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Call for Participants

QAAC: A year of building a Queer Accessible Arts Cabaret in Calgary

Calgary-based drag personality and multidisciplinary artist, Devery Bess has curated a year’s worth of accessible arts programming designed to explore the intersections of gender, sexuality, and disability through the elements of contemporary cabaret.

Over three seasons, the program will explore a wide variety of skills needed to bring an artistic vision to life. Focusing on both art-making and community building, the program will include workshops, field trips, group discussions, and opportunities to present artwork.

This program is for artists that are 18 years and older. Artists of all skill and experience levels are welcome to enroll in this program.

Themes of sexuality will be explored openly and respectfully throughout this program. People of all genders and sexualities are welcome to participate in QAAC.

Season 1: The DigiVolve – Spring/Summer 2021

A global pandemic has set the stage for digital art-making and sharing. This season will explore film, photography, and graphic design and how it is possible to stay creative and connected from home. Artist co-conspirators include Emma Li, Laura Balanko-Dickson, and Ebony Gooden.

Dates: Sundays from May 9 – August 29, 2021
Film led by Emma Li – May 9, 16, 23, 30 & June 6, 13, 2021
Photography led by Laura Balanko-Dickson – July 4, 11, 17 (Saturday), 18, 25, 2021
Graphic Design led by Ebony Gooden – August 8, 15, 22, 29, 2021

Time: 1:00 – 3:00pm or 4:00pm
Sessions will be two or three hours long depending on the week.
A complete schedule will be shared with registrants once fees have been paid.

Location: Zoom
The link will be sent to participating artists once fees have been paid.
Depending on COVID-19 restrictions, there may be the opportunity to meet in person on some dates. This will be decided with the group, when it is safe to do so.

Fee: $225

For more information and to register, visit

Participants will be welcomed to join the following seasons and community cabaret.

Season 2: Words to Stage – Fall 2021

Having ideas is one thing, but breathing life into them can be challenging. Artists will explore written and spoken art through comedy, spoken word, and theatre, and how those forms can be presented both digitally and in live performance. Artist co-conspirators Mel Vee X, Cindy Rivers, and Landon Krentz. Stay tuned for registration details to be announced in July 2021.

Season 3 – The rest is Drag – Winter 2022

Contemporary cabaret is dominated by drag and burlesque performance, and both forms have been skyrocketing in popularity years. Artists will explore new skills in performing arts while building their own unique vision of what cabaret is for them. Artist co-conspirators Oliver Twirl and Mitch Graham will facilitate these sessions. Artists will also be invited to attend a Black History month showcase. Stay tuned for registration details to be announced in fall 2021.

Community Cabaret – Spring 2022

All participants will be invited to showcase and celebrate the skills and artistic works by curating and producing a cabaret.

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