We are looking forward to seeing you – virtually – for our 5th annual Bi+ Arts Festival.
This year you can set your own Festival schedule and watch from home (no more running from venue to venue).
Stop by our Youtube channel anytime (ANYTIME!!) between Thursday September 23rd, early, and Sunday September 26th, late – where we will be sharing poetry, short films, fiction, music, burlesque, activities and workshops, and a live-streamed zine launch for our new zine FLIRT (in partnership with QT Literary Magazine). You can also watch here, on our website.
Be sure to subscribe to our channel for all Festival updates. Videos go live Sept 23rd early and POOF! they will all vanish Sept 26th, late.
- 2021 Author Showcase
- 2021 Cabaret
- 2021 Film Showcase
- Makers’ Corner
- Postcards From
- Special Presentation: Hi, How are You Today?
- Bi+ Marketplace (buy direct from bi+ aka bisexual, pansexual, 2S and queer – artists & authors)
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS / AUTHORS –
Alana Boltwood does not limit herself to one art medium or one gender. Her favourite art tools include: eighth-inch masking tape, round nose pliers, a macro lens, and a script brush dipped in Dioxazine Purple liquid acrylic. Alana’s latest dabbling is at https://www.instagram.com/alanaboltwood/
Alyssa Pisciotto is a queer artist from LaSalle, Ontario and now resides in Toronto. She graduated from OCAD University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Drawing and Painting and minoring in Printmaking. Painting and printmaking are her primary practice. Her current work revolves around themes of colour, line and shape, and how they interact with one another. Find her on the web at: www.alyssapisciotto.com and on Instagram as @that_glitter_chick_
Amanda Scriver (she/they) is a journalist and podcaster known for being fat, loud, and shouty on the Internet. Her writing has appeared on Refinery 29, The Toronto Star, The Washington Post, Healthline, and Xtra. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her partner where they obsessively watch TikToks, drag and memes. She’s still trying to find the best potato chip buffet combo. Suggestions welcomed!
Amanda Lederle (they/them) is a neurodiverse, queer Chinese-Canadian born, recovering perfectionist and empathic human. Their work aims to connect with others in one’s search for self identity and understanding. Amanda’s work has been shown at group exhibitions, publications and has been invited to lead workshops and artist talks. You can also see Amanda at festivals and workshops as an Active Listener. They are also on the Lived Experience Research Committee at the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and University of British Columbia’s Asian Mental Health Committee as well as the founder of CreateBeingCreateBeing, a company that focuses on creativity and mental health. You can find more on AmandaLederle.com and CreateBeing.com, and on Instagram @AmandaLederle and @CreateBeing.
Anastasia Meicholas writes that growing up in the Bahamas was very difficult and restrictive for them: “I realised from early on that it was going to be impossible for me to be the person who I really was. I was surrounded by intolerance and closed-minded individuals. This made it very clear to me that I was never going to be accepted as an individual, not for the type of art I was making, and definitely not for my sexuality.” Anastasia’s work is strongly influenced by the constant sunshine and bright blue ocean of the Bahamas along with the wilderness near their former home in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Anita (AJ) Dolman (she/they) is author of Lost Enough: A collection of short stories and three poetry chapbooks, and co-edited Motherhood in Precarious Times. Her poetry, fiction and essays appear in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Imaginary Safe House, Arc Poetry Magazine and Crush. They founded Ottawa’s Crafty Bi Nature.
Anuja Varghese (she/her) is a QWOC Pushcart-nominated writer with a degree in English Literature from McGill University. Her work appears in Hobart, The Malahat Review, Plenitude Magazine, Humber Literary Review, and others. In 2021, she took on the role of Fiction Editor with The Puritan Magazine. She is currently working on a debut novel while pursuing a Creative Writing Certificate from the University of Toronto. Anuja can be found on Instagram (@anuja_v) and Twitter (@Anuja_V), or by visiting her website anujavarghese.com. She lives in Hamilton with her partner, two kids, and two cats.
Babia Majora is a bisexual trans non binary artist who saunters all the way along the gender spectrum. They are a proud member of Canada’s first BIPOC centred burlesque troupe, Les Femmes Fatales: Women of Colour Burlesque Troupe, and drag haus Rebel Gen.
