In the heart of Kelowna, a city known for its picturesque landscapes and beautiful weather, a unique and spine-chilling event captivates its residence — the Feminist Horror Festival. Throughout the month of October, the Feminist Horror Festival promises an immersive journey into the realms of horror, feminism, and the intersection where these two powerful narratives meet.
The Feminist Horror Festival is a series of events where women’s rights meets scary frights. The festival’s objective is to create a space where horror can become a tool for dialogue, where feminist perspectives are intertwined with fear, and where attendees leave not just spooked and entertained, but also enlightened. If you're looking for some Halloween thrills that you can also learn something new from, check out our list of the most anticipated events you should consider attending.
The Towne Theatre Tour: Unmasking Societal Fears
Visit one of the most haunted buildings in western Canada — The Towne Theatre in Vernon. Stop by on October 22 for a tour, and learn about the theatre’s mysterious and historical past that will keep you on edge. People claim that there is a ghost who supposedly walks the theatre at night after the final curtain falls. Thought to be haunted by a long-dead projectionist, the old Towne Theatre is infamous for its numerous ghost stories. Its eerie past is just the Halloween thrill you seek. After the tour, finish the night off with some short films at the theatre, and watch the “Best of HorrorFest Short Films” and the “Final Girl Festival Berlin's Best of 2023 Short Films.” A wonderful bonus is that all proceeds will go to the Archway Society for Domestic Peace.
Public Talks at the ORL and Costumed After-Party
Talks will be hosted at the Okanagan Regional Library for free and open to the public. They cover a variety of topics in horror films, literature, and arts with special guests. All talks will be held in the 2nd floor Great Room of the Downtown Okanagan Regional Library at 6 p.m. If you decide to come on October 26, you can hear from Johanna Isaacson — the author of Stepford Daughters, a best-selling book on contemporary horror films. The book analyzes recent horror films, examining what they teach us about gender and class oppression.
Plus, on the night of the 26th, there is a wicked costume party. The tickets for the 19+ party includes food, drinks, and plenty of socializing. The silent auction held during the after-party transforms horror into a force for good, with proceeds going to the Kelowna Women's Shelter!
Horrors of Care Work Activist Roundtable at OC
If you dare to step into the shadows on October 25, the Okanagan College Theatre will be hosting an all too real roundtable discussion on the horrors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Get ready for an evening where the group will unravel the mysteries surrounding the IPV epidemic from diverse perspectives, while challenging assumptions. This will be an enlightening experience that will have you go home with new spells, more knowledge and a list of valuable IPV resources.
A Night with Filmmaker Karen Lam
On October 20, you could watch the screening of The Curse of Willow Song (2020), which is a great movie about a recovering addict and parolee, struggling to start over. The feature film won Best British Columbia Film when it premiered at the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival. Taking place at Okanagan College, the movie night also includes a live interview with writer/director Karen Lam, where you have the option to ask her questions about the movie, social issues, or simply to pick her brain.
The festival aims to redefine the concept of fear, transforming it from a mere source of adrenaline to a tool for empowerment and reflection. By exploring horror through a feminist lens, the festival utilizes horror as a mirror to society, encouraging attendees to confront their fears as a means of personal and collective enlightenment and growth.
So, whether you love movies, books, tours, talks or anything in between, you’re going to find an event you enjoy. Come along and join this year’s Feminist Horror Festival!
To find out more and get more information on the other amazing events that weren’t listed here, check out their Instagram page @feminist_horror_funhouse.