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Vancouver – Same-Sex Ballroom Classes

Tues Oct 6 – Oct 27 Rhodes Wellness College Helmcken, between Hornby and Howe Streets** Instructor:  Murray Schellenberg 7 – 8 pm  ARGENTINE TANGO, Intermediate level, continues for 4 more weeks of intricate, intriguing patterns.  This class is for current and past Argentine Tango students.  […]

Surrey – Women’s Halloween Costume Ball


Rhizome Cafe September Update

Hey Lesbians!

Rhizome is owned and run by lesbian couple Lisa Moore and Vinetta Lenavat. It’s a great cafe with fun events. I love the Rhizome so much I ‘reprint’ their monthly events email in it’s entirety below.There are lots of events to check out

~The Editor


September 2009 at Rhizome

Café * Arts Venue * Community Space

317 East Broadway

Dear friends of Rhizome-

Rhizome is preparing for a busy Fall!  In addition to a full calendar of events coming up, we have several new developments to report:

1) Please join us in celebrating Rhizome’s third anniversary!

For the past three years, with your help, we’ve created a diverse and welcoming community space that supports social justice work, focuses on marginalized voices, and allows us all to connect with one another.

We’ll be celebrating during the coming month–and asking for your support so we can continue going strong into the future.  Here’s how you can do that:

Donate something for our silent auction.

We’re creating a two-week long silent auction.  Items will be photographed (or described) and posted on the wall in our meeting room.  Donate something you have, something you’ve made, something you can teach, or a service you can provide.  This is a great chance to connect your talents with others in our Rhizome community–and to support Rhizome at the same time.  Please deliver donations by September 16.  Questions?  Ask Lisa:

Come by to bid on an auction item.

Starting on September 17, come peruse the talent and generosity that abounds in our community. Bidding will begin on September 17 and will end at 10:00pm at our anniversary party on October 3rd.  Bid early and often!  Your bids help keep Rhizome going.

Sign up to do a 60-second performance at the anniversary party.

Poetry, songs, skits…anything goes–as long as it’s on the theme of the rhizome and it lasts no longer than one minute.  Sign up by September 28 to

And join us for our anniversary party on October 3rd.

Details are listed in the calendar below.

2) We’re expanding our hours. As of September 8, we will open at 11am on Tuesdays.  Please come by for lunch!  Also, starting on September 13 we’ll be staying open later on Sundays: until 9:00pm.  Join us then for an event, or dinner, or drinks…

3) Offsite catering. Let Rhizome prepare the food for your meetings and events!  During the week, we can prepare sandwiches, salads, hot entrees, desserts and more for groups of up to about 20 people.  Contact us for more information.

4) New vegan brunch items. We’ve added some delicious new items to our brunch menu:  vegan and gluten-free pancakes; a new pesto tofu scramble; vegan breakfast patties, and more.  Vegan brunch just got better!

5) Rhizome Free Store Events: On September 13, we’re launching a new monthly event called Rhizome Free Stores, that will allow us to share and exchange resources with each other.  Bring something you don’t need, and take away something you do.  This month’s theme is Kids’ Stuff (clothes, toys, and books.)  Look out for other Free Store themes in coming months.

6) Join our Facebook Group. We’ve succumbed.  Join us at

Also, remember that we’re open for delicious lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, snacks and drinks.  Our complete hours are listed at the end of this message.  

And, let us know if you’d like to use our Community Meeting Room for your group’s activities.  You can check our website for more information on what we do and how we do it:

Here’s what’s coming up:

Art on our Walls

Prints of Resistance by Angela Sterritt

From mid-September onward


In Our Meeting Room:  Love Exiles Get-Together

Wednesday, September 2, 7:00-9:00pm

Meet fellow GLBT bi-national couples at an informal get-together for couples who immigrated to Vancouver because they could not live together legally with their foreign partners in their home countries.


