CONTEST: Vancouver Queer Film Fest 2018

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival has released its lineup for the 30th Anniversary edition of the festival, taking place August 9-19.  Over the 11-day festival, more than 70 films from 15 countries will be featured, along with 11 visiting filmmakers, 27 local directors and numerous local performing artists, in addition to parties and talkback sessions & seminars. Festival passes and tickets are now on sale online.

“Our 30th year is the perfect time to reflect on how queer cinema has evolved,” says Co-Artistic Director Amber Dawn. “We now see queer, trans, and two-spirit themed films routinely winning awards and gaining wide viewership. Even with this recognition, there are still so many stories to be told and so many innovative possibilities for media-based storytelling. You’ll only get a chance to see groundbreaking stories like these at festivals like Vancouver Queer Film Festival.”

Curated by Co-Artistic Directors Anoushka Ratnarajah and Amber Dawn, Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) 2018 opens at the Vancouver Playhouse with Malaysian-born writer and director Yen Tan’s 1985, featuring an acclaimed cast including Cory Michael Smith, Michael Chiklis, Virginia Madsen, and Jamie Chung.

Alaska Is A Drag

This year’s VQFF Centrepiece Gala Film is from LA-based comedian, writer and actress Vivian Bang, who co-wrote and stars in, White Rabbit. In this comedy that premiered at Sundance Film Festival, Vivian Bang plays a Korean-American performance artist who tries to remain dedicated to her art and struggles to pay the bills by doing odd jobs on “TaskRabbit”.  The 2018 Youth Gala Film is Shaz Bennett’s debut feature film, Alaska Is A Drag, a

fish out of water story about life in a small Alaska cannery town.

Festival favourites The Coast is Queer and Troublemakers return, and new this year is The Coast is Genderqueer – VQFF’s first short film program that showcases local transgender, genderfluid, and non-binary stories. As well, Festival Programmer Justin Ducharme curates Indigiqueer Shorts from Turtle Island and Aotearoa, a collection of two-spirit films that subvert colonial constructs of Indigiqueer bodies and sexual agency.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

VQFF 2018 wraps up August 19th, with the Closing Gala Film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the sophomore feature from Desiree Akhavan and 2018 Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Drama at Sundance Film Festival.  Based on the novel of the same name and set in the early ‘90s, the film follows high school senior Cameron Post, who is caught in a small-town scandal when she’s discovered having a secret relationship with her best friend. Deemed a sinner, Cameron is sent by her conservative aunt and guardian to a Christian conversion therapy camp called ‘Promises’.

Festival program guides are now available at Festival venues as well as Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium and Black Dog Video. The complete Festival lineup can also be viewed online at www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

Full ticketing details, including pricing, can be found at www.queerfilmfestival.ca/tickets.

CONTEST:
Vancouver Queer Film Festival has graciously offered a lucky reader, a 6 pack of tickets for your oppertunity to attend Vancouver’s second largest film festival

To enter:

Leave a comment below telling us the person who you would take along with you to be your VQFF #Festie  (1 entry)

Tweet the Following & Tag your #Festie (1 entry) :

RT to #Win : Me & my #festie want to win tickets to @QueerFilmFest via @jminter http://ow.ly/hMOk30kPedM #VQFF2018 #contest

Contest entries will be accepted until Noon on Monday July 30, 2018. One winner will be chosen at random.

Dine Out 2018 serves up more great food events & menus

Now that you’ve had a couple weeks to get over your Holiday indulgences, Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2018 is here to serve you mouth watering events and set menus.

The 2018 line up of food events has been selling fast already and now the set menus have been released for participating restaurants to start taking reservations.   Three hundred + restaurants, wineries, breweries, and suppliers from Abbotsford to the North Shore, are featuring set lunch and dinner menus at $20, $30, and $40 for the 17 day Dine Out Vancouver Festival.

In addition to the set menus, check out over 40 unique food and drink events ranging from food tours, and food trucks to specialist tastings, to international chef collaborations, secret suppers and VQA wine tastings.

