ACCESS Festival

Past Festivals

ACCESS Fest 2022

ACCESS and Equity for people with visible and invisible disabilities, BIPOC, and equity seeking communities.

Vancouver BC: ACCESS, a free community arts festival, celebrates BC Access Awareness Day, Saturday June 5, with 11 days of online art programs and live events at the Gathering Place Community Centre, starting Wed May 26 through Sat June 5.

The festival launches Wed May 26, featuring an ACCESS Festival themed “Late Night with Savages” program hosted by Gunargie O’Sullivan at 11pm on CFRO Radio 100.5 FM and YouTube.

A special treat is an encore online presentation of Realwheels musical theatre production “Wheel Voices: Tune In!” on Wed June 2, 7pm followed by a Q&A.

Commissioned by the ACCESS Festival, aerial artist Erin Ball, a double leg amputee, premieres her new video “Rules Were Meant To Be Broken” on Thurs June 3, 7pm, plus 10 short films allied to ACCESS and Equity. 

An evening of music featuring Curtis Clear Sky & the Constellationz, Eugene Harry, Tonye Aganaba, Dave Symington & Jim Meyer, Sandy Scofield and host Terreane Derrick, premieres online Friday June 4, 7pm

The festival culminates on BC Access Awareness Day, Saturday June 5, with livestreamed interviews beginning at 1pm with Yuri Arajs and festival artists, surprise videos, then binge watch the ACCESS festival videos all afternoon. 

Watch for the ACCESS Festival art show, workshops, free food and more. 

To learn more or to watch the programs link to the ACCESS Festival website at 

Watch the ACCESS Ability Parade promo video



In partnership with Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture and BC Access Festival, the Vancouver Art Gallery is delighted to offer two special tours on June 1 and June 4, 2022, designed to welcome the disabled community during BC Access Awareness Week.

Both access tours will provide an opportunity to explore works from the Gallery’s permanent collection featured in the exhibitions Kids Take Over and RESTLESS: Recent Acquisitions.

Participants will discover the tactile and sensorial aspects of Guud San Glans Robert Davidson’s monumental painting Octopus (2014), Gathie Falk’s playful ceramic fruit stacks, Chantal Gibson’s radical modifications of historical books, and Annie Pootoogook’s touching family portrait Listening to the Radio (2005-06). We will also discover works by Evelyn Roth, Kimsooja, Paul Wong and more.

If you identify as disabled, please register to join us on one of these tours. Please note that capacity is limited. Each guest and their sighted companion or attendant will receive complimentary admission. When registering, be sure to let us know of your accessibility requirements and needs. ASL interpretation will be provided at both events.

These tours will offer ASL interpretation, courtesy of Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture.


If you have any requests, concerns, or questions regarding accessibility at this event, please contact Stephanie Bokenfohr, Public Programs Coordinator, by email at [email protected] or by phone at (604) 662-4700

Presented by the Downtown South Gathering Place Community Centre Association in partnership with the Gathering Place Community Centre and Kickstart Disability Arts with support from the City of Vancouver, the Province of BC and SPARC BC.

Media Contact Alex Chisholm [email protected] 604-255-0355

2021 ACCESS Festival ON-Line Line-Up

Follow this link to the festival YouTube page: []

Wed May 26: The ACCESS Festival launches with Late Night With Savages from 11 PM to 1 AM on CFRO 100.5 FM radio and live-streamed at []. Late Night with Savages is an indigenous program covering traditional and contemporary artists, musical releases, and current cultural affairs. Hosted by broadcaster and community activist Gunargie O’Sullivan.

Thursday May 27: The ACCESS Festival Art Show Opens at 12 Noon in the Gathering Place Theatre with a blessing by Eugene Harry and artwork by Jolene Andrews, AJ Brown, Ben Roback, Seema Shah, Sandy Yuen. The Art Show Closes June 5.

Seema Shah
Jolene Andrews
Ben Roback

Wed June 2; An Encore presentation of Realwheels “Wheel Voices: Tune In!” theatre presentation at 7 PM followed by a Q & A with the performers. Watch for a link to this presentation. “Wheel Voices Tune In! marries intimate truths rooted in the disability experience with a dose of playful mischief. Prepare to shake away some of your preconceptions, and marvel at the power of theatre – and music – to deepen understanding of each other’s lives.” – Rena Cohen, Former Artistic Director

Wheel Voices: Tune In! features original scenes, rap, spoken word, and choral pieces With a cast of fourteen community artists, this virtual performance weaves personal stories with anthemic ensembles and passionate monologues – all rooted in the disability experience.

June 3: An evening of short films including the premier of “Rules Were Meant To Be Broken” a new work by trapeze artist Erin Ball. Music by LAL – “Rules Were Meant to Be Broken”, written by Rosina Kazi and Nicholas Murray. June 3 at 7 PM. Go to the Short Films page to log in.

