Canada’s largest festival of zines and underground culture is coming to Vancouver this Saturday, November 5. Canzine West 2016 is open to the public from 1:00-7:00 pm at the SFU Woodward’s campus (149 W Hastings). This long-running festival first opened in Toronto in 1995 and has been a huge outlet of underground culture ever since.
This year, people can look forward to a giant fair of over 50 zine and comic vendors. Check here for a list of vendors. Organizer and Broken Pencil editor Alison Lang expects a lot of diverse content at this year’s event, “[from] people who make beautiful artbooks to people who make zines about french fries and sex-positive cats, to people who make deeply eloquent and impassioned zines about race and gender politics, to punks who make comics about pizza.”
Bringing together vendors and fans from all over North America, Lang describes Canzine as a great place to make connections over a shared passion for zine culture. “I love that it’s this big communal weird art party that also doubles as a strong bonding experience for everyone involved,” said Lang.
The term ‘zine’ casts a wide net. According to Lang, it’s difficult to pin down a clear-cut definition: “Does it cover just photocopied stapled zines? Does it cover indie comics? Does it cover art books? Does this scene include accomplished visual artists who publish their own sketchbooks and comic zines on the side to experiment and keep a foot in the DIY community?”
All of these variations exist within the Vancouver “zine scene,” which Lang notes “is small but loyal and forever growing, and very comics-heavy.”
The Radical Readings Series is a staple at Canzine and this year it will be cozier than usual, as it will take place inside of a large blanket fort. The fort will serve as a relaxed venue for the readings, but also as a chill out space for those looking to take a break from the fair.
Lang added, “There will be pillows and warm fuzzies and of course our amazing readers: Adele Barclay, Carleigh Baker, Jill Mandrake and Kevin Spenst, all of whom I’ve been fans of for a long time. I think everyone who attends this year will be in for a treat.”
The blanket fort will be located on the second floor near to the stairs and elevator. Everyone is welcome to bring their own blankets and pillows for extreme comfort.
The festival will also feature a panel with Hannah McGregor (SFU Publishing) Jenn McDermid (DEWAC), Stefania Seccia (Megaphone Magazine), Jessica Todd (DTES Woman’s Art Collective), and Dana Putnam (VPL), on how to zines and self-publishing can be used as a political platform, and for more than just visibility and exposure.
All are welcome to attend what promises to be an exciting afternoon of creative content sharing. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $5.00.