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
Justine Orbovic graduated in 2016 from Concordia with a bachelors in Theatre. They have done a lot of work behind the scenes, first as a Stage Manager and now as an co-founder and co-producer with the Rose Festival.
They are currently studying Industrial Design in Toronto at OCAD, and hope to broaden their horizons and to come back as a Set/Prop designer in the near future.
Corrina Hodgson is a queer, disabled playwright from Toronto, currently living in Montreal. She is the co-founder and co-producer of The Rose Festival, and is grateful to be part of such a welcoming and vibrant arts scene.
Anton May is an openly Queer, British born, Montreal based performer, an honours graduate from Dawson College’s Professional Theatre Program (2015-16) and an alumni of Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program (2016-17). Since graduating, he has had the privilege to perform across Eastern Canada with Geordie Productions for their 2 Play Tour (The Mountain/Pinky Swear, 2017-18), has performed across the border (Auburn, New York) in The PiTCH at The Finger Lakes Musical Festival as well as Feinstein’s 54 Below. He also appeared as Lady Capulet in Repercussion Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet: Love is Love (2018). He also performed in an 8 hour performance piece with Going Inside Arts (Shelter in Shadows) When he is not acting, he is sharing his talents in singing and poetry in musical cabarets and open-mic nights in Montreal.
He has been with the Rose Fest since the very beginning and has performed as an actor in several pieces. This festival holds a special place in his heart due to it being the only queer arts festival in the anglo scene. He is now excited to be more involved in this upcoming festival and assist in bringing it to new heights.
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.