Bianca Boom Boom – the ‘Triple B With The Double D’s And A High C’ – is a curvy, campy, queer cutie with a fever for glamour and a fetish for beauty. A true triple threat treat, this award-winning genderfluid femme has dazzled stages from Montreal to Vancouver, from New York to L.A, and many places in between. In addition to their onstage escapades, Mx. Boom Boom is a tutor of tease and self love sorcery.They also serve on the committee of the annual Bi+ Arts Festival.
Carissa Halston’s writing has appeared in The Normal School, The Massachusetts Review, and Mizna, among others. She has received honors and awards for her fiction from Fourteen Hills, Willow Springs, The Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. She is Syrian, Mvskoke, bisexual, and androgynous.
Dainty Smith is a Toronto based actor, burlesque performer, playwright, producer, and speaker. Dainty believes that through the art of storytelling and a willingness to be exposed that genuine human connections can be made. Her performances often tell deeply vulnerable stories regarding race, religion, sexuality and challenging social boundaries. She is the founder of Les Femme Fatales: Women of Colour burlesque troupe, the first burlesque troupe for women of colour in Canada.
Deep Blue Honey is Owen Sound Poet Laureate Richard-Yves Sitoski (he/him) making sounds on the guitar not heard since the Cretaceous, and his wife Mary Little (she/her) on vox seducing King Kong away from Fay Wray. He is a performance poet with three books of verse out, the latest being No Sleep ‘til Eden, which features augmented reality, while she is a visual artist and environmentalist who loves to bake desserts at 3 a.m. They live with an impossible cat.
El Toro is Toronto’s LatinX Lover. They will steal your heart with their blend of high energy dance, theatricality, and face for days. Monarch of Burlesque/ Lili St.Cyr winner of the 2018 Montreal Burlesque Festival. A member of Boylesque T.O. (Most Comedic: BHOF 2018) and the Gentlemen’s Club, Toro has featured and headlined in shows/festivals across 3 continents.
Eli Klein is an ecstatically bisexual local cultural producer, curator, artist manager and dad. He is also a peer support facilitator for Toronto Bi+ Network. Over the pandemic he started live streaming his breakfast making at his insta (@ssshmee) and EggTV was born, a series of short how-tos, involving different ways to make eggs. For this special Bi Arts Festival edition of EggTV, he and his son dreamt up a fantasy land where egg recipes + tween-focused identity support from a bisexual genie is only a rotary phone call away…
Em Farquhar-Barrie (they/them) is a mixed, queer, trans, multiply disabled artist exploring transformation and growth through mixed-media landscapes. In their experience, art has saved their life, providing them with creative outlets to express feelings, cope, and move forward. Em is a BFA graduate, holding a certificate in Cultural and Artistic Practices for Environmental and Social Justice. You can follow their arts practice on Instagram: @emfarbar.
Eric Folsom shares a house in Kingston, Ontario with three full-grown humans and two small kittens. He’s been writing poetry for more than fifty years, has published a number of books, and is currently retired from the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. He identifies as bisexual and a non-conforming male.
Hanlon McGregor is a trans and queer/pansexual writer/performer/film maker with a BA in Acting from Dalhousie University, performed professionally, and co-wrote fringe theatre in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and taught dance and movement to acting students at Memorial University. Hanlon founded and ran an independent dance company in Toronto from 1998-2006. In 2012 Hanlon began writing and performing monologues based on his personal exploration of gender and coming out to himself as trans. He is the author of the play Unexpectedly Trans, with co-writer Mihaly Szabados, which premiered as a workshop at the Halifax Fringe in 2017, the short film Holding Hands with the Awkward (2018), and ‘Bubble Trans Pride’ which premiered as a workshop production at Halifax Fringe in 2018. Hanlon’s films have appeared at the 2018 and 2019 Bi+ Arts Festival.
I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble is one of the world’s most innovative Baroque ensembles, comprised of four of Canada’s leading early music specialists: soprano Gabrielle McLaughlin, violinists Aisslinn Nosky and Julia Wedman, and cellist/gambist Felix Deak. As well as being a founding member of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble, baroque cellist and viola da gambist Felix Deak showcases his career as a freelance musician with orchestras and chamber ensembles, including Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Les Voix Humaines and Opera Atelier. Felix instructs orchestral classes and private students in and around Toronto. He can be heard on CBC Radio Two. Felix appeared at the Bi+ Arts Festival’s Men’s Showcase in 2019.
