The Rose Festival is a festival for Queer Artists run by Queer artists. We embrace the philosophy of “nothing about us without us.” While we recognize that more stories are calling themselves Queer, we call into question their use of the term.
At the Rose Festival, Queer Art means art created by Queer creators, curated by Queer curators, directed by Queer directors, embodied by Queer performers. And while we applaud the growing number of lgbt+ characters starting to emerge in our mainstream stories, we are not satisfied by representation alone, and we know that Queer creators were telling their stories and creating their art long before it became commodified by mainstream entertainment. The Rose Festival seeks to tell these Queer stories, and provide a platform for Queer art. The festival strives to give Queer artists the opportunity to create and show their work without apology, to speak full voiced, to fully embrace their Queer identity, without having to straighten or temper their art in any way for fear of offending an audience. Moreover, we prioritize those voices that are marginalized within our community — poc, disabled, SWer voices.
We know that now more than ever our rights, our bodies, our very existences are being called into question and are in jeopardy. We want to support and amplify the voices of the brave creators who are continuing to make their art in the midst of this flux. The Rose Festival is a space of revolt, of bravery, of speaking out even when our knees shake. The Rose Festival is about taking risks, not playing it safe. It’s about taking a leap and finding your voice.
While The Rose Festival foregrounds the diversity of voices and experiences within our community, we come together with a common aesthetic and this aesthetic allows for us to make connections and meaning as a community. It is through aesthetics that we reach beyond our community to our allies, as well, finding common ground through the language of art.
who we are
The Rose Festival was born out of a desire to change the script.
Founded in 2017, The Rose Festival gathered in Psychic City to mount 9 readings of lgbtq+ scripts by playwrights who lived, worked or studied in and around Montreal. Over the course of three nights, we welcomed spectators and artists alike who continuously told us that Montreal not only was ready for, but was hungry for a Queer Arts Festival.
We are a group of queer folx from a variety of backgrounds who are passionate about the arts and the ability of the arts to create community.
We believe in the power of creativity to destabilize hegemonic norms that keep people marginalized based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
We believe that these voices in the margins not only deserve to be heard, but need to be heard, if there is to be change.
We believe change needs to happen.
At the Rose Festival, we are striving to provide a platform for these creative voices. We do this by volunteering our time and our skills to create websites, videos and social media campaigns. To assist with staging, mounting and displaying work.
Most importantly of all, The Rose Festival is comprised of Queers. We are Queer folx producing a festival of Queer artists for Queer and straight audiences to enjoy.