New YVR Sisters Portraits

In 2014, I was honoured with the title of 'Angel' by the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for my 'Unveiled' photo project, which honours the Sisters and their devotion to the Vancouver LGBT Community. The photo project is ongoing and will culminate with a 10 year anniversary book entitled 'Sistory' to be published in 2020.
Sister Fancy Pants became a fully professed member of the Sisters in November 2016.
Sister Ethica Slut co-founded the Vancouver Sisters of Indulgence with Sister Merry Q. Contrary in 2010.
To view the entire Unveiled Photo Project click HERE.

  Sister Fancy Pants

Sister Fancy Pants

  Sister Ethica  Slüt

Sister Ethica Slüt

'You Belong in Vancouver' Vancouver Tourism

As a queer identified photographer it was emotional and empowering to be involved in a project that honours my LGBTQ community.
I am proud to have been chosen as the photographer to create portraits for Vancouver Tourism's 'You Belong in Vancouver' LGBTQ campaign.
It was two full days of photography and video with an incredible team who deeply cared about telling these individuals stories with respect and dignity.

DJ O Show is a dynamic speaker and this video of her describing her heritage and what music means to her is powerful.

Danny Ramadan is an inspiring individual who has overcome great hardship to start a new life in Vancouver, Canada.

Videography:  Barbershop Films
Makeup & Hair:  Tasha Vu
Photography:  Belle Ancell
Digi-Tech:  Maylies Lang

New additions to the YVR Sisters

In 2014, I was honoured with the title of 'Angel' by the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for my 'Unveiled' photo project, which honours the Sisters and their devotion to the Vancouver LGBT Community. The photo project is ongoing and will culminate with a 10 year anniversary book entitled 'Sistory' to be published in 2020. 
In 2016 these beautiful people became the newest members of the Vancouver Abbey.
Sister Bodice Rippa is the second cis-gender female fully professed member of the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
L'il Randy is a Paladin. The primary role of the Paladins are to support the work of the Sisters through protection and service.
To view the entire Unveiled Photo Project click HERE.

  Sister Bodice Rippa -   Fully Professed Member October 2016

Sister Bodice Rippa - Fully Professed Member October 2016

  Paladin L'il Randy  - Fully Professed Member September 2016

Paladin L'il Randy - Fully Professed Member September 2016

Take Time for Your Mind

Vancouver's Health Initiative for Men is working to make information about Gay men's mental health accessible with their 'Take Time for Your Mind' online resource.
Photographing this project was technically challenging AND fun, consisting of a 10 hour shoot day at 2 locations with 6 wonderful models.

New additions to the YVR Sisters

In 2014, I was honoured with the title of 'Angel' by the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for my 'Unveiled' photo project, which honours the Sisters and their life long devotion to the Vancouver LGBT Community. The photo project is ongoing and will culminate with
a 10 year anniversary book entitled 'Sistory' to be published in 2020. 
In 2015 these wonderful creatures became the newest members of the Vancouver Abbey.
To view the entire Unveiled Photo Project click HERE.
 

 Sister Lois Price - Fully Professed Member February 2015

Sister Lois Price - Fully Professed Member February 2015

 Sister Koo-Koo Kachoo - Fully Professed Member March 2015

Sister Koo-Koo Kachoo - Fully Professed Member March 2015

 Sister Visa DeKline - Fully Professed Member May 2015

Sister Visa DeKline - Fully Professed Member May 2015

 Sister Festivus Illuminata - Fully Professed Member July 2015

Sister Festivus Illuminata - Fully Professed Member July 2015

 Sister Diversity Rains - Fully Professed Member November 2015

Sister Diversity Rains - Fully Professed Member November 2015

My Summer Holiday....by belle ancell

Actually, there wasn't a summer holiday. However, there was a lot of love beginning with my first wedding of the season officiated by Vancouver Sister of Perpetual Indulgence Sister Festivus Illuminata (pictured below).
The intimate wedding of Jennifer & Jocelyn was the first wedding ceremony ever performed in Canada by a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence. The Sisters are a worldwide 21st Century order of Queer Nuns who's lifelong vow is to spread universal joy and erase stigmatic guilt.
Please visit my portraiture website to see more LGBT folks in love.

primal he{art}

The Primal He{Art} series was inspired from a photo project I was invited to participate in based out of Toronto called the 10x10 Photography Project. The ten year Project is in its third year and each year invites ten photographers to create ten portraits of individuals who have contributed to the LGBTQ arts in Canada. Those 100 portraits were showcased at a Gallery in Toronto in June and also published in a gorgeous photo book. I was also fortunate to have the Project accepted into Vancouver's Queer Arts Festival Curated Show in August.

My series honoured ten Vancouver artists and the primal heart connection they feel to their artistic expression. I invited my ten subjects to choose words that described what their artistic expression evoked for them. Those deeply intimate words were then spray painted onto their bodies by artist Carole Lagimodiere, and they were then photographed semi nude. I have experienced firsthand the vulnerability of sharing one’s art with the world and I felt that having them pose in the nude would help to illustrate that vulnerability. I also love how light and shadow can create texture, form and beauty when photographing the human body.