Jade Wallace’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Canadian Literature, This Magazine, Hermine Annual, and elsewhere. Their most recent chapbooks are A Barely Concealed Design (Puddles of Sky Press, 2020) and A Trip to the ZZOO (Collusion Books, 2020) under the moniker MA|DE. Stay in touch: jadewallace.ca
Jaene F. Castrillon (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist who explores their relationship to the world through Indigenous teachings of Elder Isaac Day of Serpent River First Nations and the wisdom of the land. Jaene identifies as mixed race (Colombian/Hong Kong Chinese), Trans, queer person of color living with disabilities (physical, cognitive & psychiatric). Jaene believes in sharing the brilliance and heart-break of living a life less ordinary. Story-telling through art I express what is an internal journey of exploring the spiritual, social, political and cultural issues concerning social justice, advocacy, poverty, marginalization and equality.
Jasmine Noseworthy Persaud is a chronically ill, nonbinary digital media artist of Guyanese and English descent living in Tkaronto. They create work around embodiment — part of an intentional practice to honour the magic and wisdom we hold in our bodies. They are particularly interested in drawing connections between micro and macro levels of intimacy, interdependence, and care. Chosen media includes: illustration, poetry, and film. Visit their website for more info and to visit their INPRNT shop!
Juan de la Mar is a lawyer, LGBT and HIV + activist. Director and Screenwriter “De Gris a POSITHIVO”, selected in 40 International Film Festivals and winner of 11 international awards. Documentary Director’s Assistant “Después de Leonor” by Lissette Orozco and Maria Fernanda Escobar; “Bogotá Queens” by Sarah Sánchez. Producer “INCONCEBIBLE” by Talena Pérez. Winner at the BAM 2019 of a quota to be the Jury of the 2019 BIFF Youth Award. Currently Coordinator of Political Advocacy of the Latin American Network of HIV positive Youth and Adolescents J + LAC.
Justin Ancheta is a stuttering Filipino-Canadian with interests in tarot, science, and education. After teaching EFL in Korea for four years, he now lives in Treaty 13 territory. He is currently exploring his writing voice, drawing from his experience as a biromantic demisexual. He is @rampancy on Twitter and Instagram.
K.R. Byggdin lives in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). Their writing has appeared in journals and anthologies across Canada, the UK, and New Zealand. Their debut novel is forthcoming in 2022.
Kamila Rina is an autistic and multi-disabled immigrant Jewish non-binary bi poet and a sexuality/gender/disability educator, living on unceded Mississaugas of the Credit land. They have been published internationally, including in Room Magazine, Breath & Shadow, Monstering, Deaf Poets Society, Carousel, Augur, Frond, Mary, and Queer Out There. KamilaRina.com
Keet Geniza is an illustrator and comic artist. Born and raised in Manila, she moved to Toronto in 2006 and has since immersed herself in zines and comics as a way to document her struggles as a queer immigrant woman of colour.
Khashayar Mohammadi is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer and Translator. He is the author of four poetry Chapbooks. His debut poetry collection “Me, You, Then Snow” is out with Gordon Hill Press.
Liane (With Love Cards) has lived experience with mental health issues and writes “March 2016 was a challenging time for me. One day, I sat down with some art supplies and a determination to make something beautiful. What resulted was three mental health compassion cards, which I handed out to strangers. Seeing the way my cards touched others planted a seed that has grown into a deep love of art and an enthusiasm for spreading compassion. All of my cards are inspired by my own experiences or the experiences of the people I love most. I am so passionate about what I do, and I feel grateful for the opportunity to share that with you.”
Mugabi Byenkya (he/they) is an award-winning writer, poet and occasional rapper. Mugabi was longlisted for the Babishai Niwe Poetry Award in 2015. His writing has been published in The Good Men Project and Skin Deep, and over 25 other publications. He has been interviewed on VOA and over 40 other media outlets. His award-nominated debut, ‘Dear Philomena,’ was published in 2017 and went on a 43 city, 5 country North America/East Africa tour. In 2018, he was named one of 56 writers who has contributed to Uganda’s literary heritage by Writivism. Dear Philomena, was named a Ugandan bestseller in the same year.
Randolph Pfaff studies environmental policy and law, and edits for a magazine called apt and a small press called Aforementioned. His work has appeared in PANK, The Destroyer, Barrelhouse, and Poet Lore, among others. He is bisexual and Buddhist.
Robin Yukiko is a bi, non-binary visual and performing artist living in Arlington, Mass. They joined the Bi+ Arts Festival two years ago to feature their Pride-themed landscape paintings. A neurodivergent graduate of Berklee College of Music with two albums as a singer-songwriter, Robin is always looking for a new means of expression.
