Article, Arts & Culture

Canzine West Returns to SFU

November 01, 2016

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.”

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.

Latest/Related Updates

  • January 10, 2024

    January 10, 2024

    Our Below the Radar podcast mini-series See How We Run! looked at local arts collectives and organizations, highlighting conversations about creation, spacemaking, accessibility, and self-determination within the framework of Vancouver’s cityscape.

  • August 15, 2023

    August 15, 2023

    With details of our 5-year anniversary celebration event to come, let’s take a sneak peek of the upcoming season.

  • July 26, 2023

    July 26, 2023

    Since September 2022, we’ve held 42 events and workshops, released 33 episodes, and engaged more than 25,000 podcast listeners. During that time, working diligently behind the scenes—editing podcast audio, and supporting communications and events programming—was our interim Programs Assistant Samantha Walters, who we are pleased to announce has now moved into a continuing role in the office.

  • July 20, 2023

    July 20, 2023

    On June 29, 2023, 200 people turned out for the world premiere screening of Smokey Devil: Underworld Street Reporter, a feature length documentary by Nathaniel Canuel, co-hosted by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement.

  • June 29, 2023

    June 29, 2023

    On our latest spring season of the podcast, we had the chance to sit down with five SCA artist-scholars for some exciting discussions on their artistic practices and latest research. Whether you're looking to hear more about arts education and the local arts ecology, or just seeking some artistic inspiration, we hope you join us in diving back into these episodes.


Stay Up to Date

Get the latest on upcoming events by subscribing to our newsletter below.