Change afoot within Vancouver LGBT organizations: resignations from Queer Arts Festival, Xtra, and more

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      A series of resignations has left several Vancouver LGBT organizations subject to change.

      Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa is stepping down from her position as director of development after 12 years with the Queer Arts Festival. The pianist will be pursuing her solo career while taking care of her aging mother. Her last official day was January 29. The position is not currently open for applications.

      In 2006, Iwaasa and artistic director S.D. Holman transformed the Pride in Art collective into the non-profit Pride in Art Society, which launched the Queer Arts Festival.

      The organization is currently working on opening an LGBT art gallery at the B.C. Artscape Sun Wah building in Chinatown, which is aiming to open later this year. The festival's Bleeding Hearts and Artists fundraiser will be held on Valentine's Day (February 14) and will include a toast to Iwaasa, who will be in attendance.

      Meanwhile, editorial director Robin Perelle also resigned from her position at the Vancouver office of the Canadian LGBT publication Xtra. In an editorial published on January 29, Perelle thanked the community though she did not state her reasons for leaving or what she will be doing next.  

      Xtra  lost its street presence when it  stopped publishing its print edition in February 2015, becoming an online-only publication.

      Back on December 15, Chris Gatchalian stepped down from his position as artistic producer of Vancouver queer theatre company, the frank theatre company. He left the position to pursue his career as a writer and theatre artist. He is a writer-in-residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House.

      On December 18, the frank announced Fay Nass as its new artistic director.

      An executive director for Qmunity has not been announced yet since CJ Rowe left the position in September 2017 to become the director of SFU's newly created Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office.

      Similarly, the Vancouver Pride Society has not yet announced a replacement for former co-executive director Kieran Burgess, who had to return to Australia by November 2017 due to the expiration of his two-year working visa. A search began in April 2017. Andrea Arnot has continued on as the other co-executive director.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook. You can also follow the Straight's LGBT coverage on Twitter at @StraightLGBT or on Facebook.