Our program for 2023

The Stage

Watch the stunning performances, and listen to the mesmerizing songs on our stage.

An Evening in Damascus 2021

Danny Ramadan


Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ-refugees advocate. His latest novel, The Foghorn Echoes (Penguin - 2022) won the Lambda Award for Gay Fiction, and is shortlisted for the BC & Yukon Book awards. The Clothesline Swing (Nightwood - 2017) is translated to multiple languages. His award-winning children’s series The Salma Books is released by AnnickPress. It includes picture book Salma the Syrian Chef (2020), and early chapters books Salma Makes a Home and Salma Writes a Book (2023). He is expected to release his memoir Crooked Teeth in 2024. His short stories and essays have appeared in publications across North America and Europe. Since his arrival to Canada, Ramadan has raised over $300,000 for LGBTQ+ identifying refugees.


Rahel is a Vancouver-based Movement Arts teacher, mentor, and performer, specializing in “Raqs Sharqi” otherwise known as Egyptian Bellydance, in which she has over 2 decades of experience.
Rahel also teaches mindful-body-awareness based movement practices such as gentle Hatha Yoga, and a class she calls “Embodied Movement”.
Rahel believes in movement as healing and aims to create in-person and online community spaces that are safe, ethical, inclusive, and fun!
Shel is currently doing her masters in counselling psychology in order to add "somatic, trauma-informed therapy” to her list of offerings.
Rahel believes that love is love, and that everyone has a right to safety, wellness, dignity, and justice.


Kendall Gender

As a performer, host, model and LGBTQIA2S+ activist, Kendall Gender is a bonafide Canadian drag sensation. With grassroots in Vancouver, she has performed coast to coast since 2014 and shows no signs of slowing down.

Kendall is best known for being on season 2 of Canada’s Drag Race, where she placed in the top 3. She was also most recently seen on All stars - Canada VS the World. She is also known for being the queer ambassador for Annabelle Cosmetics, Fairmont Hotels and a member of infamous drag group ‘BRATPACK’.

Selena Vyle

Selena Vyle is Toronto's Lebanese-Mexican bearded cabaret camp vamp of a certain age. This accomplished improv and sketch comedienne hosts Canada's longest running drag brunch at Glad Day Bookshop, and performs regularly with comedy drag troupes Yaas & Vyle and Werq The Mic. She's a co-host of the Canadian Podcast Award winning Squirrel Talk Podcast and co-writer of the Canadian Comedy Award winning A Sketch Comedy Extravaganza Eleganza. She is the voice of Rosa Mel Paquete in Ubisoft's Far Cry 6, and debuted her first visual album, Broken Hearted Girl at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2021 that nobody watched. Oh, and she loves you very much.

Selena Vyle
Van Vouge Jam

Van Vouge Jam

VanVogueJam Arts Society (VVJ) is a non-profit organization helping to support and build the Ballroom scene within Vancouver since 2017. By facilitating by-donation/free and open-to-all weekly Ballroom education classes and Ballroom events, VVJ seeks to help build a culture of creativity, community, expression and accessibility and safety of Queer, Trans, Black, and People of Color (QTBIPOC) at its core.

Dafa Band

Dafa Band, inspired by the Arabic word for « warmth », embodies the essence of Middle Eastern culture through their soul-stirring music. With a profound connection to the past, they weave melodies that transcend language barriers, touching hearts even if one doesn't comprehend the lyrics. Through their enchanting performances, Dafa Band evokes a sense of comfort and belonging, transporting listeners to a world of nostalgic memories and cultural heritage. Their music captures the fiery passion and emotions inherent in Arabic musical traditions, inviting listeners on a transformative journey of discovery and emotional resonance. Dafa Band's unique ability to ignite the spirit of warmth in their melodies makes them a true gem in the world of Middle Eastern music.

An Evening in Damascus 2022


Emad Armoush is a Syrian/Canadian multi-instrumentalist musician and singer, active in the Arabic, flamenco, world and creative music scene of Vancouver since 2000. Inspired to bring his roots from Arabic traditions into his current musical life and influences, and awarded grants from the BC and Canada Arts Councils.
He released his debut album with the members of his group Rayhan, some of Canada’s finest creative musicians. He is motivated and now busy composing and arranging new music for their planned sophomore album. Emad has performed in music festivals across Canada and Europe in a multitude of collaborations.

The Souk


Upstart and Crow

Located on Granville Island, one of Vancouver’s cultural hubs, we are a vibrant intersection for curious readers and creative storytellers alike. We are international in our outlook, and local in our sensibilities. We create opportunities to surface new talent and champion bold ideas through events, workshops, literary launches, unique partnerships — and yes, we also sell books! And gifts, and art.


"Soumak Boutique, founded by Rasha and Elvira, is dedicated to promoting the rich culture of the Middle East and providing sustainable alternatives to traditional handcrafted items. Inspired by refugee support groups, the boutique empowers women artisans and refugees located in Canada to reflect their unique culture through authentic handmade products.
Their offerings include natural textiles, tapestries and ceramic products from Turkey, as well as Syrian Mosaic board games and home decor handcrafted by Syrian refugees, allowing mindful shoppers to experience a meaningful connection to history and culture.
Additionally, they provide traditional Turkish ceramic painting and other workshops to foster cultural awareness and support their mission of sustainability."



Tayybeh--named after the Arabic word meaning both "kind" and "delicious"--is a unique social enterprise and Award-winning food venture, is dedicated to bringing you a unique dining experience courtesy of the most amazing newcomer Syrian women chefs. Our food is available through community dining experiences, full-service catering, fresh and frozen meals as well as retail products. Tayybeh's mission is to empower newcomer Syrian women chefs while highlighting their delicious, healthy, and unique Syrian fare.

By Lora

Lora, a Syrian jewelry designer, channels her lifelong enchantment with the allure of gold jewelry and its empowering impact on women into her creations at Lora Jewelry. A touch of gold can work wonders for your outfit, elevating confidence, self-love, and happiness.
Lora's designs are a testament to her deep appreciation for life's simplicity. She specializes in crafting timeless, delicate pieces available in limited batches made from durable and lasting gold-filled materials. Her collection ranges from ethically sourced gemstones to everyday jewelry, ensuring something for every taste and occasion.


Copyright 2023 - Danny Ramadan