The Vancouver Men's Chorus (VMC) is far more than a chorus.
A new short documentary, which will have its world premiere at the 2018 Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), makes that abundantly clear.
The upbeat We Are the Vancouver's Men Chorus, directed by Mark Halliday, features interviews with members, both past and present (including original members who are still in the chorus), who express what being involved with this historic group means to them.
When the VMC was established in 1981, inspired by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, it became Canada's first gay chorus. It arose at a time when LGBT organizations were only just starting to form in the city, offering an alternative for socializing outside of the bar and nightclub scene where LGBT communities had traditionally converged.
As the interviewees relate, while they enjoyed the music and educational components, involvement in the group also offered a sense of support, community, and hope for those who faced rejection and discrimination, whether in their daily lives or even from their families. It also offered connection, fellowship, and a safe space for those new to the city or who had just come out.
At the VQFF premiere to be held at 7 p.m. on Friday (August 17) at the York Theatre (639 Commercial Drive), the 22-minute film will be preceded by a live performance by the VMC, with hits from their summer productions. The director, interviewees, and crew will also be in attendance.
The VQFF continues until its closing gala on Sunday (August 19), which will feature a screening of The Miseducation of Cameron Post. For full details, visit the VQFF website.