A Summer Go-To: The 2012 Vancouver Queer Arts Festival

The annual Canadian festival is about to kick off this summer with another groundbreaking collection of artists and events.


Noam Gagnon will appear at the 2012 Vancouver Queer Arts Festival

Photo Credit: Chris Randle

The Vancouver Queer Arts Festival’s theme for 2012 is a gem of an idea: Random Acts of Queerness. The historically creative festival that kicks off July 31 at the Roundhouse in Vancouver, B.C. is a 3-week voyage through visual and performing art. This year, the festival will pay homage to the late experimental queer artist John Cage, a celebrated artist in the queer community and beyond who brought forth the idea of indeterminancy: “a philosophy that opens up artistic practice to include the random as a way of radically breaking free from tradition, convention, and habit.”

Among the numerous events that will take place this year at QAF will be Canada’s first lesbian opera, When the Sun Comes Out, directed by Robert McQueen and created by composer Leslie Uyeda and poet Rachel Rose. The much-anticipated event will take place on August 2.

On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us, a solo act from the repertoire of transgender artist and legend Kate Bornstein, will showcase her favorite monologues and excerpts from her memoirs. She is the author of such works as Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Teen Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws, and her latest book, A Queer and Pleasant Danger.


Kate Bornstein leads the way at the 2012 Vancouver Queer Arts Festival, Photo Credit: Maxwell Lander


Boulez contra Cage: an interdisciplinary argument for two musicians and two actors, will explore the complicated friendship between Pierre Boulez and John Cage, two queer  composers who theorized differing musical techniques. The event will star David Bloom, Simon Webb and flute and piano duo Tiresias.

Choreographer Noam Gagnon is set to perform in his vignette series, Thank You, You’re Not Welcome. The former co-director and choreographer of world-famous “The Holy Body Tattoo”, has arranged a dance ensemble that embodies Gagnon’s quick movement along with Brothers Grimm-like storylines.

Along with the visual exhibit for Random Acts of Queerness, the annual Pride in Art Community Art Show will take place over the entire 3-week festival. 195 artists are expected to perform, display, and interact this year at the QAF, continuing a tradition of exploration and visibility in the queer arts. 

Find out how to get involved in the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival at queerartsfestival.com. Tickets go on sale July 1 at brownpapertickets.com

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