Sandra Alland (they/she) experiments with form and access in writing, film and interdisciplinary art. Co-editor of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches), San has published three poetry collections. Their latest short story chapbook / audiobook is Anything Not Measurable Is Not Real (Proper Tales Press/Canada Council). Based in Glasgow, San nurtures ties to Edinburgh, Toronto/Tkaronto (Dish With One Spoon treaty territory) and Cobourg (Williams Treaties First Nations). San is committed to slowness, and to multiply-marginalised communities thriving beyond “diversity” crumbs from arts institutions. Find Sandra online at www.blissfultimes.ca and on Insta and Twitter at @san_alland
Sam (they/them) is a disabled, queer, and brown artist who loves to make art from as many mediums as they can find. From poetry, ceramics, zines, fabric, and much more, Sam loves to play with colors, stories, and characters. Find them at https://www.instagram.com/dairy.sam/ and https://dairysam.wixsite.com/portfolio.
shn shn (she/her) is a queer Black electronic producer, singer-songwriter and creator based in Toronto, Canada. Her music is an ever-changing experience, bending genres as she brings experimental elements from electronic, ambient, world music, folk and pop into her practice. Her work allows exploration, contemplation, reckoning with duality and the spaces in between. shn shn’s upcoming EP e.strange.d, follows her debut 2020 self-produced and released EP structura. E.strange.d is about being untethered and the full gamut of emotions that encompasses (the strangeness, liberation and the fear of the unknown). This album sounds like otherworldly electronic soundscapes, layered guitar riffs, pulsing percussion, spoken word poetry and stacked harmonies from her lush folksy voice. It features singles “maladaptive daydreams”, “taking time” and “divine.”
Shrill Kessel is a Toronto raccoon who transformed into a beautiful lady after being sprinkled with magic hot dog water. She enjoys eating garbage and making a mess. Local residents have remarked that she bears more than a passing resemblance to Corktown writer E.C. Marcon, but this is mere speculation.
Stephanie Jonsson (she/her) is a PhD. candidate in the School of Gender, Feminist and Women’s studies at York University. She began painting in early 2020 as a means of coping with anxiety, stress, and imposter syndrome. She writes “I never felt like a creative individual, however, I found joy in discovering my own creative process. My artwork is about self-expression, self-love, and determination. This journey has helped me re-discover parts of myself that I have negatively critiqued in the past. Femdemic_Creations is a project about letting go of self-judgement by unapologetically creating.”
Sunny Chan has a PhD in English from UW-Madison and currently lives in the traditional Dish With One Spoon treaty territory. Her creative writing has appeared in Palette Poetry, Interfictions, Ricepaper, The Puritan, Abyss & Apex, Barrelhouse Press, and more. Her visual art can be seen at @moonandmountainprint on Instagram.
Syd Lazarus believes that in order to best understand them you should know they once cried over an episode of Rugrats. Their written work can be found in print and online publications like Shameless Mag, Lunch Ticket, and Shrapnel Mag. Their first chapbook, How to Lose Friends Without Really Trying was published by Frog Hollow Press in 2019. Currently, they are attending Concordia University as an MA Candidate for Creative Writing. When they’re not writing poetry, they’re acting as the Narrative Designer for Montreal game studio Casa Rara. They are currently a mentee with ArenaNet for their 2021 Narrative Design Mentorship.
Tamara Best started ‘coming out’ and writing poetry in 1994, and has compiled this writing into a manuscript titled “History Lessons”. Hopefully it will be published sometime within the next 30 years. In the meantime, you can read more of Tamara’s writing in the Waterwheel Review, Sparked! Magazine, and NonBinary Review.
Theresa Slater is a neuroqueer artist, writer, and servant leader working diligently in her studio and in non-profit administration for an artist-run experimental media organization. She is a MA graduate of OCAD U in Contemporary Art, Design, and New Media Art Histories (2016) with a concentration in feminism and technology. As an artist and writer, they work with creative facilitation, new materialism, and digital bodies. Slater was awarded a BA, Department of Philosophy, with a minor in Applied Ethics from the University of Victoria (2013) and a graduate diploma in Art, Craft and Design, Majoring in Mixed Media from the Kootenay School of the Arts, Nelson, BC (2003).
Vibeke Silverthorne (she/her) is a multidisciplinary designer who creates illustrations and hand-drawn typography. Her works observe the simple joys and awkwardness of identity, using humor and a playful style.