Calgary writer and queer history researcher Tereasa Maillie was invited to participate in the Alberta Electronic Music Conference on November 13-17, 2019. She was the moderator for the Sunday panel “Dance music as an LGTBQ2S Art Form” at Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre.
The panel discussed the origins and continuation of Electronic Dance Music as an LGTBQ2S art form. Panelists were two legends in the Queer art and music scene: DJ Mick Shea from Vancouver, and Keith Andony, cofounder of the Fruit Loop Society of Alberta. They were joined by the powerhouse Molly Fi (Dubbed “Calgary’s first lady of Breaks”) founder of the Girls on Deck DJ Collective) and DJ ra/sol, notorious for “their archetypal ability to read a crowd with eclectic DJ sets.”
The panel focused on the creation and maintenance of queer safe spaces within the larger community spanning back to the 1980s, up until now, across Canada. Mick shared his stories of the Vancouver dance scene in the 1980s and 1990s, which set the stage for an in-depth discussion of what an actual Queer space is, how it’s created, and what the future may hold for EDM for all diverse performers. Molly Fi pointed out how she performs in any space and ‘creates’ that safe space for everyone. Keith showed an incredible video of 2 Spirit performers, and ra/sol reminded us all that DIY events are pivotal to the EDM scene’s growing inclusion of Queer/Intersectional people. Lively and passionate, the panel dug into the core reason for EDM being a popular and relentless art form: it brings everyone together and mixes them in a fabulous way in their love of dance and music.
Tereasa also was on the panel “The DIY Feminist Resistance” in partnership with Femme Wave, hosted by Kaely Cormack. Again the theme of taking on and creating music scenes for all was central to the future of feminist, LGTBQ2S+, and POC activism.
The Alberta Electronic Music Conference (AEMCON) is a once a year event for music producers, DJs, and those that work and create in the world of electronic music. It is a multi-day conference aimed at inspiring and elevating Canada’s electronic music scene and the people that make it possible. AEMCON is an “advocate for diversity, in all its forms.”