Five events that can’t be missed at this year’s virtual Vancouver Queer Arts Festival

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      (This story is sponsored by the .)

      Art holds the ability to connect people despite their race, culture, gender, or sexuality. As we find ourselves in midst of a global pandemic, feeling connected is now more important than ever.

      The 12th annual Queer Arts Festival (QAF) takes place from July 16 to 26, and features a curated lineup of visual art, performing arts, workshops, artist talks, panels, and media art screenings. To follow suggested social distancing guidelines, this year’s entertaining and thought-provoking festival will be easily accessible to all through an online platform.

      As noted in the festival’s press release, QAF’s 2020 theme, Wicked, “reimagines identity politics, exposing the implications of homonormativity as erasure”. It will also explore the commodification of the queer experience, which is sure to spark discussion among those who attend the virtual festival.

      All of the brilliant multidisciplinary events at the online festival will evoke emotion and wonder. Here are five highlights not to be missed:

      Art Party! Cinq-à-Sept festival opening

      The QAF kick-off is happening on Thursday, July 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. This will feature a visual art tour curated by Jonny Sopotiuk and other guest artists.

       

      Too Spirited

      At 7 p.m. on Friday, July 17, an Indigenous burlesque show that is performed by Virago Nation will dazzle viewers who tune in. The performers will explore Indigenous sexuality through humor, pop culture, and politics.

      Too Spirited
      Kate Whyte

      Rupture Probe: Queer Inquiries & Remediations

      On Saturday, July 18 at 7 p.m., QAF attendees can stream the screenings of queer short films that rupture normative notions of gender, activism, and pleasure. This media art event is curated in partnership with VIVO Media Arts Centre.

       

      The Darlings, Uncensored

      On Friday, July 24 at 7 p.m., The Darlings will perform a genre-bending, non-binary drag show with a new performance created around the festival theme of “wickedness”. The Darlings have taken the local drag scene by storm and are comprised of talented drag performers: Continental Breakfast, PM, Rose Butch, and Maiden China.

       

      Glitter is Forever: Pajama Party

      If you had to miss some of the previous events, you can curl up on the couch and binge-watch the entire QAF on Sunday, July 26. The closing pajama party will start at 4 p.m. and run until late so this is the perfect opportunity to make fancy espresso martinis. Wear your favourite silk robe and expect an evening filled with surprises, special prizes, attention-grabbing performances and remarkable visual art.

      For the full festival lineup and to RSVP to the QAF, .

      The Pride in Art Society is always accepting donations that go toward the festival, programs for adults and youth, and much more. To make a donation to the community-based nonprofit, visit its .

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