Opening Gala Party

Thursday, August 10th
Queen Elizabeth Plaza

Following our gorgeous Opening Gala screening of I Dream in Another Language, join us in kicking off our 29th Festival! Just a skip away from the Playhouse, under the stars in the Queen Elizabeth Plaza, we’ll be mingling and dancing the night away in all our Festival finery. In keeping with our Festival theme this year, our Gala performers will be celebrating all the ways our fabulous and diverse communities love and resist. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for some spectacular drag including first runner up of Mr/ Ms Cobalt 2017 Maiden China, East Van’s tag team DJ dream duo BODY PARTY and a few surprises. Beverages provided by Whistler Brewing Co. and Mission Hill Family Estates. Come celebrate with us!

FREE event with your membership/Scotiabank Super Pass, memberships available for sale at the door. 19+

Fully wheelchair accessible venue area and washrooms. Find full venue accessibility details on our venues page.

Aug 10, 9:30pm
Queen Elizabeth Plaza

how to get over Book Launch and Writing Workshop

Saturday, August 19
VPL  nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch | 730 East Hastings Street

Joining us from the documentary The Revival: Women and the World is cast member t’ai freedom ford, who is touring her first poetry collection book how to get over. Join us for a matinee reading at the new VPL  nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch with t’ai freedom ford and local poet and Vancouver Slam Master, Jillian Christmas.

t’ai freedom ford’s writing has also been featured in several journals and anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. In 2012 and 2013, she toured as a part of a queer women of color literary salon, The Revival. Her first poetry collection, how to get over is part instruction manual, part prayer, part testimony, and speaks to bullying, blackness, whiteness and gentrification, and even pop culture icons like Chaka Khan, and Nicky Minaj.

Bring your pens and favourite notebook! The readings will be followed by a participatory 30-minute writing workshop led by Jillian Christmas. Come explore your own inner poet in a queer-driven creative space.

FREE event, reserve here. Books will be for available for sale, cash only.

nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch is located at 730 East Hastings Street

Aug 19, 4:00pm

In the Picture with Vivek Shraya and K Ho

Saturday, August 12th

The photograph has an undeniable transformative power. Photos preserve our histories and memories, share knowledge and evoke emotion. In the hands of queer and trans artists of colour, the photograph can also create visibility and authentic self-representation, and even interrupt the “whiteness” and heteronormativity that still dominates media and popular culture.

“I come with a 35 mm and an intersectional lens,” says photographer Kay Ho, whose goal is for every person to feel represented and seen in their images, and they strongly believe in the power of photography to tell stories that build connection across difference. Kay will be speaking to select images from their portfolio.

Vivek Shraya’s acclaimed photo essay Trisha gained her international attention both on online art forums and in galleries. Though Trisha was hardly the first time Shraya employed the photograph to probe themes of family, culture, gender and healing. For the first time, Shraya will present her photo-based body-of-work together in a 50 minute performance/talk.

Kay Ho and Vivek Shraya conclude this program with an artist-in-conversation style Q&A.

For accessibility details for SFU GCA, visit our venues page.

Purchase tickets here.

Aug 12, 5:00pm

Workshop: Pitch Your Project to OUTtv

Sunday, August 13

Pitch Your Project to OUTtv

Calling all filmmakers— our pitching workshop is back by popular demand! Join OUTtv’s COO Brad Danks and Head of Content Nicky Forsman, on the best ways to pitch your developing ideas to a broadcaster. Learn how to present your finished videos, web series, and more for their consideration. This workshop will offer you the skills in pitching to help you elevate you projects from script to screen.

FREE – Space is limited, so reserve your space early!

Aug 13, 11:00am

Chosen Family Story Hour

Sunday, August 13
Waterfront Theatre

Bring the kids, bring your inner kid, bring anyone who loves a heartfelt story–it’s story hour! Hear three prominent queer, kid’s lit authors—Monique Gray Smith, Alan Woo and Vivek Shraya—read while, page-by-page, their books appear on the big screen.

