Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival celebrates artists working in the margins

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      By Raynee Novak

      The Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival is back next month for its seventh iteration.

      Presented by the Community Arts Council of Vancouver (CACV), the free event celebrates visual artists and performers who live and work outside of the mainstream.

      This year’s is bigger than ever, with several new collaborations and a longer run that sees the festival expand from one weekend to a full five days. As Canada’s first and only outsider arts festival, it promotes equity while amplifying lesser-known artists and performers.

      On the evening of October 12, there will be a sneak peek of over 400 artworks on display in the exhibit, with talks in the theatre area and live performances by by Bukola and Edzi’u.

      The grand opening of the festival is touted as not just a celebration, but an invite to “move outside the confines of convention and embrace the unfiltered beauty of artistic diversity.” 

      “The Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival continues to strengthen its ties to the local and international art scenes, offering even more opportunities for participants and our audiences,” says Kristin Cheung, executive director of CACV, in a statement. “We are honoured to be able to provide a positive and safe space for people of all backgrounds, and to help visitors connect to artists facing social, economic, and cultural barriers in showcasing their work. VOAF fosters inclusion and nurtures community within this artistic city.”

      The event will feature 56 artists from across Metro Vancouver’s diverse art scenes, including 40 visual artists, 13 performing artists, and three art groups. The festival’s visual art exhibition and performances will be complemented by a series of new workshops.

      A collaboration between the Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival and the Outsider Art Festival from Helsinki, Finland, will culminate in a short film presentation at the Roundhouse Community Centre on October 16.

      Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival

      When: October 12 to 17

      Where: Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

      Admission: Free