Welcome to the 14th annual Toronto Queer Arts & Culture Festival
Queer West Arts Collective
The 2014 Toronto Queer Arts and Culture Festival wouldn’t be possible without the support of members from the Queer West Arts Collective . Thank you; Ms. Zoma Maduekwe (Abuja, Nigeria), Ms. Richa Shrotriya (Mumbai India), Ms. Lauren Tenn (Bournemouth England) , Philip Cairns (Toronto), Michel F. Paré (Toronto) and Akos Major (Budapest, Hungary).
Festival Sponsors 2014
Toronto Queer Arts Festival gratefully acknowledges the support in 2014 from; Buddies In Bad Times Theatre; The Press Club, The Sister, Open Roof Festival; Basement Arts; imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival; Bar 1602Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival DailyXtra.com and IvarDesign.com
FESTIVAL NEWS BRIEFs
Operating budget $600. Printing costs $250. Entertainment $350 . We made just under $200 at last night’s Film Festival and donated it all to Basements Arts The Lee Hicks story which we screened last night. Last event of festival today…Feel like getting smashed today? Then try this English Pub and queer Toronto Smash Words Festival 7pm http://bit.ly/1xFIuPJ
Showcasing the best of Toronto’s queer west end
The west end of the city, primarily the Queen St. W. strip from Ossington to Dufferin and along Dundas West, has gone through a massive facelift in recent years. This rapid rejuvenation has often been attributed to the re-opening of the Drake Hotel in 2004, but before the Drake put Queen W. on the map, there was a burgeoning arts community flourishing. Dozens of galleries scattered amongst deteriorating storefronts, sandwiched between appliance retailers and pawnshops, created a new bohemia. Weekly queer parties were a regular occurrence in the warehouses and lofts within this once affordable neighbourhood.
Out of this scene in 2000 sprung a vibrant queer culture with a younger mixed crowd seeking something different, a group not hung up on their, or anyone else’s, sexuality. The area has adapted to the rising queer presence now known affectionately as The Queer West Village or to some Queer West Toronto
Toronto is already one of the queerest cities in the universe. And, while long known for having one of the biggest and most successful Pride celebrations in the world, a new smaller grassroots community festival aims to showcase an alternative side to queer culture in the city. Toronto Queer Arts Festival (Queer West Fest) official events takes place this year from Thursday August 7 to Sunday August 10th. The festival welcomes some additional affiliated events, earlier in the week.
Queer West Fest showcases the best of west end queer culture by taking over various establishments, some queer operated and the others queer positive. One annual event is held in the Church St gay village, namely the Queer West International Film Festival on Saturday August 9th.
The Arts Festival is a little smaller this year, lasting only four days instead of the usual ten. Organizers found it harder to find volunteer event managers, that we could train, due to the many larger than normal festivals, being held in June.
Many queer people steer clear of the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (formerly known as Caribana) because they feel it’s unwelcoming at best and dangerous at worst. Many queer people of colour feel marginalized from Toronto’s queer communities because of persisting racism. Sammy Rawal, a member of the multicultural hip-hop DJ collective Yes Yes Y’all, says homophobia at Caribana is often more insidious than what can be identified in police reports. “When you hear Buju Banton, for example, being played really loud, it can get kind of tense,” he says. “You’re reminded that people around you might not really have or share the same views as you.”
Tonight’s Djays are; DJ Deemaks (Aforbeat), RBMA alumnist Sikh Knowledge (beats and Dancehall and Bambii (house), are creating a queer-positive space for the West Indian community to share their culture. It will be the biggest and baddest LGBT event at Caribana, this year. If you’re looking for hip-hop, dance anthems, pop, R&B, reggae/dancehall, voguing beats, soca and old school, then this is the spot. Event location The Lodge 559, now known as “Neck of the Woods” … STREET MAP 559 College Street. Cover: $8.00 This is a queer positive space and mixed night, in the heart of Little Italy, Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario (This event was added July 28, after press release went out) Time: 10 pm to 3 am https://www.facebook.com/events/678671792215270
Tuesday August 5 – Shakespeare In High Park: “As You Like It “ Toronto outdoor theatre tradition, Shakespeare in High Park is back this summer and will alternate between two shows. The first, As You Like It, a pastoral comedy, follows a young girl named Rosalind who flees from her royal uncle’s persecution into the Forest of Arden. Food, beverages and blankets will be available to purchase on-site. The outdoor performances will go on with weather permitting; any cancellations due to rain will be done by 8 p.m. Pwyc ($20 sugg). High Park Amphitheatre, 1873 Bloor W. Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario.
Wednesday August 6 – Shakespeare In High Park: “Titus Andronicus”, a tragedy about the fictional Roman general Titus and his cycle of revenge the Queen of the Goth. Food, beverages and blankets will be available to purchase on-site. The outdoor performances will go on with weather permitting; any cancellations due to rain will be done by 8 p.m. Pwyc ($20 sugg). High Park Amphitheatre, 1873 Bloor W. Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario.
Thursday August 7 – Arts Festival Launch Party as part of the Toronto Queer Arts Festival. Join the crowd Dancing all night with music by our kickass Disk Jockeys; Steve Austin and Nik Red, 9 pm to Close. FREE 1602 (Bar with No Name) Dundas St. W., Lesbians love our parties. Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario.
Thursday August 7 – Open Roof Festival The Open Roof Festival brings films, music and refreshments to rooftops in Toronto all summer. The event features independent films and local bands, and all profits support the Toronto indie film community. In case of rain, the films will be moved indoors. FILM: The Grand Seduction Residents of a small town in Newfoundland scheme to keep a doctor living there instead of moving back to the city. BAND: Tomi Swick
The Details: 99 Sudbury Street, Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario. Map (https://goo.gl/maps/qLoqa) just south of the Queen Street West and Dovercourt Road neighbourbood. A customized, eclectic menu will be available for purchase at each show, crafted by 99 Sudbury’s in-house chefs. Tickets can be purchased at
Friday August 8 – 9th annual Alterna Queer Music Concert Featuring; Ted Scarf, Anna Gutmanis, Amy Campbell, Jamieson M. Eakin and Elek Semilla from Five different bands with sounds from punk rock to ballads to bluegrass.
Featuring: Amy Campbell – Toronto Singer /Songwriter. Visit her web site: http://www.amycampbell.ca/ (Set Time 8:00 PM)
Anna Gutmanis – Pickering ON – Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter (Set Time 8:50 PM) http://
Ted Scarf (Toronto) AKA Chris Smith…A bent guitar playing sound technician with a yen for Alt rock Set Time 9:40 PM) A friend of M.Pare. Sadly Chris OD’d October 3rd, 2015. https://soundcloud.com/ted-scarf and http://music.cbc.ca/#!/artists/Ted-Scarf
Jamieson M. Eakin – Influences; Pop, Folk, Middle Eastern and Balkan styles… visit his home page: http://
Elek Semilla – Toronto Folk / Blues / Roots troubador..Joining Elek tonight on Dulcimer, will be Toronto Musician Paul Gribalas. His Lemon Puss Band Homepage: https://www.reverbnation.com/lemonpuss (Set Time 11:20 PM)
We love introducing you to new talent, as part of the Toronto Queer Arts Festival. 8 pm to 1 AM. Free. The Sister, 1554 Queen Street West. Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario. The Sister changed it’s name in late 2014 to Tennessee
Saturday August 9 – 6th annual Queer West International Film Festival This year we will be showing a dozen award winning LGBT films never seen in North America; from Finland, two from Spain, France, Australia, London Ontario and of course from Toronto in our home province of Ontario. We’re a small but quality film festival. 6-10 pm. $5/pwyc. Buddies In Bad Times, 12 Alexander, 416-879-7954, Full Details: http://artsfestival.queerwest.org/queer-west-film-festival/film-festival-2014/
Saturday August 9 – annual Human Rights Unconference with special guests: Toronto teacher Lee Hicks & Film Director: Azed Majeed. Exclusive to Queer West; live panel discussion about making the film Both/And: — The Lee Hicks Story.. FREE 9: 15 PM Buddies In Bad Times, 12 Alexander, 416-879-7954, See never before exclusive video to be show during Film Festival.
Also in attendance to will be Film Directors Eric Casaccio, from Los Angeles we are screening his film “Narcissist” and Andrew Randall Toronto, who directed “Performing Masculinity.”
Sunday August 10 – Smash Words Festival (A night of queer Poetry & Cabaret) Six of Toronto’s best known LGBT spoken word artists; Philip Cairns, Alec Butler, Katie Sly, J.P. Larocque, Jenna Harris and Power Chair Dancer, Frank G. Hull. as part of the Toronto Queer Arts Festival. 7pm-10 pm. $5/pwyc. The Press Club, 850 Dundas St. W., Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario. 416-879-7954,
Testimonial – “Every summer in August, Queer West celebrates its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered artistic community with the Queer Arts Festival– a week-long event that includes a film festival, spoken word events, concerts, art gallery tours by bicycle, and more. Take in art that challenges and explores the concept of sexuality.” ~ Tourism Toronto
With little funding and a budget of $600, a small team of dedicated volunteers Queer West manages to miraculously produce a moderately successful festival year after year and no debts. Queer West Fest has always stayed true to its community roots. Its continuing success is due to the incredible efforts of so many passionate volunteers, though we also can’t overlook the invaluable contributions from our loyal sponsors.
Gay West Community Network Inc (Queer West) was founded in 2000 and incorporated in 2008, as a not for profit organization. We are dedicated to producing performing arts festivals for the purposes of educating and advancing the public’s understanding and appreciation of performing arts and to educate artists through participation in such festivals and related workshops.
Mailing Address 562 Dufferin St. 2nd floor B1 Toronto ON M6K 2A9. Visits By Appointment Only. 416-879-7954 firstname.lastname@example.org