You may not know them by face or name, but Steve Ireson and Adam Pardy are responsible for It’s A Boy’s Life, Sunday nights at It Nightclub (167 Church St), one of the most successful gay club nights in Toronto’s long and sordid night-life history.
“Right now, Toronto has the largest number of dance clubs per capita, way more than say even New York. That doesn’t mean they’re the coolest clubs, just clubs in general,” says Ireson, the debonair and sophisticated side of the promoter duo.
Success means finding the right mix to make a club or party stand out. That meant blending Ireson’s practical business sense with the raw, aggressive energy of Pardy. Ireson had already made a reputation for himself managing such clubs as The Land Of Oz Entertainment Complex, Fat City, The Pad and Industry nightclub (named by Mixer mag as one of the worlds 10 most legendary clubs); Pardy’s Tuesday night at the Bamboo Nightclub (312 Queen St W) has had more than a fair share of industry attention.
Working together as managers for Five Nightclub (5 St Joseph St) made them a notorious duo, until an ownership battle in the summer of 2000 saw them both without work or a place to play. “When we got fired every thought went through our heads – leaving the country, going to LA to start off where it’s warm. But I loved Toronto so much and we decided to stay,” says Pardy. “It was really weird how we stumbled upon It. I had always wanted to do a club night there before, but I’d never saw the space – finally, when we did, my mouth dropped to the floor.”
Originally planned to be a low key retro ’80s night, Ireson and Pardy threw caution to the wind. “We brought the same idea that we had brought to Five,” says Pardy. “You know, a little show, a little bit of fun, a lot of personal touch to it. We thought it would be a fun for the summer and make a couple of bucks, but it turned into this gigantic legendary club night – that, I’m so proud of.”
Blending the intense circuit sounds which are the staple of the gay party scene with the sophisticated sounds of the UK underground, It’s A Boy’s Life is something of a revolution to Toronto’s gay party circuit.
Two men willing to take chances in the name of fun, Ireson and Pardy have more than succeeded in becoming club land legends. “We’re not doing anything spectacularly underground,” say Adam with a smile. “It’s just the first time it’s happened.”
And probably not the last.