Photo by: Lauren Engel
Founded with the intent to foster community, inclusivity and unification, based on feminist values, Venus Fest aims to provide a welcoming and safe environment for all attendees. The festival is committed to creating a shift in terms of the long standing industry trends that have dominated event programming and organizational structures by ensuring greater awareness around who has access and representation in the arts. It is this responsibility that dictates the festival’s mission to ensure a fun atmosphere that is respectful and tolerant, without enabling destructive behaviours or attitudes. The festival arrived in response to a well-expressed need in the music industry to create a new kind of space for artists to thrive in and for community members to attend with a sense of safety.

Venus Fest is pleased to announce the third installment of the festival, taking place at The Opera House in Toronto from September 20-22. The three-day event will host music performances, art installations and free workshops including a number of all ages events.

This year’s event features performances by minimalist jazz-pop Montreal based artist Charlotte Cardin, Canadian indie-folk mainstays The Weather Station, 1980s Scottish alternative rock band The Vaselines, synth electronic pop singer Tei Shi, Simone Schmidt’s psych-alt country solo project Fiver and more. Venus Fest will kick off the festivities on Saturday September 14k in partnership with Intersessions and Grape Witches (Location TBD). For full programming see below.

Friday September 20, 19+:
The Vaselines
The Weather Station
Dorothea Paas
Live visuals by Chanteclair
Installation by Camille Jodoin-Eng

Saturday September 21, 19+:
Tei Shi
Han Han
Too Attached
Live visuals by blackpowerbarbie
Installation by Camille Jodoin-Eng

Sunday September 22, All Ages:
Charlotte Cardin
Nice Hands
Amaka Queenette
Live visuals by Vanessa Rieger
Installation by Camille Jodoin-Eng

Saturday September 21, 19+
DIY Demos (Masterclass)
Co-presented with Women In Music Canada
A technical workshop instructing artists on the basics of building their own demos at home. Geared towards developing women and non-binary artists.
No previous experience necessary.
Pre-registration required. Subject to capacity.

Wellness for Artists (panel) w/ WIMC
A discussion on mental and emotional health for artists, accessibility, self care, and wellness.

Sunday September 22, 18 and under
Songwriting For Youth (workshop)
Co-presented with Women In Music Canada
A songwriting workshop for girls, non-binary, and transgender youth 18 and under.
No previous experience necessary.
With Girls Rock Camp facilitators.
Pre-registration required.
Parents and caregivers welcome to accompany young children, does not require extra registration. Subject to capacity.

Project Management (panel) w / WIMC
A solution based discussion on distribution, digital marketing, and managing a new release for artists.

Single nights $25 +HST and service fees
Wristbands $55 +
Early bird single nights $19 +
Early bird wristbands $45 +
Kick-off party $10 + or free with wristband
Workshops – free- subject to capacity

Tickets are available at:

Numerous studies have proved that businesses thrive in unprecedented ways when there are women in leadership positions. However, in the arts sector and particularly in music, women continue to be nearly absent. Change has started to appear onstage with many festivals and promoters looking to book more women and non-binary artists, but further transformation is necessary in the music industry as a whole, so that representation is built into the fabric of the organization itself. “Venus Fest is held by a team that understands the need for this festival, from a personal standpoint. We are making decisions that account for, and correct, our history and experience. Our industry will remain fractured until every music organization is working with underrepresented people who have the wisdom that comes from that deeply personal place,” Aerin Fogel, Venus Fest Founder.

The Opera House does not have any steps at the entrance. Once inside the venue there are three levels with two steps between each. A ramp is available for those that need to move between the second and third levels, allowing optimal visibility of the stage from the second level. Bathrooms will be gender neutral for this event. There is a single accessible bathroom stall with transfer bars on the main floor, with remaining bathrooms in the basement.

Venus Fest takes place on the traditional Indigenous territory of the Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit.

Venus Fest does not tolerate any form of homophobia, racism, sexism, transphobia, ableism, ageism, sexual harassment, assault, discrimination, or violence. Any audience members suspected of the above will have the opportunity of one conversation on how their behaviour is harmful. Should they continue, audience members will be removed.
Instigators of sexual assault or violence will be removed without warning.

Venus Fest staff and volunteers have received safer space training with the Dandelion Initiative to better support our community. There will be a group of safer space volunteers with training in the space wearing Venus Fest t-shirts. Please seek them out in the crowd if you need support or someone to talk to.

Press release via: Work Late


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