Out On Screen
To illuminate, celebrate and advance queer lives through film, education and dialogue.
An equitable society where gender and sexual diversity thrives.
Art: we value art as critical to vibrant communities, as an interpretive medium to communicate complex ideas, and as an empathetic tool for change. Fun and celebration: we value joyful and uplifting shared experiences. Respect and equitable inclusion: we value the removal of barriers and the creation of platforms for a diversity of stories, voices and identities. Community engagement: we value shared experiences and partnerships to create dialogue and foster community. We value a community that feels included and invested in our work and programs. Intersectionality, anti-oppression, and social justice: we value the expression and practice of I, A-O and SJ in queer communities, arts and education.
The Vancouver Queer Film Festival
The Festival is a vibrant space for queer arts, culture, and community. It showcases dynamic and thought-provoking films from British Columbian filmmakers as well as other Canadian and international directors and storytellers. The Festival curates films which contextualize and celebrate queer lives and experiences and prioritize foregrounding diverse identities in our communities, including narratives from trans people, queer people of colour, and Indigenous people. It is Western Canada’s largest queer arts event.
We produce an internationally recognized 11 day Queer Film Festival in August each year that is a leader in accessibility and films that showcase stories least heard in society. This year the Festival is celebrating its 31st anniversary with increased programming and a special birthday dance party. Troublemakers 4.0 returns with new stories about the contributions of our local queer elders, told by young people.
The Vancouver Queer Film Festival elevates the profile of queer artists by programming immersive films, thought-provoking panels, and captivating events.
Out In Schools
Media is a powerful tool to catalyse inclusion for all sexual orientations and gender identities. Out In Schools uses film and facilitated group discussion to inform young people, educators and others of the negative impacts of discrimination. Out In Schools creates safe spaces where young people in British Columbia thrive by providing the language and tools for inclusion.
Out In Schools works closely with school districts, educators, counsellors and students to facilitate inspiring workshops tailored to the needs of each school. We collaborate with school districts and the BC Teachers Federation to deliver presentations throughout British Columbia. Out In Schools educates corporate teams, government ministries, parents, and politicians to create greater social change.
Out In Schools has reached more than 100,000 young people. We have visited 55 of British Columbia’s 60 school districts. Out In Schools actually reduces bullying in schools.
Our Commitment to Indigenous Peoples of this Land
Out On Screen acknowledges that we have existed on the unceded traditional and ancestral territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations since 1988. Out On Screen recognises the governance authority of these Nations for their shared territories and seeks to abide by their time-honoured protocols.
Being predominantly settlers and immigrants to this land from many diverse backgrounds, we recognise that we have much to learn, as well as an ongoing responsibility to share our collective histories and contribute to changing the oppression perpetuated by colonialism, even today. Reconciling past injustice, and strengthening shared understanding and awareness of history, is vital to both indigenous and non-indigenous communities. We believe in the value of truth telling and working toward good relationships so we can be a queer arts organisation that celebrates, illuminates and advances the lives of all queer people, including queer, trans and two-spirit indigenous people.
Two-spirit people encompass the myriad of gender and sexual identities prevalent in indigenous societies. They were once respected as fundamental and valued members of many indigenous cultures and societies. In the wake of colonisation in North America, two-spirit people and their traditional roles have often been erased, diminished, and displaced. We believe in contributing to a society where two-spirit people are honoured, respected and celebrated for their traditional and contemporary roles, which are supported by wider society.
As a queer non-profit organisation whose strategic shared vision includes the values of intersectionality, anti-oppression, social justice, respect, and equitable inclusivity, Out On Screen is committed to meaningfully participating in reconciliation, decolonisation, and being in right relations with two-spirit and indigenous people of this land. We believe in contributing to a process that forges and maintains respectful relationships and makes space for the centering of indigenous communities, knowledge, legal systems, and ways of being.
We realise this is a journey, not a destination; and it will be a journey defined and judged by our actions, not simply our words. We invite others to join us, support us and hold us accountable. We are as strong as our community.
To view our updated commitment and work plan, please see our 2018 Annual Report (pages 4-5).
