Queering the Air — LIFE//LAND::seasons//cycles//connections

Queer Arts Festival + SUM gallery & Carnegie Community Centre present

with Sarah Jo Kirsch, soprano &  Indra Egan, piano

Thu, Nov 23 | 7pm @ Carnegie Community Centre (Theatre)
401 Main St., Vancouver
Free admission


As the sun’s path shortens, SJ and Indra offer songs to bridge the end of summer to winter and to reflect on our relationship to our landscape and all the life therein.

Featuring works for voice and piano by Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Jocelyn Morlock, Tobias Picker, Leslie Uyeda, and more!


An accomplished interpreter of western art music, Sarah Jo Kirsch (they/she) has performed across Canada, in Europe and West Asia as a soloist and collaborator. They have been hailed as “…one of the finest contemporary dramatic vocalists in Canada today,” (Calgary Herald) “…with the ability to get under the skin of everything she sings,” (Winnipeg Free Press).

Beyond opera and oratorio, Sarah curates and produces sociopolitically relevant art song experiences of works from the last three centuries. An avid and capable interpreter of new music, they have premiered more than 30 new works for voice by Canadian composers.


Praised for her expressivity and “impressive command of the keyboard” (Prince George Citizen), Vancouver-based pianist and vocal coach Indra Egan is thrilled to be a Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist with Vancouver Opera for their 2023/24 season. Indra holds a M. Mus. in Collaborative Piano from the University of Toronto, where she studied with Steven Philcox and won the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Prize in Accompanying. Originally from Northern BC, Indra received her B. Mus. in Piano Performance at the University of Manitoba as a student of David Moroz and Laura Loewen, followed by post-bacc studies in jazz piano with Will Bonness. She has performed in masterclasses with Elly Ameling, Jean Barr, Margo Garrett, Susan Graham, Liz Upchurch, and others. Additional mentors include Tracy Dahl, Rosemary Thomson, Nathalie Paulin, Kathryn Tremills, and Wendy Nielsen.

Stay On It: Music by Julius Eastman

Stay On It: Music by Julius Eastman

THE ROUNDHOUSE | 181 ROUNDHOUSE MEWS (Pacific & Davie) | Google map
Doors at 7:00PM | Concert starts at 7:30PM

Music on Main All-Star Band
Karen Gerbrecht, co-music director, violin;
Vern Griffiths, co-music director, percussion;
Aram Bajakian, guitar; Paolo Bortolussi, flute; Julia Chien, percussion; Dailin Hsieh, zheng; Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, piano; Zubin Kanga, piano; Cindy Kao, violin; Saina Khaledi, santour; Colin MacDonald, saxophone; Lisa Cay Miller, piano; Julia Ulehla, vocals
Vancouver Youth Choir
Carrie Tennant, artistic director

Sliding scale / Pay-What-You-Will | $19-$72

“What I am trying to achieve is to be what I am to the fullest. Black to the fullest, a musician to the fullest, a homosexual to the fullest.”


There’s a Julius Eastman renaissance happening and you’re invited.

Writing music in New York City’s burgeoning downtown scene in the 1970s and ‘80s, Julius Eastman was a young, black, gay man who criss-crossed musical worlds and provocatively “swerved from critical acclaim to gate-crashing controversy.” (NPR)

Eastman’s music mixes the evergreen politics of his time with bold grooves and enthralling melodies that sound equally fresh. Think Minimalism (like the music of Philip Glass and Steve Reich) combined with joyful improvisation and moments of surprising stillness.

Don’t miss it when the Music on Main All-Star Band and the Vancouver Youth Choir breathe life into “music that commands attention: wild, grand, delirious, demonic.” (The New Yorker)

Presented by Music on Main and SUM gallery / the Queer Arts Festival.

The Vancouver Youth Choir at the Modulus Festival is generously sponsored by David Cousins. 

Shake Your Groove Fang: Halloween Fundraiser

Shake Your Groove Fang: A Halloween Fundraiser Party

Oct 26, 2023 | 7 – 9pm
SUM gallery (#425 – 268 Keefer St.)
Admission: PWYC with a suggested donation of $20

Come shake your groove fang with the Queer Arts fam! QAF + SUM gallery is hosting a Halloween fundraiser party Thursday, Oct 26, complete with drinks, music, dancing and even a costume contest. Come dressed in your spooky, campy & Queer attire (if you please) and you might just walk away with the title of Best-Dressed!

