1. Delegate – Chris Frazer
Chris Frazer, the lead organizer of the Canadian delegation, remains a committed activist in Antigonish, Nova Scotia involved in union and solidarity advocacy, and LGBTQ2SIA issues. His drag persona C. Leah Cruise appears at academic and political events & and continues to perform at drag shows at St. Francis Xavier and in Halifax. In 2017 he completed 14 years as faculty advisor to LGBTQ2SIA students, and continues to organize in the local community. His legacy continues to impact the campus and communities beyond. In 2014 the Nova Scotia Youth Project added Chris’s name to the Trans Mosaic, a growing art piece that celebrates people locally and globally doing outstanding work for the trans community. In the spring of 2017 he addressed the Young Communist League’s convention where he spoke about the important political legacies of the 1989 World Festival of Youth & Students.
Chris asks that you consider donating to The Nova Scotia Youth Project, a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing support and services to youth, 25 and under, around issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
2. Delegate – Beverley Scow
Beverly Scow is a member of the Kwickseutaineuk Ah-kwa-mish First Nation. In 1988 she lead a national campaign against Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s underfunding of indigenous university students. A year after traveling to the DPRK Beverly participated in a fact finding mission to Kahnesatake during the OKA crisis of August 1990. She stayed behind to help defend the community and their calls for land rights, peace, and respect. She now lives on Oneida nation territory in Wisconsin, where she co-founded Wise Women Gathering Place (WWGP). WWGP emerged from kitchen table weekly meetings to study grassroots midwifery, to become an organization that responds to community request for help with problems using our traditional midwifery apprenticeship approach. In September 2017 Beverly was awarded the North Star Award for leaders who work to end domestic violence.
Beverley asks that you consider making a donation to support the important work of the Wise Women Gathering Place, an organization that promotes Peace, Respect & Belonging through skill-building, sharing of resources and caring support for our community.
3. Delegate – Lyndon Surjik
After returning from the DPRK festival Lyndon Surjik organized Regina’s first ever Lesbian & Gay pride parade (1990). Later that year he was elected the first openly gay national treasurer of the Canadian Federation of Students. He moved to Vancouver (narrowly missing the Gay Games), where he worked for the Downtown Eastside Residents’ Association (DERA), AIDS Vancouver, and QMUNITY. Throughout, he continued to keep his chops wet, performing with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. He currently lives in Cambie Village, and works for a housing non-profit in the downtown eastside. He has no children.
Lyndon asks that you to consider donating to the BC Positive Living Society, an organization that supports individuals living with HIV-AIDS.
4. Delegate – Irwin Oosgtindie
Irwin Oostindie boarded a train from Pyongyang to Beijing after the Festival, and experienced martial law after the Tiananmen Square massacre. He then went back as the only Canadian delegate in an international peace march attempting to walk from the northern border with China to the southern tip at Cheju Island. They were stopped at the DMZ border and staged a hunger strike with Im Su Kyung (the only South Korean delegate to the World Festival). Kyung would go to prison in the south while Irwin would return to Canada but remained active with solidarity projects across East Asia. Through the 1990s Irwin built up Canada’s largest annual political arts festival, Under the Volcano, with a special emphasis on political culture including anti-colonialism, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer, and ecology. He has lived in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for many years. As a media artist and broadcaster, he brings an old school internationalist perspective to his work.
Fitting his desire for genuine reconciliation and redress for Canadian colonialism, Irwin welcomes people to contribute to Kwi Awt Stelmexw which supports young people learning their Indigenous language where he lives.
5. Delegate – Josh Coles
Josh Coles is a representative with Unifor and a proud member of Unifor Local 1928. As a union organizer, he assists workers and their families in finding and raising their collective voices to demand change. Forever affected by the North Korea experience, Josh went onto to attend university and engage in political and union agitation in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto, where he and his partner now live.
More Delegates Coming Soon!