Quirk-e began as a grassroots writing group in 2006 – a joint initiative between QMUNITY Generations and local writer Claire Robson. The group was quickly adopted in its entirety into the Arts, Health, and Seniors’ Project, managed by the Vancouver Park Board. It became an independent organization in 2013, and is currently funded by a Community and Neighbourhood Development Grant from the City of Vancouver, as well as funding from its community partners Britannia Service Centre and QMUNITY Generations. Lead artists Kelsey Blair and Claire Robson currently facilitate the group.
Claire Robson is co-lead artist for Quirk-e – the queer imaging & riting kollective for elders. The collective, which has worked under her direction for the last eight years, has made many public shows and presentations, including a human library project and workshops for queer youth and youth leaders. Claire was recently awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is working in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and studying arts-engaged community practices. A widely published writer of fiction, memoir, and poetry, Claire’s most recent book, Writing for Change, focuses upon the potential of collective memoir writing to effect social change.
Kelsey Blair is co-lead artist for Quirk-e – the queer imaging & riting kollective for elders. She joined Quirk-e as an Assistant Artist in 2010 where she helped the group with graphic storytelling, the Memory Box Project, and the Bridge Anthology. Kelsey holds an M.A. in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, an MA in Theatre Studies from the University of British Columbia, and is currently pursuing her PhD in English from Simon Fraser University. A writer, director and producer, her first book Pick and Roll was published by Lorimer in Spring 2014.
Anne Cowan (Jackson) is a Recreation Programmer who’s been working with the Vancouver Parks Board’s Community Centres for over 30 years. Her early posts in the late 70’s and on into the 80’s, as a summer playground leader working with children, youth and families, were the catalysts for a lifelong passion of people and community. Much inspiration also comes from her four children, ranging in ages from 17 to 34, who keep her keenly aware of life’s joys, challenges and the importance of connection and balance.
Currently at Britannia Community Services Centre Anne’s role as the Senior’s Programmer includes facilitating social, educational, cultural and recreational programs and services to a diverse and wonderful community. She strongly believes that our opportunities to be part of a community, be valued and welcomed citizens are essential to good health and happiness. It’s been her privilege to support the people, programs and services in the Grandview Woodlands Neighbourhood since 1983. Building community, strong partnerships and equal access continue to inspire her
Britannia Community Services Centre Society is located just off Commercial Drive in the Grandview Woodlands Neighbourhood on the East Side of Vancouver. It’s a community hub featuring child care, a Family Place, Elementary and Secondary Schools, a Public Library, Recreation programs and facilities and a Seniors Drop-In Centre. Our community is vibrant, varied and thrives on a strong sense of connection.
Find out more about Britannia Community Services Centre here.
QMUNITY is BC’s queer resource centre – the hub for the lesbian, gay, trans*, bi and queer community program, training and advocacy. The organizations envisions a world where all queer people are included and free from discrimination.
It’s team of skilled professionals deliver many vital social services and programs including: Gab Youth (for queer, questioning and ally youth 25 years of age and under), Generations (for the aging and elder members of our community), Education/Outreach, Volunteer Services, Anti-Violence resources, Coming Out and Social Support Groups, Free Counselling, Meeting Spaces and our ‘Out on the Shelves’ Library.
For more, click here.
QMUNITY Generations is a project of QMUNITY that reflects an exciting and innovative approach to age specific service delivery, education, and community development. A wide range of programs are offered, including support for Quirk-e.
For more, go here.
City of Vancouver
The City of Vancouver has provided funding for Quirk-e’s projects over the last three years in the form of Community and Neighborhood Developments. We are grateful for their recognition that arts practices are central to the development of vibrant communities.