Coastal Queer Alliance, a grassroots organization created in April of 2020, recently hosted a queer art exhibit in the park of downtown Tofino. This event was in collaboration with the Tofino Jazz Fest and made possible through the funding of CBT Small Neighborhood Grants. As Covid shaped the way that events could look over the summer, we decided to collaborate with the already established Jazz Fest in order to share resources and bring a larger crowd to the event. The first component of the show was collecting art from local queer artists in community, including from the pride club hosted at Maaqtusiis school in Ahousaht, to be on display for the evening. We also set up different stations with free art supplies including paint, collage supplies, and terrarium building, for anyone in the local community who wanted to create some art themselves. Two of the artists at the Jazz Fest that evening, including the headliner, were also queer folks, and the show was tied together by having representation both at the art show as well as through the Jazz Fest. Through the process of planning the art show we learned the importance of relying on volunteers and delegating tasks, and how critical effective communication is when collaborating with different organizations on an event. The show was a success by all metrics and we’re excited to continue planning for the next one!

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