A Brief History
1988 – The first iteration of what we know today as the Vancouver Queer Film Festival was held as a small film festival among friends. 1989 – Out On Screen becomes an official non-profit society and the first Vancouver Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is launched! 1993 – Out On Screen receives its first form of government funding with a casino license through BC Gaming. 1996 – Out On Screen is one of the first in the world to adopt the more inclusive “queer” title becoming the “Vancouver Queer Film and Video Festival” and in 2006, the “Vancouver Queer Film Festival.” 1998 – The Queer Video Production Scholarships are launched and 36 films are made over the next six years thanks to this video-training program! 2002 – The BC Film Classification Office (FCO) attempts to shut down the festival’s Opening Gala film “Little Sister’s vs Big Brother” which chronicled the late Jim Deva’s battles with the government over censorship. Fortunately, Out On Screen’s dedicated membership rallied and thwarted this ironic censorship attempt and the show went on! 2004 – Out in Schools is launched as a pilot project with presentations in six high schools in Vancouver and Burnaby. 2006 – REAL Women of Canada launches a smear campaign against the festival, claiming that only “mad hatters” attend this “waste of taxpayers’ money.” Once again, the membership at Out On Screen rallies against hateful discrimination and the festival lives on, louder and prouder than before. 2008 – Out On Screen celebrates 20 years in Vancouver and hosts a legendary and risque bathhouse party. 2011 – Celebrate Queer Vancouver engages 68 Canadian artists through film commissions and community art. Out On Screen celebrates by installing Celebrate Queer Vancouver plaques throughout the city to create a legacy of queer visibility. 2012 – Rise Against Homophobia youth video contest goes national! Youth from across the country submit their anti-bullying films proving that “Hate is not a Canadian Value.” 2013 – Out On Screen celebrates 25 years of illuminating queer lives. 2014 – In a year of groundbreaking cinema, over 50% of the festival’s feature programs are helmed by women. Not only that, these directors are aboriginal, transgender, and women of colour – intersecting identities that are the least common in above-the-line credits. 2017 – Out in Schools reaches over 60,000 students in schools across BC and beyond. 2018 – Out On Screen celebrates 30 years in Vancouver.
Meet the team
Stephanie Goodwin is a seasoned non-profit leader, bringing more than ten years of leadership from Greenpeace, most recently as the BC director and senior leadership team member. She has lived in the Brazilian Amazon for Greenpeace and is best known as one of the architects of the Great Bear rainforest agreements, the largest rainforest protection package in North American history. Also a certified secondary school teacher, Stephanie holds two degrees with a Master's on the way in education studies with a focus on indigenous-settler relations in Canada.
Most importantly, Stephanie loves to play ice hockey, take photos, travel, and hike all over the place trying to keep up with Maple, her SPCA partner in crime.
Brandon Yan 甄念本
Deputy executive director
Brandon has collaborated with the Ministry of Education, BC Teachers' Federation, UBC Faculty of Education, and the ARC Foundation to address the needs of LGBT2Q+ youth through policies and practices that foster inclusive and more supportive school environments. Growing up as a mixed-race queer kid in Langley, he never saw role models who looked like him on TV or in film, and if he did they were never queer. If they were queer, they were never Asian. Brandon understands that representation of diverse and complex intersecting identities is important, and it is this conviction and his experience as a activist, advocate, and educator that led him run for Vancouver city council in 2018. Though he didn't win, it brought forward important conversations on representation, race, sexuality, and politics.
Anoushka Ratnarajah is a leading writer, performer, and arts organiser whose works explore the intersection of identity, belonging and community. She is an associate artist and facilitator at ShapeShift Arts, and works as a producer, director, playwright and filmmaker. Recent artistic endeavours include the continued co-creation of Toasted Marshmallows, a documentary that explores what it means to be a mixed-race woman in North America today, and partnered projects with Kalik, an interdisciplinary arts company and spaceship, including “Dear Armen”, and an upcoming production of “(Untitled) Boxes” at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Anoushka holds a BFA in creative writing and an MA in arts politics.
After completing his Master’s Degree in Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Sam Snobelen picked up an advanced arts and entertainment management certificate from Capilano University and promptly cut his fundraising teeth as the sponsorship and events officer of Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Sam has always been passionate about disseminating art and engaging people in creative work. He is excited to be working with one of Vancouver’s premiere queer arts organisations in a capacity which allows him to see high caliber films and to support work with which he personally connects.
