'Go and free up': This photographer is chronicling Toronto's most inclusive dance party

Yannick Anton shares his insights on the communities the legendary Yes Yes Y'all parties bring together and why he still believes in the power of the photograph.

Yannick Anton on why Yes Yes Y'all's legendary parties are so important to the communities they bring together

Photographer Yannick Anton on the inclusive spirit of Yes Yes Y'all

4 years ago
Yannick Anton, the official photographer for Toronto's Yes Yes Y'all, tells CBC Arts about the communities the parties bring together and why he believes in the power of the photograph in the age of selfies. 2:27

If you've ever attended a Yes Yes Y'all party in Toronto, then you're part of a growing collective of people who have not only found a place to dance but a place to be themselves, to find love and to be free. The event has become legendary over the years because of its killer DJs, incomparable vibe and a spirit of inclusivity that has welcomed the queer community and people of colour in its open arms.

Over the last seven years, countless people have come through — but amidst the swarm of dancers is the steady presence of Yannick Anton, the event's official photographer who has been at the parties since its early days and is now an acclaimed artist in his own right.

(Yannick Anton)

Now, Anton has chronicled some of the highlights of his years of shooting the event in two limited edition photo books. "I'm not taking pictures for right now," he says. "I'm taking pictures so we can look back on it in 20 years, in 100 years. When we're all old and grey, you can say, 'Yo, grandma looks fresh, right?'"

In this video, Anton shares his insights on Yes Yes Y'all, the people it brings together and why he believes in the power of the photograph in the age of selfies.

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Josh McGuirk is a filmmaker and musician born and raised in Toronto. He has been working as a writer, producer & director in film & television for over a decade, and is also the the creator of numerous short films and musical numbers. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter: @joshmcguirk.


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