Saturday, Nov 11, 2017   


All the Visual Things

Queer Arts Festival winds up December 1

By Kmberly Sayson, PIA


t takes a certain kind of imagination to see an empty, raw space and imagine that it will be Canada’s dedicated queer gallery.


Today is the first day of Pride in Art’s crowdfunding campaign: Bling Us. Pride in Art hopes to raise $10,000, which will be matched by the McGrane-Pearson Endowment Fund (held at Vancouver Foundation) and Ken Gracie and Philip Waddell. The funds will go towards the final renovations and preparations of Pride in Art’s new gallery, dedicated to presenting queer art.

This matching campaign sees Pride in Art expanding from their well known annual Queer Arts Festival (QAF) into year-round multidisciplinary arts programming. Pride in Art will present exhibitions, performances, workshops, and other events for artists and the public in their new gallery as well as continuing to produce QAF at the Roundhouse. This expansion comes at a momentous time for the organization; the opening of the gallery in 2018 coincides with the 20th anniversary of Pride in Art and the 10th anniversary of QAF.

“Year after year everyone from volunteers, artists, attendees, and our partners tell me that they want to see us doing more activities throughout the year, outside the festival season,” SD Holman, Pride in Art Artistic Director, said. “But we haven’t had the venue to do so until now. Having a gallery opens up so many opportunities to show incredible art to the public and support more artists.”

Pride in Art’s new gallery will be part of BC Artscape Sun Wah, a new Chinatown hub of artists, cultural and community organizations, and small businesses. The new gallery also includes location partnerships with Paul Wong Projects/On Main Gallery and Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival. It will take a whole community to transform the space, to bling it out with the proper lights and high quality equipment needed to showcase the groundbreaking art Pride in Art presents.

“Even today, it can be difficult to fund things called queer,” Gavin Liang, Pride in Art Audience Services Manager, said. “We have been able to exist for 20 years because of relationships built on mutual love and an understanding of the importance of the work we do and the community support that we receive.”

Recognizing that every dollar counts, Pride in Art will host an exclusive thank-you party in the new gallery for all Bling Us contributors. Bling Us contributors can also choose perks such as QAF passes, limited edition catalogues, and an invite to a private concert by keyboard virtuoso and avant-garde muse Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa.

The campaign closes on December 1, 2017, the Day Without Art, an international day of action and mourning that started in 1989 in response to the AIDS Crisis. Visit the Bling Us campaign page here.



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