A photo of Erin hanging upside down in the air on a single rope that is suspended from the ceiling.

Friday June 4: The ACCESS Festival presents an evening of music hosted by Terreane Derrick with Dave Symington and Jim Meyer, Sandy Scofield, Tonye Aganaba, and Curtis Clear Sky and the Constellations, with blessings by Eugene Harry. 7 PM. SGo to the Music Video page to lwatch.

  • Tonye Aganaba
  • Curtis Clear Sky
  • Sandy Scofield
  • Dave Symington
  • Eugene Harry

Sat June 5 is BC ACCESS Awareness Day. The festival culminates on BC Access Awareness Day, Saturday with live streamed interviews with festival artists Tonye Aganaba and Seema Shah, plus surprise videos and an encore online presentation of Reel Voices “Tune In” theatre production, then binge watch all the ACCESS festival videos all afternoon.

Due to COVID 19, activities, workshops, free food and performances at the Gathering Place Community Centre will not be advertised to limit participation and keep safe distance.

Videos from the 2020 / 2021 ACCESS Festival online programs

The 2020 ACCESS Festival was Cancelled until Feb 2021. Here are some videos from that Festival.

Please link to the past online program here: []

Program One: Hosted by actor and writer Stephen Lytton, the Feb 28th 7PM program “What Disability?” explores the contrasting ideas of invisible disabilities and people with visible disabilities who don’t identify as disabled.

Here is the link to program one. This link is be available for one year from February 28, 2021 

Stephen Lytton

  • Festival Opening, Cease Wyss
  • Jim Byrnes with Simon Kendall – Performance at the Scotia Bank Dance Centre
  • When Colour Bursts Through, A short film by Brittney Appleby and Gregory Grant
  • Stephen Lytton Poetry
  • Dave Symington with Jim Meyer – Performance at the Scotia Bank Dance Centre
  • Circling Around You, A short film by Landon Krentz, Ebony R Gooden, and Debi Wong.
  • Leef Evans artist interview with Yuri Arajs
  • Dialogue: What Disability? Hidden Disability. With Yuri Arajs, Leef Evans and Stephen Lytton
  • Jim Byrnes with Simon Kendall

Program Two: Hosted by Caroline Hebert, a deaf community activist, the March 1st 7PM program “Environmental Barriers to ACCESS” explores the physical issues around ACCESS including wheelchairs and hearing impairment. (March 1st is International Wheelchair Day)

Here is the link to program two. This link is be available for one year from March 1, 2021 

Caroline Hebert

  • Dan Digger – Performance at the Scotia Bank Dance Centre
  • Parts of me – A short film by All Bodies Dance
  • Caroline Hebert
  • “Loving Our Language: Pride in Disability Culture – A short film by Love Intersection
  • Laurie Landry artist interview with Yuri Arajs
  • Dialogue: Environmental Barriers with Yuri Arajs, Laurie Landry and Amar Mangat.
  • Sanctuary, a short film by All Bodies Dance Project
  • Rachael Ransom – Performance at the Scotia Bank Dance Centre

Program Three: Hosted by Indigenous broadcaster and activist Gunargie O’Sullivan, the March 2nd 7PM program “Equity for Indigenous, Black and People of Colour” explores the barriers people experience due to race and heritage.

Here is a new link to program three. This link is be available for one year from March 2, 2021 

Gunargie O’Sullivan

  • Khari Wendall McClelland & Noah Walker – Performance at the Scotia Bank Dance Centre
  • Regalia – Pride in Two Spirits – a short film by Love Intersection
  • Gunargie O’Sullivan Ga’axstsalas – Poetry
  • Black Lives Matter Vancouver – A short film by Love Intersection
  • Ari De La Mora artist interview with Yuri Arajs
  • Dialogue: Does the colour of your skin limit access? With Yuri Arajs, Stephen Lytton,
  •             Ari De La Mora and Henry Daniel
  • More Than a Stereotype; a short film by Sinay Kennedy
  • Khari Wendall McClelland & Noah Walker
  • Festival Closing Randy S Tait “Ama Otsin”

BC Access Awareness Day – 2018

BC Access Awareness Day

Saturday June 2nd 2018 from 5pm to 7:30pm

At The Gathering Place Community Centre 609 Helmcken Streen

Produced by All Bodies Dance, Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, and the Gathering Festival. With performances by Dave Symington Band, All Bodies Dance, and MC Paul Beckett. Trivia with prizes.

Register at the Gathering Place reception desk to guarantee entrance!

Find out more information at The Gathering Place’s website.

About Kickstart Disability Arts

Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture is a Vancouver based arts non-profit that supports and promotes artists who identify as living with disabilities.

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