Queer City: The Queer Series and The Two Spirit Series

September 8 – 24, 1993
Performance Art, Cabarets, Dance, Reading, Series

About the Program

Queer City was grunt gallery's annual fall performance series for 1993 and consisted of The Queer Series, curated by Brice Canyon and Glenn Alteen and co-presented with The Pitt Gallery (now UNIT/PITT Society for Art and Critical Awareness) and Western Front, as well as The Two Spirit Series, curated by Archer Pechawis and co-presented with The Pitt Gallery.

The Reason is Perfectly Queer

I knew I was a dilettante long before I knew the word. I knew I was queer long before I knew I had a sexual identity lurking somewhere in my psyche. Being a sissy opened the doors to a variety of options other boys missed out on (Brownies for instance). Conversely a large number of other doors were closed, but at the time I was unaware of the power structure of society and the trade off seemed fine. later, while I was "practicing" to be a homosexual, I discovered the hip word was gay. Of course words like faggot (now fagette), cocksucker, nelly, pervert poof, homo, etc. were widely used, but were more often than not used in a derisive manner by the ill intentioned. The exception to this rule was when two or more of us got together and called each other fag like we really meant it. Now the word is queer and we're all girlfriends.

Why queer? Is it because queers are reclaiming the language of the oppressor and making it our own? Is it because queer ignores the scientific classification of sexual and social behaviour that measures us against a mythical heterosexual and its smug assumptions of what is masculine and feminine? Perhaps because queer doesn't pretend to speak for some unified monolithinc other and struggles against co-option and assimilation? Maybe it's because queer is not gender specific and allows for a unity that their (who are these people) divid and conquer attitude would rather not see? Or is it because we are the most interesting and talented people in this town and are tired of being mistaken as one of them in galleries, in the movies, on TV, in magazines, etc.? (Quite possibly it has to do with the fact that queer rhythms with "Light beer," "latex gear, "Pierced ear," and "Oh dear," but I doubt it. To be perfectly queer is perfection itself.

It may be helpful to remember that when we use the word queer, it is the context in which it is used that finally decides the meaning, i.e. "Rather queer weather we've been having this summer" or "20,000 Queers marched on Ottawa today to demand Kim Campbell stay in the closet." In any case, welcome to Queer City performance art festival where you on a queer day you can be seen forever.

Brice Canyon, Curator, 1993


Coordinator: Merle Addison
Curators: Brice Canyon and Glenn Alteen
Essays: Brice Canyon and Lizard Jones
Photography: Merle Addison
Program Editor: Aiyyana Maracle
Publicity: Glenn Alteen
Technical Assistance: Joelle Hann
Technical Director: Archer Pechawis


1993.0908 QUE


grunt gallery (first location)
209 E. 6th Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 1J8
Unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations

Western Front
303 E. 8th Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 1S1
Unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh (Tsleil- Waututh) Nations

Pitt Gallery
317 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1H6
Unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations

Vancouver East Cultural Centre
1895 Venables Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5L 2H6
Unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations
​​In copyright. For uses beyond Fair Dealing, research requests, corrections, takedown requests, or other inquiries, please contact grunt gallery: archives@grunt.ca

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