Canadian Heritage restores Queer Arts Festival funding after public outcry

Press release by PiA, Canada
Vancouver, BC – May 8, 2013

The Pride in Art Society (PiA) is thrilled to announce that Canadian Heritage has restored partial funding for this year’s Queer Arts Festival (QAF). In April, PiA received word that Canadian Heritage was withdrawing its funding for QAF. This sudden reversal came as a shock— three months before the festival is scheduled to open, July 24 – August 9. So we turned to our audience for help.

In response to this news, massive public outcry was unleashed. We launched our campaign May 1st via social media, email, and notifying the press to rally supporters to voice their concern over this unexplained financial loss. On May 3rd, Hon. Minister James Moore contacted PiA and reinstated 75% of our federal funding.

Within days of going public, we were able to overcome this obstacle thanks to the incredible help of our audience, artists, and local politicians. The overwhelming support we received was humbling and encouraging, and clearly contributed to the positive outcome of our campaign. Of the dozens of festivals and arts organizations that have lost their Heritage funding, we are aware of only one other Canadian festival that has had their funding cut and restored in the same year.

QAF is a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary, 3-week long professional festival that celebrates the unique creative expression of Queer visual & performing artists. We are Western Canada’s only professional queer arts festival with a curated visual arts exhibition, a community art show, innovative performing arts events, and inspiring workshops for adults and youth. We create positive social change by promoting compassion, empathy and understanding through the arts.

This groundswell of support proves the importance of the QAF’s programming and artistic vision, and the social impact of our outreach activities. After this extraordinary public demonstration for the festival, it’s clear that the Queer Arts Festival in Vancouver will be around for many years to come.

Please join us July 24 – August 9, 2013 for what promises to be the very best Queer Arts Festival that we have ever had the pleasure of offering. Don’t miss the highly-anticipated world premiere of Canada’s first lesbian opera, When the Sun Comes Out, commissioned by QAF, and our most far-reaching and exciting visual art exhibition to date, TransgressionNow, curated by Paul Wong and Glenn Alteen.

Related Link

Queer Arts Festival