BOLDFest Celebrated its 15th Year in STYLE and


  What a wonderful crowd of women you all were!  BOLDFEST 2019 indeed was once again the annual homecoming for long-time Boldfestees, an eye-opener for first timers, a welcome-back for some away for a few years.

 All in all, from the EXCELLENT Feedback on ALL of the workshops (see workshop page -- they're still up) to the rave reviews as usual about our Dance Night with QUEER AS FUNK (4th year!), AWE about the drumming and virtuoso performance of SAWAGI TAIKO WOMEN DRUMMERS and the love and appreciation of our closing evening with singer/songwriter/icon FERRON, BOLDFest is an integral part of our lesbian lives. 

 And NOW its time to ensure it continues. SPREAD THE WORD. Keep coming back. Put aside some money each month. Know that we will help out with registration fees as much as we can. Send in ideas/help with getting advertisers, sponsors, Silent Auction donors. These are ways that help us keep our costs down.

We are in the process of getting a date for BOLDFest #16 in 2020! And we need it soon so you all can plan to come!  Similar to this year, the Coast Hotel, and many other downtown prime location hotels are packed during September and their room rates are way too high for us. The October weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving) is our first option for a Fall Conference next year. 

So, if BOLDFest is to continue at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel Fall 2020(note: there's many advantages to stay with one hotel) the earliest date will again be Canadian Thanksgiving weekend Thur Oct 8-Sun Oct 11. Or, we may find another hotel in a different part of the downtown area that may have some of the facilities we would like.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Whether you're a regular, a sometimes, or about-to- be newbie at BOLDFest in 2020, please let us know 1)if you will come if it's on Oct 8-Oct 11 2020, 2)What would be your perfect weekend dates (starting Thursday night, ending Sunday night) and 3)other times of year you'd consider--  April - late May, January - March or ????



Enjoy the rest of the Fall Season. Looking forward to keeping in touch via our newsletter. Sign up for our newsletter at bottom of this page.


BOLDFest was honoured to have Amanda White, indigenous elder, welcome everyone to the 15th Annual BOLDFest. In her words: 

"My name is Amanda White, I am a proud member of the Haida Nation from Haida-Gwaii. My position today is that of a Knowledge Keeper for the Vancouver Indigenous Eduction Department ofVancouver School Board."

Amanda acknowledges that she lives, works and plays on the unceded and traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples – sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations


returned to her home town to a crowd of women who've followed her music and her life for years. Introduced first by her indigenous women friends, speaking in their own language, Ferron's performance was all that we could have wished for. Thank you dear Ferron. May your songs, your heart, your presence be with us for many years to come.


                                 Team BOLD says "See you in October 2020!

“I don't know if I won't start crying. Especially since I've been lost and found so many times in the last 10 or 12 years.... I'm afraid that I’ll be very choked up.”

It’s an early June day (2017) in Vancouver. Singer-songwriter Ferron — a queer, feminist folk icon to some, utterly unknown to most — has just made the journey to CBC’s downtown office from her part-time home on Saturna, a small island off the B.C. coast. In six weeks, she’ll make her proper return to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 15-17, for the first time since her debut in 1979. In her 40-plus years as a singer-songwriter, she’s influenced everybody from Ani DiFranco to the Indigo Girls, and started her own record label in the late 1970s. She broke out in the States, too, a leader in the intersections of her various communities — songwriter/lesbian/working- class/women — who flirted with major-label success but was always, ultimately, a DIY indie queen.

Ferron - Testimony

An outspoken advocate for social justice issues, one of Ferron's first hits, 1980's “Testimony,” became an unofficial anthem for the post-folk women’s music movement, and women everywhere looking to see themselves in something real.

“There's godlike And warlike
And strong
Like only some show And there's sad like And madlike

And had
Like we know
But by my life be I spirit
And by my heart be I woman.”

Ferron may not have the national recognition of Neil Young or Joni Mitchell or Buffy Sainte-Marie, but for plenty of music fans around the world, her name belongs alongside those legends in the Canadian singer-songwriter hall of fame. And for a little while, the music industry agreed. This is a story of a woman who is ready for a comeback, whose music has been lost and found again and again. She has been both a lighthouse and the one lost at sea. Her songs are how she’s found her way home.

Ferron, who was born in Toronto and raised in Richmond, near Vancouver, left home at 15 with a Leonard Cohen album in her backpack and not much else. She built her fanbase touring small venues and festivals, singing heartfelt, crushingly honest songs about everything from class and love to injustice, equality and social change. She sang and spoke about her trauma, her troubled childhood, sexual assault and depression, and learned through her fans that she wasn’t alone.

An out lesbian long before k.d. lang came on the scene and a feminist trailblazer who modelled women’s liberation, Ferron gained momentum on the women’s festival circuit throughout the '70s. One of her earliest songs even featured a then unknown Tori Amos on backing vocals.

To read the entirety of this article about Ferron's life and songs, click here:

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BOLD is a non-profit society registered in the Province of British Columbia Canada. Its  mission is to raise the visibility of older lesbians, and to provide a venue to meet lesbians and to share information and opportunities for learning, networking, and organizing. As importantly, BOLDFest creates a safe place for lesbians to  form life-long friendships, and relationships.  For the last twelve years, BOLDFest - the Bold Old(er) Lesbians & Dykes Conference and Gathering -  has attracted lesbians aged 40  up to 90's -  and much younger women - from across Canada, the US and Australia!

We have been convening at the Coast Plaza Hotel for 13 years. In 2018 we move to a sister hotel in Vancouver  the luxurious Coast Coal Harbour Hotel!. This hotel  is a gay-friendly and dog-friendly hotel one block from Coal Harbour with views of water and mountains and 3 blocks from Canada Place. You'll love it! 
BOLDFest acknowledges that its annual gathering is situated on the unceded territories and the traditional home of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ / sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
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BOLDFest Bold, Old(er) Lesbians & Dykes
PO Box 21510, 1424 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 5G2 Canada
Tel: 604-253-7189 - Email 

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