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Life, Events, Arts

Alternative Pride Festival offers a change from the usual festival options

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Lauren Sundstrom Jul 15, 2016 4:50 am

If you’ve ever felt that Pride Week lacks options, you’re in luck. A grassroots organization has popped up aiming to supply alternative events to the traditional Pride festivities normally offered in Vancouver.

The aptly named “Alternative Pride Festival” is putting on a myriad of music and art events at small venues over a four-day period during Pride week.

“‘Alternative’ is an arts movement happening in Vancouver,” Festival Director Matt Troy tells Daily Hive.”Its artists taking over alternative spaces, spaces outside the traditional nightclubs, outside of the traditional professional gallery that are grassroots artist-run spaces.”

Alternative Pride kicks off on July 28 with “Trans Pride,” an art showcase curated and produced by trans artists and performers at Gallery 1965, a space on Main Street.

“We feel we’re creating the city we want to live in,” says Troy. “It’s all about having different options that enriches the city.”

“We’re trying to challenge the traditional notions of gender or of hyper-sexuality that come along with Pride.”

Troy says each event is open to everyone – they aren’t interested in labels and they want to create spaces that are inclusive.

“We want to move to a society where it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl or gay or straight, or trans – I call it the gender future.”

Alternative Pride is being presented by Vancouver Art and Leisure, an artist-run collective that hosts events in unconventional spaces throughout Vancouver. For last year’s Pride week, the group took over a storage locker complex and turned it into a giant temporary bathhouse.

Above all else, artists come first at Alternative Pride, and Troy says they’re paying everyone involved fair wages for their work.

“Our festival has a specific mandate to work with artists and pay them fairly and pay them in a way that’s sustainable for them to do more art – this includes installations, sound, video art, music, DJ-ing, performances, design, photography – all of these things are part of our broader mission to enriching LGBTQ art forms and presentations.”

Here is a full list of events you can expect at Alternative Pride:

Trans Pride

  • What: Curated by Skylar Love, Trans Pride Art Showcase highlights contributions trans people make to the visual, musical, and performance arts. It’s 100% produced by trans artists.
  • Where: Gallery 1965 – 1965 Main Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, July 28; 9 pm to 2 am

Elastic Pride

  • What: An all-ages art event curated by queer teens, Elastic Pride features a day of LGBTQ youth talent, performances, and artwork. There’s a special emphasis on providing network opportunities for these young artists.
  • Where: Fortune Project Space – 147 East Pender Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, July 29; 2 to 9 pm

Pride is for Everyone

  • What: Celebrate Pride with everyone at a gender-positive, sexuality-positive, and body-positive space. Love and dance floors aren’t exclusive.
  • Where: Vancouver Art and Leisure – 1965 Main Street, Vancouver (backdoor entrance)
  • When: Friday, July 29; 10 pm till late.

Prancehall: Pride

  • What: Prancehall is about reclaiming the art form of dancehall, which usually perpetuates homophobic and transphobic language. This is Western Canada’s first LGBTQ dancehall night.
  • Where: Fortune Project Space – 147 East Pender Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, July 29; 10 pm to 2 am

The Downlow: Mask for Mark Masquerade Ball

  • What: Masked Pride revellers will hang out in the basement of Celebrities to allow them to get as kinky or artistic are their hearts desire. As long as you have a mask on, you’re welcome to come.
  • Where: Celebrities Basement – 1022 Davie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 30; 10 pm to 4 am

Backdoor Pride Edition

  • What: Backdoor Pride Edition aims to make history once again with a once-in-a-lifetime event. This year, they’re taking over a two-level ship building warehouse in Japantown – but the location is top secret for now.
  • Where: Top secret – keep your eyes peeled for its revelation on July 19.
  • When: Sunday, July 31; 10 pm till late.

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Lauren Sundstrom
Lauren is a former staff writer at Daily Hive. She's a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program.

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