Events to not miss at Queer Arts Festival 2022

The globally renowned festival returns in-person with the theme “Hauntings”

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Drag Queen Bijuriya stands on a black background in her Desi-inspired costume with white and gold details
A peek into the artsy festival of the summer by and for the LGBTQIA2S+ community. Photo courtesy of QAF 2022 and SUM Gallery

By: Yasmin Vejs Simsek, Staff Writer

The Vancouver Queer Arts Festival (QAF) is in the top three list of LGBTQ2S+ arts festivals world-wide and features multimedia exhibitions, music, rooftop parties, and more. This year it returns to an in-person programme from June 18–July 8 with the theme “Hauntings.” Artistic director Mark Takeshi McGregor defines the theme as an exploration of “what frightens us, with liberal doses of profundity, humor, and camp.” The festival takes place in different arts spaces around Vancouver, with most of its events hosted at the Sun Wah Centre in Chinatown. 

Here are four events to look forward to at this year’s Queer Arts Festival:

 

HAUNTINGS: Pride in Art Community Show

For the first time ever, this community arts show is teaming up with the queer-led James Black Gallery to showcase art from local LGBTQIA2S+ artists. The Pride in Art Community Show is a staple at the QAF, and every year its name honours two-spirit artist and co-founder of Pride in Art Society, Robbie Hong. HAUNTINGS will feature works from artists such as stunning digital artist Avery Chace, and multi-medium, macabre inspired artist Braden Scheck.

When: June 20–July 8, Wednesday–Saturday from 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. 

Where: The James Black Gallery (144 E 6th Avenue)

 

Vanishing Act

Vanishing Act is a curated visual art exhibition featuring almost 20 artists from the global queer community! It’s mainly focused on the Global South and its diasporas. The exhibition fits extremely well with the theme of Hauntings, as the curators ask the audience to “face our own Frankensteins.” It also fits well with Vancouver, our very diverse and talented city. Plan your visit for July 2 if you want to tag along on a guided tour by the exhibit’s curator, Adwait Singh, and creative director, SD Holman.

When: June 18–July 8, Wednesday–Saturday 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

Where: Sun Wah Centre (268 Keefer Street, third and fourth floors)

Curator Tour: July 2, 3:00 p.m. and reception at 5:00 p.m. 

 

Queerotica 

Queerotica brings you a night of literacy and is the perfect event for you bookish types out there. You’ll be enjoying readings from local writers who will challenge how BIPOC queer bodies are fetishized, projected, and eroticized. It will also explore the effects of masking or revealing one’s true self under colonialist supremacy. This event is sure to stand out with its focus on harrowing realities felt throughout the BIPOC queer community. 

When: July 6, 7:00 p.m. (door opens at 6:30 p.m.) 

Where: Sun Wah Centre (268 Keefer Street, Rooftop)

 

Glitter is Forever 

This rooftop party is the festival’s closing event, and not one to miss! I imagine there will be loads of glitter — and what better way to end the QAF. You’ll be able to see the art that’s been displayed throughout the festival as you make your way up to the party that will be featuring music and drag performances. Members of the Vancouver-based Asian drag family, House of Rice, will be performing, including the drag mother herself, Shay Dior. See you there!

When: July 8, 7:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.)

Where: Sun Wah Centre (268 Keefer Street, Rooftop)

 

Tickets are purchased for each individual event with the ones mentioned being by donation or included in the festival all-access pass (priced at $69). You can find the link to their Eventbrite page for tickets on their website.