We were so thrilled to have Anais West and Sara Vickruck @saravickruck participate and perform in this year’s Technical Knockouts. In our new space we will be able to support more young artists like Anais and Sara!
“As a queer woman who grew up in Vancouver, I have felt the lack of queer-centred spaces in this city: specifically, entertainment and culture venues geared towards of the entire community, not exclusively gay men. Queer folks like myself are forced to put up pop-up events or rent pre-existing spaces. Without having a sustained physical presence in this city, and existing primarily via social media or through word of mouth, it’s hard to build a following. As a theatre artist who’s toured with shows to New York and Toronto, I’ve seen the impact of having a building in which a company can feature year round programming. Having a space has enabled LGBTQ arts companies like Buddies in Bad Times theatre to thrive and grow well beyond the scope of many Vancouver organizations.
The Queer Arts Festival has been an important source of mentorship and community for myself and Sara Vickruck. Volunteering with them and attending their shows connected us with local and national queer artists whose work inspires us, like Jordan Tannahill. Participating in their Young Artists Program last year allowed us to broaden our theatre practice into the realm of electronic music, and allowed us to begin development of our new show Poly Queer Love Ballad under the guidance of Kinnie Starr and DJ O Show. The Queer Arts Festival’s interest in programming our work in their new space will be pivotal in our growth from emerging artists to established queer voices, a transition that is often difficult to make in a city with such a small scene. We are artists who want to continue to put forward queer, innovative, genre-defying work, and we would not have a venue, a community or a platform without organizations like Queer Arts.” Thank you for your kind words, Anais!
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