Not so Strictly Ballroom (NSSB) Preview

Thursday, September 3, 7:00-8:00pm
NSSB, Vancouver’s queer/lgbt/same-sex ballroom and latin dance organization, will be previewing  some of the dances you’ll learn when you sign up for classes with NSSB this Fall, starting mid September.  Come out and see what cha cha, jive and Argentine Tango look like. Get up on the floor with  NSSB ‘s professional (and fun!) instructor Murray Schellenberg.  If you can’t make this session but want to learn about upcoming NSSB dance classes, ask to be put on their mailing list at


Capoeira Aché Brasil Celebration

Saturday, September 5, 10:00pm to midnight

Join the students and staff of Capoeira Aché Brasil for an informal evening of music and celebration.  Everyone’s welcome!

Free, but any donations are welcome to support kids in Brazilian slums

In Our Meeting Room:  Point Youth Media’s 3rd Annual Supply Party

Wednesday, September 9, 5:00-10:00pm

Point Youth Media (PYM) is looking for donations of supplies to be used in the third year of their “20 Days behind the Eyes of 20 Ugandan Children” programming.  20 Days gives 20 Ugandan youth from the Kampala youth community the opportunity to use disposable cameras to record the realities of their lives.  This year, LOVE BC has partnered with PYM to send three youth leaders from Vancouver to Uganda to share their arts and facilitation skills.  Please bring donations of film and art supplies, and come learn more about this exciting youth-driven initiative.


The Writers’ Studio Reads

Thursday, September 10, 7:00pm

Members of the SFU Writers’ Studio share their latest works of creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry.  Featuring readings by Renee Sarojini Saklikar, Jonina Kirton, Tara Wohlberg, Jan Redford, Adrienne Drobnies, Shannon Raye, Wanda Power, Daniela Elza, Raoul Fernandes, Dea Hutchins, and Tamara Gorin.



Friday, September 11, 7:30pm

An evening of poetry, storytelling and of recognizing literacy as a basic human right. Seven celebrated queer women authors read to raise funds for the Literacy and Learning Program at WISH: a centre for female survival sex workers.  Readings by Mette Bach, Cathleen With, Afuwa Granger, Sailor Holladay, Shana Myara, Nadine Chambers, Amber Dawn and Melanie Bray.

$5-$15 sliding scale

Más Movement Salsa Party For Queer Folk and Allies

Saturday, September 12, 7:30pm

Whether you’ve only dreamed of Salsa or are already a pro, you are welcome here!  From 7:30 to 8:15 we’ll hang out, listen to some music, eat, and drink. At 8:15 we’ll learn some moves from Michael Gabriel Rosen of Más Movement. From 9:30 onward we´ll party to the sweet rhythms of Salsa, Merengue and Reggaeton–courtesy of DJ La Salsomana. No partner necessary.

$5-$10 sliding scale, but no one turned away for lack of funds

Rhizome Free Store:  Kids’ Toys, Books, and Clothing

Sunday, September 13, 5:00-8:00pm

Share what you have!  Get what you need!  This is the first in a series of new Free Store events at Rhizome.  Each month we’ll have a different theme, and will share our resources with each other.  This month, we’ll be sharing kids’ stuff.  Have your kids outgrown their clothes, books or toys?  Bring them in and choose some new (to you) items.  Items must be clean and in working condition.  Anything left over at the end of the evening will be donated to the Battered Women’s Support Services stores.


Deadline for Dropping off Silent Auction Donations

Wednesday, September 16

See October 3 listing below for more information.

Silent Auction Bidding Begins

Thursday, September 17

See October 3 listing below for more information

MAP Van Celebration

Thursday, September 17, 7:00pm

Join us to celebrate the return of the MAP van to the streets of Vancouver, supporting women working in the street level sex trade.  After six successful years of providing vital safety and support services, the MAP van lost its funding in June.  MAP allies rallied to have funding restored–and were successful.  The van returns to the street this month.  Come show your support and celebrate this great community victory.

$5-$25 sliding scale recommended, but no one turned away for lack of funds

Board Games are So Gay

Friday, September 18, 7:00pm

We’re back with another round of queer-friendly board games!  Bring your favourite games or use ours.  Proper Noun will keep the tunes coming.