A sample of just some of the events include:

The Art of Tea Gastronomy at TWG Tea Salon & Boutique, Vancouver – various dates.
Pop Up Ocean Wise Cafe at Vancouver Aquarium with Chef Ned Bell – 2 seating per night, various dates.
The BC VQA Wine Brunch at Hart House, Burnaby – January 20th. 
Get Shucked Up at Fanny Bay Oysters – January 22nd & 29th.
The Perfect Vegan Pizza Cooking Class at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company – January 29th
Vancouver World Chef Exchange with Chefs from Bangkok, Tokyo, Beijing, Nashville – various dates & locations

Coming from out of town, or even if you’re local, why not make a night of it and book one a night or package with one of the participating Dine Out Hotel Partners. 

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2018 runs January 19 – February 4, 2018. For menu information, restaurant and hotel reservations and event tickets visit dineoutvancouver.com

 

 

5 Winter Events to close the Festive Season

Happy New Year! While we are already into 2018, the lead up to the Holidays is sometime so busy we don’t have time to take in all the festive events. Here’s a few seasonal winter events that you can still catch for a few more weeks:

Beauty and the Beast at Stanley TheatreDisney’s Beauty and the Beast – The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a brilliant adaptation of Disney’s ‘tale as old as time’. Fun for the whole family as Belle and The Beast are supported by Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts and others at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until January 13th – Tickets online at artsclub.com

Lights at Lafarge – Coquitlam’s Winter Light Festival is the largest free light display in the Lower Mainland, Town Centre Park is illuminated with hundreds of thousands of lights, with roving performers, hot chocolate & cookies all just steps from Lafarge Lake – Douglas Skytrain Station, making this one of the most easily accessible winter events. Continuing until January 21st, 2018 – Free Admission

Chinese Lantern FestivalVancouver Chinese Lantern Festival – the PNE features the largest festival of its kind in Canada. One of the most beautiful and culturally significant festivals lights up the night with dozens of spectacular gossamer lanterns, some reaching nearly 200 feet in length, transforming the 14 acres of Hastings Park, running until January 21, 2018. – Admission $19 online

Canyon Lights Winter Festival at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park continues until January 28th, 2018. Thousands of lights spread throughout the Park, the bridge, Treetops Adventures, with 8 of the tallest living Christmas Tree. – All-day Adult park admission is $42.95, includes the holiday activities, crafts and entertainment beginning at 4pm each day.

Robson Square Ice Rink – hit the ice for some old-fashioned outdoor winter fun, all-ages can lace up and enjoy the free skating experience at Robson Square. Until February 28, 2018, open from 9am to 9pm Sunday – Thursday and 9am to 11pm Friday – Saturday.  Skating is free, skate rentals are $4 (last rental, 30 minutes prior to closing)

30th Annual Vancouver International Writer’s Festival

The Vancouver International Writer’s Festival (VIWF) opened this week for the 30th edition of the renowned festival of the written word.  In this age of quick and instant media the full house at Performance Works on opening night proved that readers and writers are still going strong.

While the Writer’s Festival holds events all year around, the marquis program runs from October 16th to 22nd, 2017, when more than 110 authors takepart in over 95 events. all over Granville Island.  The Festival has events for all walks of life and all ages.  Non-Fiction, Fiction, Poetry, Children, Youth literature and more all take the leap from the page to the stage.

Past writers in attendance have included; Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, John Irving, Robbie Robertson, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Rohinton Mistry, Alice Munro, Ian Rankin, J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie, Frank McCourt.  Every year readers find new discoveries to add to their libraries and share with their book clubs, families and friends. Who will you find this year? Find out which events still have tickets online at writersfest.bc.ca

Beyond the festival special events continue through the fall, including Waiting For First Light, an Evening with Romeo Dallaire on November 16th, and A Newfoundlander in Canada, musician and writer Alan Doyle discusses his new book on November 20th.

 

 

Vancouver Lookout at Harbour Centre Gains Perspectives

As The Vancouver Lookout at Harbour Centre reaches middle age, the landmark has partnered with Vancouver Heritage Foundation for a collaboration series; Perspectives.