Calling herself ‘a performer on pause,’ Naheed is passionate about the art of storytelling, and youth engagement, and is excited to share her knowledge and experience in intersectional community building and fundraising for non-profits. She is eager to continue striving for justice for queer communities, here on Coast Salish Territory and beyond!
Naheed is grateful to be working with an organisation that uses a diversity of tactics to push for positive systemic and community level change. In her free time, you can find Naheed eating potatoes by lakes, rivers and oceans, or singing songs from her favourite musicals.
Gavin K Somers
Out In Schools program manager
Gavin joined the Out in Schools team first as a facilitator in 2014. In supporting organizational growth, Gavin stepped into the Program Assistant role and is now excited to continue working with Out in Schools as the program coordinator.
Passionate about the power of storytelling, Gavin is a writer, musician and artist.
Gavin captivates audiences with humour and kindness; compelling others to engage in the act of self-reflection for communal growth with the goal of moving towards social equity.
In their spare time, Gavin can be found hanging out in parks with their dog, Felony, escaping the city, and nourishing new/old relationships.
Out In Schools coordinator
Miranda is a mixed race, queer, femme born and raised on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
Miranda has been dedicated to equity based facilitation since 2010. Since early 2017, she has been a facilitator for Out In Schools. After a brief stint as the program assistant for Out In Schools, she is excited to be stepping into the role of program coordinator.
At home she is visual artist and retired poet, a meme connoisseur, as well as a loving cat parent. By night, Miranda is an ASL student at Vancouver Community College.
Out In Schools programmer
Northern Coast Salish from the Homalco Nation, Jo has been living as a visitor in Vancouver on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations since 2011. They are a queer, mixed, urban Indigenous activist, spoken word poet and facilitator. With their work and facilitation, Jo enjoys holding space for complex conversations and using the transformative power of storytelling and the arts to shift perspectives. With their writing, Jo hopes to weave together stories in ways that lift up their communities, and contribute to collective healing, rage, resurgence and love.
Jessica Somers is founder of Cordova Street Consulting, a CPA firm working to change the landscape of tax advising from a black box to an open conversation. Jessica approaches clients from a perspective of knowledge sharing, outreach, and taking the stress and mystery out of tax and accounting!
Jessica also serves as treasurer on the board of several non-profits in Vancouver including: Reel Causes, Yoga Outreach, and Room Magazine.
When not crunching numbers, Jessica enjoys swing dancing, watching thought-provoking films, and drinking beer in East Van.
Alysha arrived in Vancouver via Toronto in 2018. She worked as Manager of Fundraising at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the world’s largest and longest-running queer theatre, and as Co-Director and Co-Founder of Girls Rock Camp Toronto before arriving at Out On Screen.
Alysha completed the non-profit management program at George Brown College and has completed numerous volunteer management, anti-oppression, and fundraising courses over the past several years. She also plays a mean bass guitar with her band, By Divine Right and cohosts the world's best podcast about the band Sleater-Kinney, Words and Guitar.
Festival Programming Coordinator
Justin Ducharme is a filmmaker, writer, dancer and curator from the small Métis community of St. Ambroise on Treaty 1 Territory. He is a graduate from Vancouver Film School, and the writer/director of three short narrative films. He has been jigging since the age of 7, performing with The St. Ambroise Youth Steppers and the Louis Riel Métis Dancers. Justin is the co-editor of Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers Poetry alongside Amber Dawn. His writing has been featured in Sex Worker Wisdom and PRISM International magazine. He currently lives and works on Unceded Coast Salish Territory.
Catherine J. Wong is a Vancouver based family law and criminal defence lawyer. A large part of her practice focuses on assisting clients from the LGBTQ2S+ communities in British Columbia. Prior to opening her own law practice, she was a Federal Crown prosecutor and completed her articles at the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. Catherine obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Western Ontario. She holds a LL.B. from the University of British Columbia and completed her Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics. Serving on the Board of Out on Screen continues to be one of the most rewarding and inspirational experiences she has ever had.
Lori is an educator, dog lover and media enthusiast. Prior to returning to Vancouver to complete her graduate work in Educational Studies, Lori lived and worked in Chicago and Seattle as a IT procurement manager, IT project manager, and HIV outreach coordinator/ curriculum writer. She credits her current love of teaching to this circuitous career path. Having worked with and developed an abiding love for Out in Schools, Lori looks forward to life as an Out On Screen Board Member.