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage women of Cree, Lakota and the author of four books, all of which focus on Indigenous relationships and emotional wisdom. My Heart Fills with Happiness—illustrated by Cree, Metis illustrator Julie Flett—won a 2016 BC Book Prize. Her new children’s book You Hold Me Up is illustrated by Danielle Daniel and will be published by Orca Press this fall.

Alan Woo is the author of Maggie’s Chopsticks, which won the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature award at the BC Book Prizes 2013. He had previously worked as the gay men’s outreach coordinator for the Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS and produced a monthly fundraiser event, Showtunes, at 1181. His new children’s book, Chinese Skip, is due out from Kids Can Press in September of 2018.

Joining them is Vivek Shraya with her book The Boy & The Bindi, about a boy who discovers that wearing a bindi allows him to joyfully explore and express his difference. Illustrated by Rajni Perera.

FREE event, reserve here.

After Chosen Family Story Hour, head over to Granville Island Water Park for an all-ages picnic and play date!

Aug 13, 3:30pm
Waterfront Theatre

Chosen Family Picnic and Play

Sunday, August 13
Granville Island

After Chosen Family Story Hour at Waterfront Theatre, head over to Granville Island Water Park – Sutcliffe Park for an all-ages family picnic and play date. Bring a blanket and your favourite snacks. One of our fabulous Festival photographers will be there to capture candid queer portraits.

Aug 13, 5:00pm
Granville Island

Closing Gala Party

Sunday, August 20
The Junction

The magic of the Festival will linger long after it’s over—our connections will travel across the city and the globe, and our stories will be resonating in our hearts for the year to come, but let’s close off with a rainbow and glitter bang. We’ll be traipsing over from The Playhouse to The Junction after Handsome Devil, in a joyful queer procession that’s as much fun as the actual party. With performances from long-time local Festival favourites including DJ O Show from the School of Remix to sweetly serenade us on the dance floor, let’s dance it out till next year (our 30th anniversary!)

Fully wheelchair accessible venue area, and washrooms. Find full venue accessibility details on our venues page.

FREE event with your membership/Scotiabank Super Pass. 19+

Aug 20, 9:30pm
The Junction

Gentleman of the Shade Book Launch

Sunday, August 13
Waterfront Theatre

Gentlemen of the Shade Book Launch and Film Viewing Commentary

Gus Van Sant’s 1991 indie darling My Own Private Idaho perplexed and provoked, inspiring a new ethos for a new decade: being different was better than being good. In her newest book, Gentlemen of the Shade, author Jen Sookfong Lee examines how the film was a coming-of-age for a generation of young people who would embrace the alternative and bring their outsider perspectives to sustainability, technology, gender constructs, and social responsibility. In this media-interactive book launch, Jen Sookfong Lee will look at film clips, media responses, and her own unique exploration of Van Sant’s cult classic.

Jen Sookfong Lee is a Canadian broadcaster, novelist, and radio personality for CBC Radio One. She is the author of The Conjoined, The Better Mother, Shelter, and The End of East. Gentlemen of the Shade was launched this summer on ECW press.

Free event with Festival membership, reserve a spot here. Books will be available for sale, cash only.

With support from CMHC – Granville Island.

Aug 13, 1:30pm
Waterfront Theatre

Intergenerations Social

Monday, August 14
Jim Deva Plaza

Our Intergenerations Spotlight is mainly comprised of Vancouver-made films, showing our communities’ desire for intergenerational conversation. The conversation continues with the cast members of Stay Gold, Man Up and The March Sweater during this afternoon social prior to the screening of Stay Gold, March Forward. Pop-up performances, music, and mingling. Thanks to our friends at the West End Business Improvement Association for welcoming us to the Jim Deva Plaza at Davie and Bute.

Most areas of the plaza are wheelchair accessible. Find full venue accessibility details on our venues page.


Aug 14, 5:30pm
Jim Deva Plaza

Tricks of the Trade with Creative BC

Saturday, August 12

The team from Creative BC returns to the Festival for an informative panel and Q&A about opportunities for independent BC filmmakers. Participants will get insight into early development funding, how to build a strong MPPIA Short Film Award application—and learn about all the secret locations right here in Vancouver that can bring the world to your film.

FREE – Space is limited, so reserve your space early!

Aug 12, 11:00am