Arts & Entertainment
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VIDEO: Queer film fest kicks off

Opening night gala brings together local celebs and community leaders

The big queer parties don’t end with the Pride march here in Vancouver. Attendees at the opening night gala for the 19th annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival might say they’ve only just begun.

Community leaders, actors, local celebrities and members of the wider community came out to experience the mystical theme of the event held at Celebrities Nightclub on Aug 16.

The dance floor turned into a makeshift opera house as opera singers delivered a transcendent performance. Skeena Reece and Leela Gilday performed a piece called They Walk Among Us, which was curated by Kevin Lee Burton. This was followed by an evening of dancing kicked off with a beat box performance by David Fainsilber.

“It’s one of Vancouver’s largest queer media events, it’s obviously a great festival,” says Shaw TV host Johanna Ward who was at the event. “There’s tons of films, internationally and of course great local artists.”

One of those artists in attendance was local performer Tracey Bell. “The queer film festival is phenomenal,” she says. “It’s all about making beautiful art, human rights issues, education and blah blah blah. It’s fabulous!”

Event organizers expect 12,000 people will attend this year’s festival which runs until Aug 26.

Watch’s report on the queer film fest: