BOLDFest 2012 to honour the bold voices of North American lesbians

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      One of BOLDFest's objectives is to raise the profile of older lesbians and this year's theme, "Bold Voices", a celebration of the accomplishments of Canadian and American lesbians, is certainly dedicated to that.

      BOLDFest 2012, the eighth annual Bold, Old(er) Lesbians and Dykes conference, kicks off this Thursday (September 6) here in Vancouver with a reception, hosted by feminist lawyer barbara findlay. The opening event will include the presentation of the BOLD Woman of the Year Award to Texas-based activist and writer Adren Eversmeyer.

      Workshops abound. There's a little something for everyone, including everything from recreational activities, such as singing, dance, and dragonboating, to historical (or rather, herstorical) studies to relationships and sex.

      A Friday (September 7) evening panel discussion, "Moving Images: Pleasures, Pressures, and Politics", will take a look at media, imagery, and storytelling issues. The panel, moderated by UBC Women's and Gender Studies assistant professor Becki Ross, will include Good Dyke Porn creator Bren Ryder ("What Makes Dyke Porn Good?"), UBC Education professor and queer/trans activist Mary K. Bryson ("Cancer's Margins"), and SFU Women's Studies professor Helen Leung ("Queer/Trans Images on Asian Screens?").

      The conference wraps up on Sunday (September 9) with an evening of film at Vancity Theatre presented by the Vancouver Queer Film Festival's director of programming Amber Dawn. The lineup includes the short films "My Father, Maria Callas and Me", "The Sleeping Beauty of East Finchley", and "Quirk-e: A Learning Collective". The feature-length documentary Ballroom Rules, about a group of Australian same-sex dance couples, will be preceded by a live performance by the Vancouver queer dance club Not So Strictly Ballroom.

      Ballroom Rules Trailer (HD) from Eleanor Sharpe on Vimeo.

      Of course, there'll be plenty of social opportunities and parties to mix and mingle at, including a singles breakfast, lesbian karaoke, a buffet dinner, and a performance by Vancouver-based Canadian-Australian duo Sugarbeach.

      And for those that want to get the party started early, there's a pre-conference harbour boat cruise on September 5.

      The conference will be held at the Coast Plaza Hotel (1763 Comox Street), with some events held at other venues or locations. Full details, including schedule and registration information, are available at the BOLDfest website.

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