gets them thinking. Perhaps they’ve been stuck in one mindset, perhaps they never knew about something. Hopefully we can motivate them to live, expand their lives and mind, enjoy who they are, and speak out to those who oppress or ignore us for being older”.
While BOLDFest still caters to what Hogan describes as an “older” lesbian demographic (45+), she does say that more and more young women are coming out for the weekend as well.
“There’s so much they can learn from us and we from them. It’s very cool. Last year we had a woman in her mid-20s who was totally involved in every aspect of BOLDFest. She loved it and we loved having her input and her energy.”
The newest addition to BOLDFest has been the introduction of the BOLD Film Festival, which takes place on September 12th, curated by award winning film editor Nancy Rosenblum. The impetus to put on a film fest came when one of the BOLDFest participants brought a film she had made on women in the 50s that participated in roller derbies.
“It was an amazing film and story about their lives, often as closeted lesbians and how things have changed since then,” explained Hogan. “This made us think about having more films which turned into a film fest.“
With a series of seminars, social events, workshops and films, covering everything from fitness to activism over its three days, BOLDFest is not only getting older, it is getting bolder.
Visit http://www.boldfest.com for more information.