By donation, no one turned away.

Book Launch/Blast-Off of VIVA ZAPATA!
Saturday, September 19, 4:30-6:30pm

VIVA ZAPATA! is the roaring new children’s book by writers Emilie Smith and Margarita Kenefic-Tejada, illustrated by Stefan Czernecki.  It tells the fanciful tale of how the hero of the Mexican Revolution, Emiliano Zapata, engages a band of wild bandidos, rescues his stolen horse, and rides off in a cloud of hope for the future.  This event will be a celebration of the book, and of this beloved hero of all humanity.  People are invited to bring their images of Zapata for an honourary altar to his memory, as we approach the centenary of the Mexican Revolution.


“Best of the Van Poetry Slam 2008-2009” CD Release Party

Saturday, September 19, 8:00pm

The Vancouver Poetry Slam brings its best and brightest spoken word performers to the stage to celebrate the launch of their “Best of” CD.  The Van Slam Poetry Team, chosen by the public from the 08-09 playoffs, will perform as a group.  This is a fundraiser for Vancouver Poetry House.

$8-$12 sliding scale, includes a copy of the CD

House Beneath Poetry Launch

Sunday, September 20, 6:00pm

House Beneath is the first book from Susan Telfer of Gibsons, British Columbia. Telfer takes on big issues, such as how to write out of a landscape, which despite its beauty, has been the site of much personal pain.  Writing about human relationships, family and the British Columbia landscape, Telfer encompasses the doubt of growing up within an alcoholic home but also here is affirmation and new hope, and understanding.  With special guest reader Elizabeth Bachinsky.


Emerge 2009 Sneak Preview Reading

Thursday, September 24, 7:00pm

Come hear the writers of the Writer’s Studio 2009 student anthology emerge at a sneak preview of the publication’s formal launch in October. Twenty one voices of fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry.


Brand New Sneakers: Farewell…For Now
Friday, September 25, 8:00pm

After four successful showcases of local female talent, Brand New Sneakers is up for one final round before host & creator Eirene Cloma trades in her kicks for combats to explore the road less travelled. This last show will be featuring your favourites from past BNS shows including Kidnap Kids!, Alexandria Finn, Larissa Feng, spoken word artist Lucia Misch, and many more!
$5-10 sliding scale

In Concert:  Sever Folk Society with The Sumner Brothers

Saturday, September 26, 8:00pm

This music and this night will be all about honesty and connection. The Sumner Brothers showcase a stripped down, feel it in your bones and look death right in the eye kind of music, while The Sever Folk Song Society can be expected to deliver a raw, technical, and energetic set of acoustic folk-punk. and
By donation

Family Sunday:  Disco, Baby Season Opener!

Sunday, September 27, 4:30 to 7:00pm

Disco, Baby is back after a summer break.  Bring the kids for some disco dancing fun!  dj little d will be mixing the old school and the new.

By donation

I Could Have Been a Spelling Bee Champ, Round 5

Thursday, October 1, 7:00pm, **Registration for spellers at 6:30.

Come out and spell your way to the top, or watch the drama unfold from the audience.  Winner gets a trophy and the title of Spelling Bee Champ, Fall 2009.  Door prizes from local bookstores and publishers.  Proceeds go to Towards Aboriginal Health and Healing to fund health and advocacy program for aboriginal, HIV+ peoples.  Call Denise at 604-314- 5886 for more info.

$5- $20, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

October 2, 1968 Memorial

Friday, October 2, 7:00pm

Building Bridges presents this memorial to the victims and survivors of the 1968 massacre in Mexico City, with an update on current conditions in Mexico.  Including video presentation, poetry, discussion and more.


Rhizome Café’s Third Anniversary Celebration

Saturday, October 3, 7:00pm to midnight

Join us to celebrate Rhizome’s third anniversary!  For the past three years, with your help, we’ve all created a diverse and welcoming community hub that supports social justice work, focuses on marginalized voices, and allows us all to connect with one another!  Join us for an evening of celebration, including tasty things to eat, performances, a slideshow of the past year, dancing, and more.