Rudolph is an Audit Manager currently working at Rolfe Benson LLP with several years of experience in providing assurance and taxation services to not-for-profit organizations and private companies. He loves cats, interior design, video games, and snowboarding. He is honoured to be a member of the Board of Directors.
Melanie Matining is a queer pin@y activist and community organizer on the traditional and unceded Coast Salish territories. Her work focuses on the importance of social spaces in movement building and the necessary intersections of community-determined access, placemaking, and solidarity building. She convenes communities to create platforms for celebration, healing, and just dancing it all out. She organizes queer events such as Denim Vest and Open Relationship, which do exactly such. In the recent past, she also worked as the Community Development Manager at Heartwood, a social space that was centred on community and movement building. On the day to day, Melanie walks everyday in love and liberation alongside communities working towards queer rights, Indigenous solidarity, and migrant justice.
Coming from a background that includes a Bachelor of Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto, Chad is a hospitality industry professional who is most recognized for his role as Director of Operation for the Hawksworth Restaurant Group. Chad loves Vancouver and has many years of service on boards with the Vancouver Recital Society, Vancouver Opera, and the CANFAR Legacy Foundation. His goal is to continually enhance Vancouver culture and community by serving as an ambassador for the arts and valuable social organizations such as Out in Schools. He is husband to the man of his dreams, Matt Corker, and is passionate about family and community. In his spare time, you will find Chad running, biking or swimming his way across an Ironman or marathon finish line somewhere in the world.
Gerhard L. Maynard works as an Organizational Development Consultant with Community Living British Columbia. As an HR professional he collaborates with leaders to translate business strategies into actions driving results through people. With a strong background in non-profit management, team development, conflict resolution, and labour relations, he brings a wealth of experience over the last fifteen years working in Senior Leadership positions in the private, public, and social-profit sector. He is excited and humbled to be part of the Out on Screen Board of Directors. A competitive curler and an avid dance and musical theatre consumer--he's excited to be part of "Advancing, celebrating, and illuminating queer lives through film education and dialogue.
Director at large
Aimee is Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, French, and South American and is working towards learning more about her family history and traditions as a way of decolonizing. She grew up on the unceded territory of the Sto:lo people in Chilliwack, but currently lives and works on Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver. She holds a B.Ed and an MCP, and uses this education to blend Traditional healing practices and ways of knowing with westernized therapeutic methods. Aimee is a two-spirit woman and spends much of her professional and personal time working to create safer spaces for LGBTQ youth. She has worked and volunteered in the non-profit sector for over 5 years, involving herself in decolonization initiatives, youth sexual health projects, and anti-oppressive campaigns.
Director at large
Michelle Wilson is an ally, artist, and art director in the field of communications. Since her daughter – Tru Wilson – came out as transgender at the age of 9, Michelle and her family have become avid advocates for trans rights. They are active supporters of SOGI 123, and Michelle often speaks publicly to share her story as a parent and reinforce the importance of supporting your children. Michelle is currently the VP of Creative Strategy at NATIONAL Public Relations in Vancouver, and is also a member of the Board for GDay. Michelle is proud to be a new member of the Board of Directors of Out On Screen and contribute to the tremendous and creative work they are already doing.
Director at large
Christopher (Chris) Hallamore is an HR professional with over 20 years' experience in labour & employee relations, workforce analytics, strategic workforce planning, organization design, and professional coaching. He has worked at BC Hydro for over 11 years, and is also the co-founder and co-chair of the BC Hydro Pride Network, an employee resource group for BC Hydro's LGBT2Q+ employees & contractors. When he's not working, Chris can often be found in a swimming pool: Chris is a Masters Swimmer, and has swam, coached, and volunteered with five of Canada's queer swim teams. Chris's love of diverse queer stories first brought him to Out on Screen in 2008, and he has returned as a hard core Festie every year since then.
Marketing & sponsorship coordinator
Ervin is a first-generation Asian Canadian who lives on and occupies unceded Musqueam, Stó:lō, Squamish, & Tsleil-Waututh territory. He is entering his 4th year at UBC, studying Sociology and a minor in Critical Studies in Sexuality. He is particularly interested and focuses on the dynamics of race, diaspora, gender, and sexuality, and their relations to socioeconomic and digital forces.
