Borderland Pride brought drag group back to community after bass tournament cancellation
Borderland Pride is pleased to announce that its drag show fundraiser on Saturday, June 10 netted over $7,000 for the Fort Frances splash park project. All proceeds from ticket sales, bar sales, and a silent auction of donated prize items will be forwarded to the ‘Make A Big Splash’ Committee, who have been spearheading local fundraising efforts for the community project. The evening event featured drag performances by artists from Wiggins Productions in Thunder Bay, including Mz. Molly Poppinz, Amber Ail, Shaela Vie, Miss Take, Faux Rocious, and Ivan Love, as well as local drag personalities Pharoah Moans and Janelle Star. The event, held at the Memorial Sports Centre, was at capacity, with over 200 tickets sold online in advance and dozens more purchased at the door. One happy local couple got engaged on stage. Two tickets to see the Toronto Maple Leafs, provided courtesy of Molson Coors, were raffled to advanced ticket holders. Borderland Pride made drag the centre of its 2023 festival in order to stand in solidarity with the drag community at a time when it is under political attack across North America. Numerous recent pieces of U.S. state legislation have attempted to vilify drag artists and outlaw drag performance altogether. Drag Story Time events for children – like the one held by Borderland Pride on Sunday, June 11 – have faced the brunt of these meritless, defamatory attacks.
Earlier on June 10, during the Passport to Pride March, Borderland Pride revealed that it hired Wiggins Productions for this show when it learned that the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship board had cancelled plans to bring the group back to the tournament in July 2023 after Beyak Automotive Group threatened to pull financial support of the event if drag performers were included in the entertainment line-up. Borderland Pride donated the funds from its show to the spray park in light of Beyak’s earlier decision to claw-back a donation intended for the Fort Frances project.
Borderland Pride extends its thanks to the numerous sponsors, donors, and volunteers that made Saturday's drag event a successful community-building initiative.
For those who missed out on drag this weekend, Mz. Molly Poppinz returns to Fort Frances on Friday, June 16 for a special Pride Month edition of Paint Night, to take place at the Métis Hall. Tickets must be purchased in advance, at www.borderlandpride.org/paint. Your ticket includes everything you need to participate in the event.
### Quote: “Drag is an art form that portrays colourful representations of gender identity and gendered stereotypes. It is an important cultural component of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, its history, and the global Pride movement. We made the deliberate decision to direct the proceeds of this event to a project that benefits local children and families because drag events geared for young audiences help to instill important messages of inclusion, self-love, and personal safety, while providing positive representations of gender diversity for families.”
- Douglas W. Judson
Contact: Douglas W. Judson (he/him/his) Director/Festival Co-Chair Borderland Pride