Connecting the dots for Black People In Vancouver.

Black Van Club was born out of the desire to connect and share events around Vancouver for and by Black People. Check out their Instagram @vanblackclub for weekly event updates!

Vancouver, Blackness, Culture.

Vancouver Black Library

Described as “a safe space for thinkers, artists and other community members looking for connection,” VBL offers a free book borrowing system for resources and a workspace for and by POC folks.

Follow their Instagram for event announcements and mutual aid calls @vanblacklibarary

Located in the basement of the Sun Wah Centre, 072-268 Keefer St. Hours are 12-6pm, Thursday through Saturday.

The Black Arts Centre (BLAC)

The Black Arts Centre (BLAC) is a Black youth owned and operated gallery and community site based in Surrey, BC that is dedicated to supporting multidisciplinary art created by Black youth.

Love Intersections

Love Intersections is a media arts collective made up of queer artists of colour dedicated to using collaborative art making and relational storytelling to address systemic racism in our communities. We produce intersectional and intergenerational stories from underrepresented communities of colour – centering the invisible, the spiritual, the metaphysical and the imaginary. We believe in deep and meaningful relationships, that intersectionality is a verb and a call to action, that we must cultivate social trust through collective care and community responsibility. Our desire is to provoke (he)artful social change through a lens of love.

Hogan’s Alley Society

The Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS) is a non-profit organization composed of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers and academics committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia. HAS adopts a research driven approach to community development that seeks to preserve and promote the historical, cultural, societal and economic contributions made by Black Settlers and their descendants to Vancouver, Greater Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest and Canada. With this history in the archives, HAS is in process of developing partnerships with local government and business interests to acquire and develop land and operate assets as a community land trust.

Battered Women’s Support Services

Battered Women’s Support Services provides support and advocacy for women, trans women and gender minorities who have experienced abuse. Programs include support groups, counselling, Women’s Safety and Outreach Program, career exploration, legal advocacy, YOUth Ending Violence; and Violence, Media Representations and Families media literacy program


PACE Society

PACE provides critical frontline supports to Sex Workers, including violence prevention education, one-to-one support, advocacy & referrals, peer outreach, and drop-in services.


Rainbow Refugee

Rainbow Refugee supports and assists LGBTQ and/or HIV+ asylum seekers, refugee claimants and refugees in Canada . They also hold information drop-ins where lesbian gay bi trans queer /HIV+ people considering or making a claim can learn about the application process and community resources.

WISH Drop-In Centre Society

WISH works to improve the health, safety and well-being of women who are involved in Vancouver’s street-based sex trade. 

WISH Shelter:

340 Alexander Street (entrance in alley)

Vancouver, BC, Canada V6A 1C3


JQT Vancouver 

An arts, cultural and educational non-profit dedicated to creating connections and seeking space to celebrate our intersectional identities as Jews of all ages, diverse sexual orientations, as well as gender and sex identities, by queering Jewish space and ‘Jewifying’ queer space. 

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House

Kiwassa Neighbourhood House is a gathering place where people of all ages, cultures and walks of life can make friends, participate in programs, find resources, share ideas, and contribute to community life. Offers free meals, counselling and children’s programs primarily geared towards low-income families. Located in the heart of the east Vancouver/Commercial Drive area where a large population of trans/gender variant and queer people reside.



Mosaic delivers services from 32 client-accessible sites; services include settlement assistance; English language training; employment programs; interpretation and translation; counselling services; and community outreach for families and individuals, including children, youth and seniors.  MOSAIC also offers services for the LGBTQ and temporary foreign worker communities.


Saige Community Food Bank – Trans/Gender Variant Safe Space

The food bank provides a safe space for transgender and gender non-conforming or queer individuals to access healthy food, as well as support from their LGBT peers.

Dragonstone Counselling – lower-cost counselling

Core values of offering respectful and informed holistic care to people who have experienced marginalization. Lower-cost counselling for $60 or less. They do not turn people away due to lack of funds. Prioritizes lower cost counselling for the following groups of people:

  • people with disabilities and chronic health conditions
  • newcomers to Canada
  • including undocumented newcomers
  • LGBTQ people
  • Black, Indigenous and People of Colour
  • and single parents


Time-Lapse Catalogue

SUM Gallery’s first publication, documenting the Geoff McMurchy retrospective Time-Lapse: Posthumous Conversations. Including essay contributions from co-curators Yuri Arajs, SD Holman, and Persimmon Blackbridge as well as Paula Jardine and David Roche. 46 pages, full color. ($30)

Shipping costs are $6 within Canada, $12 within the US. Please contact us for international shipping rates.

Download digital copy – click on this link.

To browse visual art catalogues documenting SUM gallery’s annual Queer Arts Festival, please click here.


SUM Gallery is Calling all Volunteers!

Volunteering can be an exciting, fun, educational experience. You are what makes this festival happen.This year’s festival will be different. It will be held online. 

Festival attendees will be able to enjoy all the events and performances from their own homes. Do we still need volunteers? Sure we do! This new festival format presents new challenges and we are counting on you to help.

We may need very few volunteers to help with the staging of some performances, but mostly we are looking for online volunteers. We want this to be the best attended festival ever and we need you to spread the word. Are you on social media? Facebook or Instagram or Twitter – even TikToK? We need volunteers to like and share and comment on the QAF social media posts. It will be simple and take less than 5 mins a day in the weeks before and during the festival. Full instructions will be given.

