Queer has become a commodity. The palatable queer; safe for consumption by straight audiences. The Rose Festival strives to be a space to tell our stories in our own voices using and exploring our aesthetics. And while representation does matter, and we do need allies who include us in their work, we need a space where everybody is Queer and therefore Queer ceases to be the story leaving only amazing, boundary-pushing art. For 3 days in May, in Montreal, The Rose Festival strives to give Queer artists the opportunity to create and show their work without apologies, to speak in their full voices, to fully embrace their Queer identity without having to straighten or subdue their art in any way for an audience. Art from an array of disciplines — from ceramics to photographs to classical piano to a drag queen poet to a storyteller to movement based theatre to tango dancing to documentary sound art. Art that foregrounds the diversity within our community, but that also shares a common aesthetic that looks at how we connect and how we make meaning within those connections. We believe in a pay what you decide model to make our art accessible to all audiences, and make every effort to host in fully accessible spaces and enforce safe spaces policies at all of our events.
Our festival is small, but growing. In the next five years, we hope to acquire the financial stability to offer a week-long showing of queer creations, extending and encouraging the dialogue within the queer community and amongst queer artists and their allies. Eventually, we dream of the day that we can own an actual, physical space - a garden bed, if you will - within which queer bodies will know that they are safe, leaving queer minds free to explore and create, and queer hearts unfettered in their abilities to follow their passions and discover their unique aesthetic language.
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.