The Pride in Art Society produces the Queer Arts Festival (QAF), an annual artist-run professional multi-disciplinary summer festival at the Roundhouse in Vancouver, BC. Recognized as one of the top 5 festivals of queer arts and culture worldwide (Melbourne Herald Sun), QAF celebrates the creative expressions of visual and performing artists who identify as LGBTQ2SI (pronounced “queer”) — people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, and intersex. QAF is Canada’s only queer festival committed to melding curated visual and performing arts while paying industry-standard artist fees, and is Vancouver’s only organization dedicated to the presentation of professional queer visual art. QAF produces, presents and exhibits work with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue. Each year, the festival theme ties together a curated visual art exhibition, performing arts series, workshops, artist talks, panels, and media art screenings. QAF’s programming has garnered wide acclaim as “concise, brilliant and moving” (Georgia Straight), “easily one of the best exhibitions of the year in Vancouver” (Vancouver Sun), and “on the forefront of aesthetic and cultural dialogue today” (Xtra).
Brief History: Founded by Two-Spirit artist Robbie Hong, Pride in Art (PiA) began in 1998 as a collective of queer visual artists mounting an annual community art exhibition. PiA was incorporated as a Not for Profit in 2006, mounted our first multidisciplinary Festival in 2008, rebranded as the Queer Arts Festival in 2010, obtained charitable status in 2012, and achieved operating status with the BC Arts Council in 2013 and the City of Vancouver in 2015. Since incorporation, we have developed from a tiny, grass-roots, volunteer-run, community-based organization to a professional cutting-edge festival receiving funding from all three levels of government, employing 9 year-round and seasonal staff, and providing hundreds of hours of volunteer opportunities yearly. PiA has presented over 1,735 artists in more than 219 events, welcomed 61,500 patrons, and incited the creation of dozens of new Canadian works, notably the highly acclaimed 2013 commission and premiere of Canada’s first lesbian opera by Leslie Uyeda and Rachel Rose.
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