Vancouver International Burlesque Festival thrilled to return to in-person events

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      (This story is sponsored by the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival)

      This spring, the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival returns, with a dazzling array of local and international talent, as North America’s longest-running burlesque celebration gets back to the bump and grind for a 17th consecutive year.

      The 2023 weekend will feature two in-person evenings of performance at the historic Vancouver Playhouse, as well as a brand new virtual showcase, skill-based workshops, and the educational “TIT Talks” series, a TED-talk-inspired evening offering unique perspectives on issues relating to burlesque — as an art form and as a community.

      "After the past few difficult years, it's more important than ever — and more precious — that we're able to come together to make and enjoy live art. The community is ready to celebrate!” says Halena Lou, VIBF Board Member and performer in this year’s festival.

      The 2023 festival is the first to be curated by Artistic Director Androsia Wilde, known affectionately as Vancouver’s “Bahama Mama of Burlesque.” Since her debut in 2014, she has spent the bulk of her time — onstage and offstage — supporting initiatives dedicated to amplifying the voices and presence of Black, Indigenous, and other Performers of Color in the industry, including as a cofounder of the all-BIPOC collective Diasporic Dynasty.

      Features of the 2023 Festival include Bianca Boom Boom and Vancouver-based Legend Lorna – who was inducted into the Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame at the Weekender in 2018 and had a triumphant return to stage in 2022 at age 79. Co-headliner Zyra Lee Vanity, also known as Canada’s Urban Desire, is a multi award-winning international burlesque entertainer based in Montreal, Canada. The Festival’s final curation reflects the full spectrum of bodies and identities enriching and defining burlesque today.

      The return to in-person events for the 2022 Festival gives audiences an opportunity to celebrate glamour, decadence, and comedy as only the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival can — no ifs, ands, but plenty of butts.

      The 2023 Vancouver International Burlesque Festival runs from March 29-April 2, 2023.

      Zyra Lee Vanity.