$1-$100 sliding scale, all helps Rhizome keep on going.

In addition to attending the party, there are other ways you can celebrate with us–and help Rhizome continue strong into the future:

1) Donate something for our silent auction! We’re creating a two-week long silent auction.  Items will be photographed (or described) and posted on the wall in our meeting room.  Donate something you have, something you’ve made, something you can teach, or a service you can provide.  This is a great chance to connect your talents with others in our Rhizome community–and to support Rhizome at the same time.  Please deliver donations by September 16.  Questions?  Ask Lisa:

2) Come by to bid on an auction item. Starting on September 17, come peruse the talent and generosity that abounds in our community. Bidding will begin on September 22 and will end at 10:00pm at our anniversary party on October 3rd.  Bid early and often!  Your bids help keep Rhizome going.

3) Sign up to do a 60-second performance at the anniversary party. Poetry, songs, skits…anything goes–as long as it’s on the theme of the rhizome and it lasts no longer than one minute!  Sign up by September 28 to

Thanks!  See you soon!


Café * Arts Venue * Community Space

Where we are:

317 East Broadway

Vancouver, BC, Coast Salish Territory

For more information:


Our regular hours:

Tuesdays:       11am to 10pm  **NOTE: New opening time starting September 8

Wednesdays: 11am to 10pm

Thursdays:      11am to 10pm

Fridays:           11am to midnight

Saturdays:       10am to midnight (brunch from 10 to 3)

Sundays:         10am to 9pm (brunch from 10 to 3)  ***NOTE: New closing time starting September 13

We’re closed on Mondays.

A note on our name:

In the botanical sense, a rhizome is a root system that some plants (like lilies and orchids and ginger and bamboo) use to spread themselves about.  While the roots of most plants point generally downward, the rhizome is a horizontal root system that runs parallel to the surface of the ground.  The plant sends shoots up from nodes in the rhizome, creating what look like many separate plants.  These seemingly unrelated individuals are actually all connected, through a system that’s not immediately visible to the eye.

Local Lesbian Band Sugarbeach releases new album

Here’s a message from Marlee and Tully: “Our new album “Not Deserted” has just been released worldwide! To hear our online CD release and interview with the lovely Len Rogers in Virginia, USA, go to (till Sept 15) Get yourself a cuppa (Aussie for […]

Rhizome Cafe August Events

The Rhizome Cafe is a lesbian-owned cafe and community venue in Vancouver, on Broadway near Fraser. Lisa and Vinetta would love to see you there. Art on our Walls The Muse’s Studio: Drawings by Kyla Bourgh Events Film and Celebration:  Country of the People’s without […]

Mary Kathryn Arnold – The Girls They Speak in Spanish


Mary Kathryn Arnold is a Nova Scotian lesbian from Halifax. Editor of Rhythm Poetry Magazine, her poetry has appeared in The Antigonish Review, The New Compass, Mezzo Cammin, The Fiddlehead, and is forthcoming in If Poetry Journal.

The Girls They Speak in Spanish

for Laure Conio


pecado pecado

up down up down fast –
and and and too
two of them together on one old mattress;
the other: she thinks in French
lying on her mattress
the Spanish perfume is in the air
the air so heavy and dark
between the four of them
lying down they hear
the trees
the birds
the radio
the girl (la jeune Veynois, quinze ans)
who likes to dance in the courtyard below
Florence Florence
il n’y a pas du feu au lac

upstairs the room is small and dark and hot
the shutters are closed
but the girls – they know
the walls are lavender with their old wallpaper
they know these mattresses
these mattresses that have known so many others
Florence Florence
you will know them too

outside the window
un deux (sigh) trois
elle entends les sons d’eglise
these bells toll
en anglais en francais en espagnol
over the roofs of tuile
past the boulangerie
over Florence who is clapping her hands and laughing now