In conjunction with its 40th anniversary, Perspectives, is a series of talks that explores Vancouver’s thought-provoking history that has shaped the city’s present.  Inspired by the rich history surrounding the Vancouver Lookout, Vancouver Heritage Foundation planned five unique speakers to present on the diverse history of Vancouver.  From the unique vantagepoint offered by the Lookout, guests will enjoy fascinating talks on Indigenous stories and context, South Asian history and immigration, architectural development and change, Vancouver music scene and nightlife, and the city’s seedy criminal history.

Four Perspective events in the series remain;

Cultural Landscapes: Vancouver’s South Asian Community –
Saturday October 7th 9:45 – 11:30am

Historic Crime: Early Forensic Investigations –
Thursday October 19th 6:15 – 8pm

Heritage From Up High –
Sunday October 29th 9:45 – 11:30am

Vancouver After Dark: History of the Entertainment Scene
Thursday November 16th 6:15 – 8pm

Tickets for all talks are available online at vancouverperspectives.com

All talks take place at the Vancouver Lookout, located at 555 West Hastings Street.  Arrive 15 minutes early to take the elevator up to the Lookout.

Ce Soir Noir is back in black at Crab Park

Ce Soir Noir (This Black Night) descends on CRAB Park at Portside for the third year next Thursday, August 24th.

What began as a local counter-event to the brighter and whiter, Dîner en Blanc has evolved into it’s own east side annual event.  Dîner en Blanc, part of a well organized, ticketed, global phenomenon, offers patrons a chance to glam it up and enjoy an evening of gourmet food, high-end entertainment and experiences, whereas Ce Soir Noir is a free, casual local, dress-down event. Whichever floats your boat will be a good time for all.

Organizers of Ce Soir Noir invite people to just show up anytime between 5pm and 10pm on August 24th.  More than just a picnic, Ce Soir Noir becomes a picnic based art installation, with everyone a brushstroke in the artwork.  If you’re hungry, pack your own picnic food to share amongst friends, bring something to sit on or just park your butts on the grass then join in the camaraderie of other picnickers.  The only caveat is that the organizers hope everyone wears black from head to toe.

This year’s event has a city permit to take over CRAB Park, but still maintains it’s free community event status.  To be good neighbours in one of East Vancouver’s few waterfront parks, visitors are asked to be mindful of what they bring and take it out with them, leaving the park as clean or cleaner to the following day.

Whether you choose the white event or this black night, both gathering of diverse communities on August 24 might be just what the world needs a little more of in these divisive times.

Ce Soir Noir takes place August 24th between 5pm and 10pm at CRAB Park at Portside, 101 E Waterfront Road at Main Street.

Dîner en Blanc also takes place August 24th at a to be announced location.

5 Family Day Weekend Activities in Vancouver

As we move into the first long weekend of 2017, here’s 5 Family Day Weekend activities;

1: Align Entertainment’s The Little Mermaid : Michael J Fox Theatre, Burnaby –  Until February 18, 2017
With most family theatre productions taking place around the Christmas holidays, this is a welcome opportunity to introduce your little ones to live theatre.

2: Family Day at Burnaby Village Carousel : February 13th 11am-2pm
Families with young children can pre-register for crafts, carnival games, children’s entertainment, and carousel rides

3: Odysseo by Cavalia : Under the White Big Top at Olympic Village  – Until March 5, 2017
No horsing around, while not inexpensive, the whole family will enjoy the amazing 150 minute show.

4: Free Skating At Robson Square : Ice Rink at Robson Square – Until February 14, 2017
It’s your last weekend to take in free skating at the covered ice rink at Robson Square. Bring your own skates or rent a pair for $4

5: Family Day at the Peak of Vancouver : Grouse Mountain – February 13, 2017 only.
50% off Gondola access plus a full day of special activities including pancake breakfast, Global BC Family Puck Shoot Out, Family Day Lunch Specials, Candy Station as well as the usual snow activities