Need another reason to volunteer? All volunteers will receive an all-access virtual pass to link to all QAF online events and performances! In addition, we promise to invite you to our closing party NEXT year so we get to say thank you in person.


Virtual Volunteer – Social Media

Do you have a few minutes each day to amplify our social media reach?

Are you active on social media? Do you have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr or even Tik-Tok accounts?

We need volunteers to like and follow our social media channels and to like, share and comment on our social media posts.

(FB: /qafvancouver  | Twitter: @QAFVancouver | Instagram: @QueerArts)

Liking is great. Liking and sharing is better. Liking, commenting and sharing is the best, as is retweeting with your own positive comments.

If you are particularly interested in an event, how about asking your social media friends to join you? Information about QAF 2020 program of events is on our website at

From now until the end of QAF 2020 we will be posting on multiple channels about the festival, events, performers and participants.

We may have to post important updates about tickets or the venue or platform for individual events. Your efforts could help greatly.


More Virtual Volunteer positions to be announced soon!, for more information email us at:

Karin Lee: QueerSUM 心

May 12 – August 18 I Opening May 12 2 – 4pm

The gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 12-6pm, closed on Sundays and Mondays, and statutory holidays.

Curated by Paul Wong and SD Holman
Presentation Partner: On Main Gallery

Queer-sum a “Chinglish” translation and play on the words Queer Love, alludes to queer attraction that people experience, even though they believe themselves to be straight identified – or queer-sum (sum=heart=love).

QueerSUM心 presents three of Karin Lee’s media works: a 2-channel remix of her classic 16mm film My Sweet Peony Remix, a fantastical drama shot in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens; Portrait of a Girl, a documentary shot in Beijing; and Small Pleasures, a period drama set in Barkerville BC.

The works not only investigate sentiments of being “Queer-sum,” but pay tribute to Vancouver’s Chinatown—where Lee spent her childhood—and examine the underlying racism which contributed to the very creation of “Chinatowns” amidst the colonization of Indigenous peoples.

My Sweet Peony Remix, shot in 16mm film in 1994, is a short fantastical drama that spins a tale of sexuality, gender and desire featuring Zamma – a Chinese Canadian garden guide (played by Sook-Yin Lee) who is stalked by a white feminist outreach worker and a Caucasian Maoist student, but is awakened by her attraction to an Asian-Canadian dyke, all the while perplexed by an other-world cross-dressing Taoist monk. My Sweet Peony Remix plays with the notion of cultural identity (or identity politics of the 90s) and race: then and now—what remains the same and what has changed in the 25 years since the film was made.

Portrait of a Girl is a peek into the life of Han Dong Qing, a cage dancer who works in the Beijing club scene. She speaks about her life, her story of adoption and her sexuality. Candid and defiant, she is always searching for love, acceptance and family.

Small Pleasures tells the story of three women from very different worlds trying to convey complex ideas about feminist resistance to each other through a common language: Chinook Jargon—an intercultural trade language used throughout the Pacific Coast until the early 1900s. Set in the late 1800s in Barkerville, this film explores how marginalized women in late nineteenth century rural Canada create individual identities in a world prescribed to fit the needs of men.

About the artist:

“Karin Lee is a Canadian Screen Award-winning, trailblazing filmmaker who has focused on telling stories about women and Chinese-Canadians for more than three decades.” Sabrina Furminger / Westender June 7, 2017

Born and raised in Vancouver, Karin is a unique storyteller whose critical voice and perspective touches on the past and the present, both local and international. An artist who constantly traverses new territory, Lee challenges film and media forms and addresses new audiences.

Themes of trans-Pacific migration, gender, identity and intercultural contact surface in her documentaries such as Made in China, which portrayed Chinese adoptees in Canada searching for their identity; Cedar and Bamboo, which highlighted intermarriage between Chinese immigrants and First Nations people; and Canadian Steel, Chinese Grit, which depicted the outcome of migration for the Chinese who came to Canada to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Her early influences and links to China grew from her exposure to the ideology and the political movement of Chinese socialism in Canada through Lee’s father, who ran a fledgling communist bookstore in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in the 1960s – the 2005 film Comrade Dad.

Lee’s art has been heavily influenced by her own family history. For example, her great-grandmother Tsang Ho Shee, who herself had bound feet when she arrived in Barkerville in 1901, is the inspiration for Small Pleasures. Now, three generations after Tsang Ho Shee arrived in Canada, Lee’s realization that she benefited from her great-grandmother’s acts of feminist resistance, has driven her to expand representations of the history of marginalized women in the Chinese diaspora and, most importantly, to contribute to the minimal coverage of women’s stories in the arts and Canadian media.

In 2001, Karin received a Gemini: The Canada Award for her groundbreaking documentary Made in China, about Chinese children adopted in Canada. In 2005 she received a BC Leo Diversity in Cultures Award and 2015 –diversity award from Women in Film for Cedar and Bamboo.

She has just completed the TV pilot for Plan B, a black comedic drama series set in a women’s sexual health clinic. She is currently in pre-production on Girl with Big Feet (Ts’ekoo Cha Ke), a period drama and Incorrigible – a feature documentary about women who were incarcerated in Ontario for being morally “incorrigible”.

She was a Sessional Instructor at SFU’s Asia-Canada program and Adjunct Professor at UBC’s Film Production program. Karin was awarded the Mayor’s Arts Award for Film and New Media Artist in 2014 and was nominated for the 2017 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Education, Training and Development and received the Spotlight Award from Vancouver Women in Film and Video Society in 2017.