Help a Rainbow Refugee Resettle in Canada

As we head into Pride Weekend in Vancouver, we reflect on the privileges and freedoms afforded to Canadian citizens. While not perfect, they’re far better than many places around the globe, especially for those identifying as LGBTQ+. Rights have been extended in more and more countries but unfortunately, there are still at least 14 countries where homosexuality is legally punishable by death.

Rainbow Refugee is a Vancouver based community organization supporting people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Since 2011, Rainbow Refugee Society has worked in partnership with the Federal government to direct a blended sponsorship program called the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Project (RRAP). This is a national project and Rainbow Refugee has the responsibility of working with its own Circles of Hope as well as other community organizations across Canada to sponsor LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.

The Rainbow Connection is one of the Circles of Hope hoping to supporting Rainbow Refugee. We are a group of friends, lead by Mr. Gay Canada 2019, working together to assist a LGBTQ+ person hoping to resettle in Canada. We are grateful to live in Canada and have the ability to live and love in a safe and supportive community. Supporting a person, presently living in an African refugee camp, whose life is in danger because of who they are is our way of sharing the benefits that we have through our citizenship and friendships.

We have set up a Canada Helps donation page to help raise funds online as well as raising offline funds to support our goal. Along with our knowledge and support, the money we raise will assist this Rainbow Refugee to set up a new life in Canada. It will go towards food, housing, transportation, personal health… anything and everything needed every day to live a full life.
We hope you will support us in this endeavour, any little bit you can contribute is greatly appreciated and if you cannot provide monetary support we ask that you share the donation page with your network.

Thank you!

VQFF Opening Gala coming August 9th

The 2018 Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) kicks off on Thursday August 9th with a 7:00pm screening of Yen Tan’s critically-observed period piece, 1985, at the Vancouver Playhouse.

1985
photo: dutch rall

Director Tan’s fifth feature black & white film, 1985 follows Adrian, a closeted young man returning to his Texas hometown for Christmas during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York, Adrian reconnects with his brother and estranged childhood friend, as he struggles to divulge his dire circumstances to his religious parents. Under Tan’s emotional and poignant direction, 1985’s characters bring tension and a strained tenderness into every scene, creating a haunting elegy for a generation of gay men. 1985 stars Cory Michael Smith (Gotham), Michael Chiklis (The Commish), Virginia Madsen (Designated Survivor), Jamie Chung (The Gifted). Director Yen Tan will be in attendance, at the VQFF Opening Gala to introduce his film, as well as at the repeat screening August 10.

Following the opening screening the Festival really gets going with the Opening Gala Party, taking place under the stars at the šx???ex?n Xwtl’a7shn Plaza (QET Plaza). Attendees are encouraged to dress in black and white finery as an homage to Yen Tan’s stylistic choice for 1985, and will be treated to performances by contortionist Vixen Von Flex and dance troupe Coven, with beats from East Van DJs Body Party.

VQFF, Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada runs August 9-19 at various venues throughout the city.  More than 70 films from 15 countries are featured at this year’s 30th anniversary Festival, along with 11 visiting filmmakers including guests from India, Philippines, United States, as well as numerous local directors and performing artists, in addition to parties and talkback sessions. The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is presented by Out On Screen, for more information and tickets visit queerfilmfestival.ca

Out On Screen Celebrates VQFF’s 30th Birthday

This summer, Out On Screen presents the 30th annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), Thursday, August 9th to Sunday, August 19th. This year’s Festival, presented by RBC, will take place at various theatres around Vancouver.  The 2018 Festival theme is “To the moon and back, 30 years of uplifting queer stories

To kick off the 30th Anniversary celebrations Out on Screen is hosting a community birthday party, sponsored by Vancity, on Saturday, June 2nd at The Imperial on Main Street at 8:00pm. The party for the LGBT2Q+ community and allies will pay tribute to the last three decades of uplifting queer stories at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. The Festival gets nostalgic and will be turning back time to dance the night away to hits from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, and enjoy performances inspired by each decade from talented local artists Maiden China, Shay Dior, and Indigenous burlesque troupe Virago Nation.

“The value of queer film as a transformational art medium is just as critical today as it was 30 years ago,” says Executive Director Stephanie Goodwin. “The Festival is a place for the LGBT2Q+ community to call home as well as an important platform for films that queer the narrative, that illuminate and celebrate LGBT2Q+ lives in all their dimensions and complexity.”

“2018 has proven to be an incredible year for queer cinema, breaking out of familiar stories and into mainstream box office success,” adds Co-Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah. “We are seeing queer filmmakers taking aesthetic and narrative risks, creating art that pushes boundaries, and takes audiences into new queer territories. I feel very fortunate to be witnessing the artistry, intelligence, and courage of queer film today.”

Celebrating the best in independent queer cinema, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada. For the full line-up of the VQFF films, classes, lectures, panels and more visit queerfilmfestival.ca