This fundraising event is Pay-What-You-Choose with a suggested donation of $20. We are a registered non-profit organization that relies on the generous support of donors and funders to continue to program our queer arts events. Join us for a ghoulishly good time, while supporting your favourite queer arts org with an amount you feel is appropriate!

Plus: Entry comes with one free drink ticket!

Vocal Queeries workshop series

SUM gallery presents: VOCAL QUEERIES WORKSHOP SERIES with sarah jo kirsch!

Sept 10 & Sept 17, 2023

*PLEASE NOTE that this workshop series is now SOLD OUT.

The Vocal Queeries workshop series is open to individuals of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, identities, and orientations who want to explore the expansive spectrum of vocal expression and the unique beauty of their own voices in a safe and inclusive space for exploration and growth.

Whether you’re a vocalist, actor, performance artist, public speaker, or just someone eager to get to know their voice, this series offers a wholistic and intersectional journey into grounded vocalization through collaborative discussion and practice.



Dive into queer sonic philosophy and practice through the work of Pauline Oliveros, Gabriel Dharmoo, Meredith Monk, and more!


Explore the miraculous mechanics of vocal production and gain a deeper understanding of how the body functions as an instrument.


Learn to harness breath momentum, open and balance resonators, and align articulators to ring with ease and flexibility.


Develop a wholistically conscious practice to help build an authentic and reciprocal relationship with your voice and your self.


Each 75-minute session is followed by a 15-minute collaborative reflection and intention-setting.


Sun, Sept 10:
session 1: 1:00 – 2:30pm
session 2: 3:00 – 4:30pm

Sun, Sept 17:
session 3: 1:00 – 2:30 pm
session 4: 3:00 – 4:30 pm

We recommend you register to attend all four sessions as these workshops are designed as a four-part series, however, you may also register for a single session. All sessions must be registered for individually.


$200 if you plan to register for the FULL SERIES (use the Pay-What-You-Wish admission option to enter $50 per session)
$60 per session

Embracing the Pay-What-You-Wish admission option allows you to pay what you can afford. We encourage those who can contribute more than the suggested rate to do so. It enables aspiring singers more challenged by the cost of living to engage in this transformative experience. Your contribution can make a difference in someone else’s journey and help keep these workshops genuinely inclusive.


Sarah Jo Kirsch is a vocalist steeped in Western European song traditions. They have premiered dozens of new works by Canadian composers, they create their own sound-and text-based electroacoustic works, and they share knowledge about wholistic vocalization and the evolution of organized sound. sarahjokirsch.com

VQFF x QAF + SUM presents: The Coast is Queer

Queer Arts Festival + SUM gallery is proud community partner for Vancouver Queer Film Festival‘s screening of Shorts: The Coast is Queer
Aug 17, 2023 | 6:30PM
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas

The coast is queerer than ever! VQFF’s annual showcase of homegrown talent is back with a quartet of shorts exploring trans and nonbinary identities, featuring some familiar faces, including Kendall Gender and SKIM.

Screening followed by a drag performance by Mx. Bukuru and a Q&A with the artists!

Content warning: Blood, nudity.

The shorts programme features E.S.S. Scenes, originally seen as part of SUM gallery exhibition STICKY EXTENSIONS: ROMI KIM IN COLLABORATION WITH QUEER BASED MEDIA!

Vines Art Society presents: We, The Many

We, The Many

Fri, Aug 18, 2023 | 6pm

Location SymbolÍ7iy̓el̓shn | Sunset Beach Park

1204 Beach Ave Vancouver, BC V6E 1V3

Accessibility SymbolASL Interpretation

Vines Art Festival 2023’s We, The Many highlights 2SLGBTIQIA+ history, existence and art with drag, music and dance. Bringing queer joy to public space acknowledges the ongoing resistance to erasure and destruction of queer spaces, lives and stories. Join us for a vibrant evening of queer brilliance as the sun sets on our glowing bodies.

