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Richmond resident co-produces and curates art festival in Vancouver

Artists address social issues through performances and high-tech artwork at IndieFest 2022.
Stephanie Wong Richmond artist
Stephanie Wong is one of the co-creators of the Into the Light Exhibit at Richmond Gateway Theatre.

A Richmond artist believes in addressing social justice issues through art.

And a festival she’s curating, that features burlesque and hip-hop among other art genres, aims to do just that.

Stephanie Wong is the co-producer and curator for the third annual IndieFest, taking place in Vancouver from Nov. 16 to 27.

The festival celebrates BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ artists using different forms of storytelling to voice social justice issues such as colonialism and patriarchy, Wong said.

“We are showcasing new and genre-defying works to highlight the stories and people that have been overshadowed by history and tradition,” she added.

Wong, a Burnett alumna, grew up in Richmond where she experienced a diversity of cultures and she finds IndieFest is a great way to exemplify that and art at the same time.

“I think there are a lot of diverse experiences in which artists at IndieFest aim to reflect and connect with people,” she said.

This year’s festival lineup can be described as “expansive,” Wong said, with many of the performances produced in different art sectors and in different ways.

A highlight of the festival includes the first-ever in-person extended reality (XR) experience. Visitors will see a projection of fantasy avatars performing in a 3D environment. These performers have recorded themselves dancing and singing in motion capture suits, which are then digitally translated through a program.

There will also be hip-hop opera titled Inferno and a concert series titled Imaginarium featuring Indigenous and burlesque performances as well as vocal chamber music.

“I find IndieFest is a (really) fertile ground for connecting these different sectors into one space so that we can all see what we’re doing as artists and collectives,” said Wong.

The festival will take place at different venues across Vancouver such as The Annex, the Playhouse as well as the Sun Yat Sen Gardens.

More information on IndieFest 2022 can be found here.

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