Passionate about community building and representation, Ervin is excited to be back at Out On Screen and use his non-profit marketing experience to uplift vibrant LGBT2Q+ stories. You can find Ervin playing music and singing in his free time, running with his new Alaskan Malamute, or spiralling down a YouTube rabbit hole.
Community events coordinator
Morgan is a young Black, kinky, queer femme, full-time activist and part-time artist residing on the stolen lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, S’ólh Téméxw, Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ peoples. She has been co-curator of a salon series called Black Chat for the last 3 years, making space for Black folks to simply exist and be Black while being fed both food & knowledge. Running this space out-of-pocket and her home space with her Aunt is a foundational act to counter the constant policing of Black lives, and shine a light on the importance of intergenerational organizing. She has been a member of Black Lives Matter Vancouver for the past year, uniting the Black community in the lower mainland to fight the oppressive forces at be. Morgan works (and plays) through an intersectional feminist lens that begins with & centralizes women of colour, especially queer and trans women of colour. She is excited to be working with Out On Screen, and to bring her energy & roaring activism.
Work with us
Front of House
About the position
You love interacting with the public and have a friendly and helpful manner. Our Front of House Volunteers are the first people our patrons meet when they arrive at a venue. You make the Festival experience fun and friendly.
- Greeters welcome patrons and help guide them to the Box Office, Passholder, or Membership tables.
- Ushers check that everyone has their pass slip or ticket and membership for the film and direct patrons to the appropriate lines. Once the film has finished, you will also assist staff to ensure all patrons leave safely and have everything the need.
- Accessibility Volunteers will be on the lookout for people who need assistance accessing seats or other aids while waiting for a film to start. Working with Festival staff, you will also arrange for these patrons to enter the theatre first.
- Ticket Takers scan tickets and ensure everyone arriving is at the appropriate venue and screening time.
Box Office and Membership
About the position
You love interacting with the public and have a penchant for accurate cash handling. These roles assist our Box Office Cashiers and oversee Membership sales which are crucial to our Society. Accuracy is of utmost importance. You are able to guarantee that the guests have a great experience at your table and leave with enthusiasm for the upcoming film!
- Will Call volunteers help connect patrons with their pre-purchased tickets and passes, making sure that everyone has what they need to enjoy the Festival.
- Membership volunteers ensure patrons get the proper membership tier (Adult or Youth), and are responsible for counting and balancing the floats and daily cash sales.
- Passholder volunteers will hand passholders their screening slip(s) and ensure some of our most frequent visitors have a positive experience at the Festival.
Parties and Events
About the position
You love parties and event planning. Everyone still talks about how you moved that theme party to the park next door after a neighbour complained. You’re a problem solver and you’re not afraid to get dirty for an awesome final product. This position requires physical labour.
- Event Volunteers help to make sure our parties and special events go off without a hook. You’re a people person who’s willing to pour drinks, pass nibbles, and make sure folks have a good time.
- Set Up or Strike Volunteers roll up their sleeves to do the heavy lifting. They do the work behind the scenes to roll out the red carpets and sweep up after a good night out.
- Volunteer Drivers get folks from Point A to Point B, keeping the Festival mobile and helping us reach all corners of our communities. If you’ve ever dreamed of being an Uber driver, this spot’s for you!
About the position
You’re naturally outgoing, excited about the Festival, and love meeting new people. You’re not afraid to be loud, sill, and maybe even a bit foolish. Extroverts to the front of the line! This position requires physical labour.
- Street Team members create a visible presence for the Festival and Out On Screen throughout our communities.
- You’re eager to get out and share our story at places like Vancouver Pride, East Side Pride, the Dyke March, Car Free Days, and other special events.
- During the Festival, you will be support our promotional efforts by dropping off flyers at clubs, chalking sidewalks, and helping to keep our Festival Guide locations well stocked.
About the position
You believe in the power of representation and sharing stories through images. Capturing queer lives is something you’re passionate about. You have your own camera equipment and have some experience photographing events. Your role is to ensure the memories of our amazing festival live on.
- Photographers’ overall goal is to capture the event in full, from wide photos where we see the event in its entirety, to mediums of people attending, to close-ups of the small details.
- This is a great way to get experience photographing dynamic, interesting community events with lots of people.
- All photos taken can be used in your portfolio.