Co-curated by jaye simpson

In partnership with SUM gallery + Queer Arts Festival


  • 6:00 PM – Opening with Cease Wyss
  • 6:20 PM – Erin Boy
  • 6:40 PM – Izzy Cenedese (Freshly Squeezed)
  • “Collection of songs I have written over the past 6 years.”
  • 6:45 PM – semillitxs
  • 7:10 PM – Anya Anomaly
  • 7:20 PM – Cru Alexander Timi (Heritage)
  • Heritage is about celebrating being Queer and Black. Heritage is about self expression.
  • 7:35 PM – Bo Dyp
  • 7:45 PM – Venus Noirre
  • 7:55 PM – Dolly Hardon & Vee for Victoria
  • 8:10 PM – King Kundo (Let me thrive)
  • Story telling of black trans journey, choosing self, self love and self healing.
  • 8:20 PM – SKIM
  • 8:30 PM – Jas Minh
  • 8:45 PM – DJ Nea

For more info on this program, please visit Vines Art Society’s website.

Odera Igbokwe: New Yams Festival

Thu Jun 22 – Fri Jul 28
Exhibition open hours: Tue-Sat, 12 to 6pm

SUM gallery presents a solo exhibition by Odera Igbokwe, an illustrator and painter who celebrates the magic of the African Diaspora and QTBIPOC. New Yams Festival is a direct reflection, response, and Queer reclamation of the New Yam Festival of the Igbo people. Traditionally, it is a celebration of abundance, ancestral veneration, and protection. In referencing The New Yam Festival, Odera seeks to create a visual lineage between Queer Afrofuturism and ancestral rituals.

About Odera Igbokwe

Odera Igbokwe (they/them & he/him) is an illustrator and painter located on the unceded and traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Odera loves to explore storytelling through Afro-diasporic mythologies, Black resilience and magical girl transformation sequences. Their work explores the magic of the Black imagination, and responds to the fractures that occur via diaspora and displacement. Ultimately their paintings celebrate joy, mundanity, and fantasy coexisting alongside pain and healing. As a freelance illustrator, Odera works with clients and galleries to create work that is deeply personal, soulful and intersectional.

SD Holman’s Pas-à-pas; not intent on arriving

Pas-à-pas; not intent on arriving

A new photo-based exhibition by SD Holman
The exhibition runs Apr 1 – Jun 2, 2023
SUM gallery open to the public Tue-Sat, 12 to 6pm
Opening reception (artist in attendance): Apr 1, 5 to 7pm
Live musical performances from Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa: Apr 19 at 12pm, May 13 at 5pm, May 19 at 5pm, June 2 at 5pm

Pas-à-pas; not intent on arriving is a new photo-based multidisciplinary meditation on mourning & memory by artist SD Holman, on view at SUM gallery April 1 to June 2. Pas-à-pas; not intent on arriving (pilgrimage variations) derives from Holman’s walk across Canada following the death of their wife, Catherine White Holman. This exhibit engages artist and writer Persimmon Blackbridge, who works with words from Holman’s travel journal; and using Bach’s Goldberg Variations as an organizing principle, Holman collaborates with pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, who performs at the opening and periodically during the exhibition run.

I needed to walk; walk out my door & keep walking. I don’t like walking. You died in a plane crash. I couldn’t make sense of it. I walked for 3 months / 2700 km. I took a little G11 (not my pro camera or 4×5). I made 8,000 images—99 videos—30,000 words. These are some of them.

There is no arc to this story. I did not come out of it healed.

We all grieve. I later learned that the grieving often go on walking pilgrimages. Walk. Breathe. Think. Don’t think. Circle. Repeat. Step. By step. Try to change the outcome as you move over unfamiliar terrain. Different and the same. No epic Canadian landscapes here, instead tiny human steps cycling endlessly in an intimate vista.

SD Holman

Variations are like a voyage. But … that voyage does not lead through the infinitude of the exterior world … The voyage of variations leads into the other infinitude, into the infinite diversity of the interior world hidden in all things … We know we cannot embrace the universe with its suns and stars. Much more unbearable is to be condemned to lack that other infinitude, that infinitude near at hand, within reach… we all lose in whatever we do, because if it is perfection we are after, we must go to the heart of the matter, and we can never quite reach it… there is nothing more unbearable than lacking the being we loved, those…measures and the interior world of their infinitude of possibilities. —

Milan Kundera

About SD Holman sdholman.com

SD Holman is an award-winning artist and curator born in Hollywood, California. Described as “visionary” by curator/scholar Jonathan Katz, Holman is a graduate of ECUAD Vancouver Canada, laureate of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, and Founding Artistic Director Emeritus of the multidisciplinary QAF + SUM gallery. Defining as a participant observer employing subjective conceptual documentary practice, Holman’s approach to photography is conflicted and perverse. Holman’s work deals in paradox: the cognitive dissonance between estrangement and recognition, aversion and attraction, harshness and beauty, bravura and restraint, outrageousness and subtlety, expressionism and classicism. Holman embraces Indeterminacy to open artistic practice to the random and radically break from tradition, convention, and habit.

