By Casey Stepaniuk
You might not think of a film festival immediately when you’re brainstorming family and kid-friendly activities in Vancouver this summer, but I’m here to tell you not to discount Out On Screen’s Vancouver Queer Film Festival. The Festival runs for ten days in August—August 10th until August 20th—and has a plethora of activities including but not limited to movies the whole family and people of all ages can enjoy.
The event you’re definitely going to want to check out with young ones—or anyone young at heart—is the Chosen Family Story Hour. This is just like the library story time parents are familiar with, but featuring three queer kids lit authors reading their own books! Monique Grey Smith, Alan Woo and Vivek Shraya are going to read their respective books: My Heart Fills with Happiness, Maggie’s Chopsticks, and The Boy & The Bindi! While they’re reading, their books will appear page-by-page on the big screen. These three picture books are all beautiful, and feature empowering stories featuring kids of colour. Chosen Family Story Hour is happening August 13th at 3:30pm at Waterfront Theatre.
You also don’t want to miss the Chosen Family Picnic, which is conveniently scheduled right after Story Hour. Head down to Water Park – Sutcliffe Park on Granville Island for an all-ages family picnic. Bring your own blanket and your favourite picnic food. The festival’s photographer is going to be there snapping candid queer family shots, too!
There are also a ton of “youth-rated” movies—ones appropriate for under 17-year-olds—to check out at the Festival proper. In particular, this year’s Youth Gala featuring the behind-the-scenes documentary Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall is a must-see. Behind the Curtain is about Black gay “multi-talented YouTube and Broadway star Todrick Hall [as he] launches his most ambitious project yet: the full-scale original musical Straight Outta Oz.” Also, don’t miss Troublemakers Film Project: Troublemakers 2.0, a evening of short films about “troublemaking seniors” made by aspiring youth filmmakers.
If you’re a parent wanting to attend some films without the kiddos, take advantage of this amazing subsidy if you need to: at each screening, parents or guardians can receive $ 10 at the venue to assist with childcare costs. This childcare subsidy is generously supported by barbara findlay Q.C.
Where: Various locations; check out the Festival’s listing of venues for film screenings and events
When: August 10th – 20th 2017; check the Festival website for dates and times of specific movies and events
How Much: Varying costs! Chosen Family Story Hour is FREE, as is Chosen Family Picnic. See this Festival tickets page for full info on movie screening prices, including six ticket packs especially for youth under 24.
More: Want to attend the Vancouver Queer Film Festival next year (in 2018) for free – including flights and ten nights of accommodation? Click here to enter to win!
Casey Stepaniuk is a writer and librarian-in-training who runs the website Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, where you can find LGBTQ+ Canadian book reviews and a queer book advice column. She also writes for Book Riot. Find her on Twitter: @canlesbrarian
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