The Pride in Art Society (PiA) produces, presents and exhibits with a curatorial vision favouring challenging, thought-provoking work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue, including through the Queer Arts Festival (QAF), an annual, professional, artist-run, multidisciplinary festival and new year-round SUM gallery located in the BC Artscape Sun Wah building in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. PiA brings diverse communities together to support artistic risk-taking, incite creative collaboration and experimentation and celebrate the rich heritage of queer artists and art. We harness the visceral power of the arts to inspire recognition, respect and visibility of people who transgress gender and sexual norms.
Brief History: Pride in Art (PiA) began in 1998 as a collective of queer visual artists mounting an annual community art exhibition. PiA was incorporated as a Not for Profit in 2006, mounted our first multidisciplinary Festival in 2008, rebranded as the Queer Arts Festival in 2010, obtained charitable status in 2012, and achieved operating status with the BC Arts Council in 2013 and the City of Vancouver in 2015. Since incorporation, we have developed from a tiny, grass-roots, volunteer-run, community-based organization to a professional cutting-edge festival receiving funding from all three levels of government, employing 9 year-round and seasonal staff, and providing hundreds of hours of volunteer opportunities yearly. PiA has presented over 1,735 artists in more than 219 events, welcomed 61,500 patrons, and incited the creation of dozens of new Canadian works, notably the highly acclaimed 2013 commission and premiere of Canada’s first lesbian opera by Leslie Uyeda and Rachel Rose.