on the chemin de la vieille digue
they stopped together
la jeune fille Canadienne and the one who thinks in French
past the horses and far from the lake
their lips were dry
she points because she doesn’t know the word in English
the berries – so red
staining their lips
their skin so tanned
elles aiment de bronze
they stopped together on the chemin de la vieille digue
the mountains
reaching high all around them
when I was un enfant, there is a buisson comme ca
en dehors de ma maison
she speaks with her sticky berry stained lips

il n’y a pas du feu au lac

on the chemin de la vieille digue the men come walking
the girls they hurry back on the road
hiding their guilty red fingers

pecado pecado

in the kitchen
it’s warm tonight –
they dance here,
the three girls
Immaculada (is this the moment you live for now?)
she’s the one who lost her faith in America

here in the kitchen where it’s warm
and the music’s loud
and the girl who gives a mean massage
is here to dance with her;
those Spanish girls
Iruna – she said to them
my sister she begs me at home
to give her a massage it’s the truth
yes they believe her

they have felt those Spanish hands on their backs
rubbing sun creme in by the lake
they have seen her carrying the stones out of the yard
(she can carry two buckets)
not like the other girls
she dances with Immaculada
and Florence Florence
Oh, she can go so low
doucement doucement
She says to the one who gives a mean massage
but her French it’s not so good

together they fall to the floor
and laugh and laugh –
their tanned warm bodies
shaking with laughter on this sticky tile floor
it has seen too much dancing
and vin d’Alsace and sangria tonight
by the window Laure is standing watching them
Laure who leaves the lemon pits in her glass every night

She watches the three who like to dance.
Laure she likes to watch
and sway like that
and listen to all the different voices
she hears the Spanish and the French and the English
and the boy whose father is German
but you know
his mother is from this country
where le soleil brille pour tout le monde
he’s a good boy –
yes his hair is trim
and he doesn’t know how to dance like the girls do

and the boys they never break the glasses
(this unforgiving floor)
how many times
the glass on the tile
today it’s three
the boys they wanted to drive to Marseille
(just for the day)
they said it’s not so far we know the way
the English girls,
the one from the North and the one from the South
(you know they talk so different)
they wanted to go
yes we can take the motorway they said

but the other girls
they are happy here;
here where you can see the mountains out the window
where the air is clear (and you can walk to the lake)
here in the kitchen tonight
where it’s warm and sticky and the music’s loud

yesterday at the table
the boys they drank their bottles of rum and beer
(they don’t break the glasses)
they ride their bicycles to the lake –

they go to swim
their hair it’s trim

not like Immaculada;
she piles her hair
on top of her head
when she lies in the sun


Vancouver Dyke March

Saturday August 1st Sixth annual 2009 Vancouver Dyke March and Festival The vision for the Vancouver Dyke March is to bring an all-inclusive, female / family, dog-friendly march and festival into the East side (Commercial Drive area). We hope people and dogs of all ages […]

Lesbians and Bicycles

Excerpts from : Subjects of the Visual Arts: Bicycles by Carla Williams / Taisau “Bicycles, introduced in Europe around 1863, were the first democratic means of transportation. In practical terms, bicycles eliminated the reliance on the horse and buggy. The “Golden Age” of bicycles came […]

Pride Parade Basics for Straight-Run Companies and Organizations

Rainbows for Beginners
Rainbows for Beginners

Pride season is in the air. Last year I wrote a post-pride advice guide for straight people hosting floats in the parade. It seems like time to bring it to the surface again, in the hopes that companies wishing to market to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people by having a float in the ‘gay pride parade’ will have a successful time of it.

Yay for cultural sensitivity.

Here’s the link to that article: Pride Parade Entry Basics for Straight People

Vancouver Pride Society has new easier volunteer system – looking for volunteers

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you all know that we are still looking some volunteers for this year’s Pride! We have lots of opportunities available, for both individuals and groups.  Our new system allows people to create a volunteer account, and immediately select […]