The 7th annual Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival (VOAF) comes to the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre from October 12–17, 2023. Presented by the Community Arts Council of Vancouver, this year’s festival will be bigger than ever, with new collaborations and a longer run – expanding to five days from the previous single weekend festival. Canada’s first and only outsider arts festival promotes equity while amplifying artists and performers who live and work outside of the mainstream.
“The Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival continues to strengthen its ties to the local and international art scenes, offering even more opportunities for participants and our audiences,” says Kristin Cheung, executive director of CACV. “We are honoured to be able to provide a positive and safe space for people of all backgrounds, and to help visitors connect to artists facing social, economic, and cultural barriers in showcasing their work. VOAF fosters inclusion and nurtures community within this artistic city.”
Getting underway October 12th with an opening event giving a sneak-peek of over 400 artworks on display in the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall, along with performances by Edzi’u and Bukola, Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival 2023 will feature 56 artists from across Metro Vancouver’s diverse art scenes. The festival’s visual art exhibition and performances will be complemented by a series of new workshops. Visitors will be able to learn from artisan Chantal Cardinal about the craft of handmade felt objects and from Vancouver Ikebana Association member Cecily Chang about the art of Japanese flower arranging. Additional workshops will be offered through a new partnership with BC Culture Days: independent dance artist and choreographer Fiana Kawane will teach Kathak Movement, or South Asian classical dance, and multimedia artist Bethany Pardoe will facilitate a collaborative character design session.
A collaboration between Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival and Outsider Art Festival (OAF) from Helsinki, Finland, will culminate in a short film presentation at the Roundhouse on Monday, October 16th. OAF’s inclusive artistic team has curated a collection of short films featuring Finnish outsider artists from the suburbs of Helsinki and the rural area of Karelia: Mika Ruohola, Kati Kallio, Anne Kalliola, and Miska Tuononen. The films highlight various artistic approaches and storytelling techniques, incorporating performance art, silent film, poetry, and dance. An online meet and greet with the artists will be hosted following the screening, and will be accessible online at OAF Online Stage.
Following the festival’s close, the VOAF exhibition will travel to the Port Moody Arts Centre from Jan. 11–March 4, 2024.
Visit Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival online at voaf.ca to RSVP for free events, find the full list of events, read bios of 2023’s 40 visual artists, 13 performing artists, and three art groups participating in the festival.