Holman’s work has exhibited internationally including at Wellesley College, Amherst College, CLGA ArQuives (Toronto), the Advocate Gallery (Los Angeles), the Soady-Campbell Gallery (New York), the San Francisco Public Library, On Main Gallery, The Helen Pitt International Gallery, Charles H. Scott, Exposure, Gallery Gachet, the Roundhouse, Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Artropolis, and Fotobase Galleries (Vancouver). Holman’s portrait project BUTCH: Not like the other girls toured North America and is in its second print edition, published by Caitlin Press, Dagger Editions. Studio Q, Holman’s notorious DTES Art Salon in Vancouver’s Chinatown, was featured in Secrets of the City (1st edition).

About Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa iwaasa.com

Hailed in the press as a “keyboard virtuoso and avant-garde muse” (Georgia Straight) whose “emotional intensity” transforms music “from notes on a page to a stunning work of art” (Victoria Times Colonist), RACHEL KIYO IWAASA is recognized among Canada’s foremost contemporary music pianists. Rachel’s reputation for fearless performative risk has drawn many of Canada’s most notable composers to write for her, including Hildegard Westerkamp, Rodney Sharman, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, Farshid Samandari, Emily Doolittle, Jeffrey Ryan and Jordan Nobles. One half of the acclaimed contemporary flute/piano duo Tiresias with Mark Takeshi McGregor, Rachel has also performed with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Judith Forst, the Bozzini Quartet, Heather Pawsey, Gabriel Kahane, Caroline Shaw, and Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire. Rachel’s debut CD, Cosmophony, has been praised as “brilliant” and “unforgettable” (Vancouver Sun) and for “the passion, intensity and the nuanced playing she’s acclaimed for… she manages to instill a sense of dynamic tension and pull to every note” (The Province).

Read the press release for Pas-à-pas; not intent on arriving.

asian heritage month at morrow

ahmm (asian heritage month at morrow)
May 6 – 29, 2023 at Morrow, 910 Richards St, Vancouver

SUM gallery is proud to co-produce ahmm events Volume Vulva Verve and Bowl of Jasmine in partnership with Dumb Instrument Dance.

Volume Vulva Verve (May 10-14) features two vibrant solo works by accomplished creators/performers: Taiko artist Kage and dance artist Ziyian Kwan. Through sound composition, live vocals and movement, Kage’s Itadakimasu explores how food intersects with ancestral teachings and community, and how this is being threatened by colonial and capitalist forces. Ziyian’s The Odd Volume similarly emerges in resistance to forces that assimilate, displace, and racialize, articulating through movement and storytelling, her immigrant experience as a first generation Chinese-Filipina. Volume Vulva Verve powerfully voices the importance of preserving cultural knowledge and inspiring healing within ourselves and our communities.

Bowl of Jasmine (May 26-28) is a program of 2 works choreographed by Juolin Lee and Sujit Vaidya. The artists come from distinctly different backgrounds, yet they are unified by a mutual fascination with exploring the tension between imagination and reality. This program inquires into the physicality of their fantasy worlds, exploring how cultural influences in the form of scent and taste permeate through their moving bodies.

Artistic Statement, Ziyian Kwan: ahmm was born of my desire to connect with kith and kin – at Dumb Instrument Dance’s cultural space Morrow, during Asian Heritage Month. My hope is that this first iteration of a festival, which came about as an impromptu incentive, will develop and evolve into future adventures. But in the here and now, it’s so exciting to dream something into being with an extraordinary group of artists and partners. Expect intimate sharings of poetry, movement, music, film, visual art and interactive offerings of rest and nourishment, made real by co-operative imagining and camaradarie. Through events that are at once resistance and celebration, ahmm is the embrace of Asian Canadian artists who from a space of community, sing their work to shore.