Edgy women’s festival
MONTREAL – The Edgy Women Festival is back for its 20th edition, but under the new banner of Edgy Redux, and with a much tamer mission.
The long-standing festival describes itself as a feminist experimental art event, intended to explore the complexity of contemporary forms of feminism through fun, experimental and community-building artistic events.
But lately, the festival has fallen under hard times and suffered significant funding loss. Fittingly, this year’s theme is transition: a chance to hibernate the large-format 10-day festival in favour of a smaller, three-day undertaking. Organizers hope the smaller scale of the event will give them a chance to regroup, take stock and plan for the festival’s future. This is not the first time the festival has had to regroup and change its scale, and many remain hopeful for the future.
The festival will include a free movie screening, an exchange of performative lectures and presentations, a specially-commissioned art show, and activist writing workshops.
Nigerian president’s visit cancelled
OTTAWA –Stephen Harper’s government cancelled a planned visit from Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in February, according to Canada.com. The Conservative government has been working to get friendly with the oil-rich country, but is alleged to have changed its mind after Jonathan signed a law that criminalizes same-sex relationships.
The Conservatives, who have become a vocal defender of gay rights, have become quiet about canceling the visit and will not comment on the reason. Nigerian media are reporting that the cancellation is due to Jonathan passing the law.
Moving for freedom
VANCOUVER – Australian singer-songwriter Larissa Tandy is moving to Canada for the country’s stance on marriage equality and better opportunities for musicians, according to Gay News Network.
Tandy, both a solo performer and frontwoman of the band Strine Singers in Melbourne, Australia, has spent a lot of time in Canada in past few years. She married her girlfriend in the country. Tandy said she doesn’t want to leave her family and Australia, but can’t live in a country where people tolerate discrimination.
Tandy’s last year to wait for permanent residence was reduced by the Canadian government.
Canada’s culture of casual homophobia
TORONTO – Canadian sports network TSN has released a three-part series on homophobia titled ReOrientation: The Culture of Casual Homophobia.
NHL player turned broadcaster Aaron Ward voices the series and interviews openly gay athletes, ex-athletes and allies to the community in sport. The series focuses on “casual homophobia,” referring to homophobic slurs that are jokingly passed around the locker room. The term was coined by Patrick Burke, founder of the You Can Play Project, who also shows up in the series.