Major hotels in Victoria, British Columbia are preparing for the influx of tourists, particularly members of the queer community and film enthusiasts, who are expected to return to the city for more of the successful Reel Queer Film Festival. Launched in time for the city’s Pride Week, the film fest ran for the first time from June 28 to 30 and was a huge success. The event was commended for its promotion of diversity and respect toward different beliefs and principles.
Reel Queer Film Festival was made possible through the partnership of Out in Schools (OIS), the Camosun College Student Society, and Victoria Pride Society. One of its objectives is to explore “the world of queer” further. It was also open to all, signifying the city’s willingness to embrace people regardless of background or belief, which is one of the things that make Victoria a great place to be.
Part of the organizers’ mandate was to “celebrate different philosophies and lifestyles,” and they exerted much time and effort in selecting quality films that would clearly show that, according to festival director Kathy Kay, in an article by Daniel Pope in Victoria News. It was also their way of making a difference, as queer cinema had not been widely represented in Victoria prior to the festival’s launch. Moreover, the organizers wanted to contribute to the fight against homophobia.
Meanwhile, Victorians have shown positive response to this initiative, which served as an affirmation to Victoria’s hosting of the event. The youth immediately showed their interest and eagerness to take part in this endeavor. According to OIS regional facilitator Jillian Wedel, they were enthusiastic in recognizing the event’s importance in “promoting diversity and cultivating a climate of acceptance among the youth” in their community.
This might have been the first step in the journey to promote equal acceptance of different genders, but more things are expected in future endeavors of this kind. Due to the success of the festival’s first run, for example, more people are expected to visit Victoria in coming months and years, to be part of this project. Thus, the hotel industry is gearing up to make great hotels in Victoria BC, such as Parkside Hotel and Spa, ready for the anticipated surge in arrivals.
Film fests and other big-impact events complement the already eye-catching features of the city, which takes pride in its major tourist attractions. Now, it is no longer a place for exciting and fun activities only, such as visits to the Royal BC Museum, it is also a place where anyone can celebrate diversity.