I endeavored to create an atmosphere of collaboration with my artists with poses and lighting that would suit their personalities and to some extent their gender expression. I took the duty that the 10x10 Project bestowed upon me very seriously as I wanted to honour these individuals by creating compelling and beautiful images for them. A lot of folks helped with this Project and I’m extremely proud of what we have all created together.

Primal He{Art} DEBUT !!

Conceptualized it, planned it, photographed it, retouched it, printed it, framed it, mounted it!
The Primal He{ART} Project debuts at Queer Arts Festival Vancouver.

 Being in the same show as Joe Average was mind warping for me !!

Being in the same show as Joe Average was mind warping for me !!

 Two of my artists featured in the Project. Mandy Randhawa and Eileen Kage.

Two of my artists featured in the Project. Mandy Randhawa and Eileen Kage.

 My future husband, dancer and choreographer Noam Gagnon.

My future husband, dancer and choreographer Noam Gagnon.

 Zoee Nuage, a photographer I admire and have now photographed.

Zoee Nuage, a photographer I admire and have now photographed.

 It was fun to watch people's reactions to the images.

It was fun to watch people's reactions to the images.

 David Robinson poses with his powerful image we collaborated on and created together.

David Robinson poses with his powerful image we collaborated on and created together.

 Mandy Randhawa in front of the beautiful image of her we created together.

Mandy Randhawa in front of the beautiful image of her we created together.

 Amber Dawn and I goofing it up in front of her stunning image.

Amber Dawn and I goofing it up in front of her stunning image.

10x10 photography project

Once upon a time I did a photo project called the Mr/s. Movember Project and a curator named James Fowler from Toronto, Ontario discovered it online and asked me if I'd like to participate in his Project (this is the part where I reveal my special project).

The 10x10 Photography Project is a ten-year photo project currently in its third year. Each year ten photographers are chosen from across Canada to create ten portraits of LGBTQ Canadians who have contributed to the Arts.

I was incredibly honoured when James asked me to participate in the Project, and I almost said NO. I'm proud of myself for facing my fears and ultimately saying yes, because the Project has challenged me on so many levels. It has challenged my creativity, my confidence, my fear of failure, my photography skills and my communication skills. I'm halfway through the Project now and it has been a wonderful experience collaborating with talented people I so admire. We've had a blast playing in the studio and I'm excited for the upcoming shoots in April.

Alas, I cannot share the images with you until after the Toronto Gallery Showing and book launch in June. I can tell you that the concept for the Project involves vulnerability, body language, and having my people posed semi-nude. I've been collaborating with body painter Carole Lagimodiere (pictured below) and her work has enhanced the Project significantly. I am so grateful to my ten artists Amber Dawn, DJ Miss M, SD Holman, Paige Frewer, Gwen Haworth, Eileen Kage, David Robinson, Zoée Nuage, Mandy Randhawa, and Noam Gagnon. What an amazing gift it was to collaborate with you.

Mr/s. Movember

by Aileen Penner

Vancouver photographer Belle Ancell had a vision of handsome queer women in moustaches. For Movember, she made it happen. On a fall day as the rain poured outside, and Madonna reverberated on the stereo inside, six queer women sat for their close-up. The camera clicked and the first queer Movember Project in Canada, "Mr/s. Movember", was born.

The Movember art campaign is a series of six queer female models ranging in age from early twenties to late forties, photographed in portrait, and in a moustache. Movember is a global campaign to raise funds and awareness about men's health - specifically prostate cancer. This year, the organization has added mental health to the campaign.

Belle Ancell is a celebrated child of the 70's and loves moustaches. She heard about the Movember campaign when she relocated to Vancouver two years ago. "I thought it was a fabulous way to create dialogue about prostate cancer and to support men's health. I kind of wished I could participate and grow a moustache myself. And that is how the idea for Mr/s. Movember came about," Ancell explains. She thought it would be fun to get a group of handsome queer women together to rock their own moustaches.

The photos in "Mr/s. Movember" are about identify, playing with identity, and raising awareness by prompting private and public conversations in the GLBTQ community about health. Some of the models in the project identify as lesbian, butch, male, female and all of the above. Yet all queer women have men in their lives - whether they are partners, brothers, fathers, uncles, nephews, or sons who are dealing with prostate cancer and mental health issues.

"One of the great things about Movember is that having a moustache starts conversation and gets Canadians talking about their health", said Peter Bombaci, National Director, Movember Canada. "It's the power of the moustache that has raised awareness and reduced stigma surrounding prostate cancer and it's exciting to have the opportunity to do the same for mental health."

"I am very happy to see this year's Movember campaign focusing on the LGBTQ community more and for including anti-bullying and mental health in its funding for this year", says Ancell. She says this is just the beginning for the Mr/s. Movember photo project. Over the next year she will be photographing more women and having a fundraising gallery opening of all the images in support of the 2013 Movember campaign.

Mr/s. Models are: Chris, Rina, Kaylee, Robin, SD and Palmer. Isabelle Champigny (Visual Effects Makeup Artist), and Katrina Gurr and Kelsey-Ann Derksen-Hatt (Assistants).