Once a snappy afternoon protest, Toronto’s Pride has gradually morphed into a month-long monolith. The plethora of arts events can be overwhelming, but Buddies in Bad Times Theatre has long proven a hotspot for culture seekers. Daily Xtra caught up with outgoing artistic director Brendan Healy to talk about what to expect in 2015.
Daily Xtra: Buddies has for several years held Queer Pride, as opposed to Gay Pride. What does queer pride mean to you?
Brendan Healy: The idea is to showcase the incredible diversity of Toronto in terms of identities, ages, cultural backgrounds and artistic practices. We try to make Pride very community-focused and seek projects that fostering connectivity, break down barriers, and provide platforms to people who aren’t always heard.
Give us a little run down of some of this year’s highlights.
I’m really excited about Drasko Bogdanovic’s play In The Dark. I’ve been a fan of his photography for years and it’s exciting to see him delve into performance. I think we can expect something really hot and truly unique. Arise is coordinated by Buddies stalwarts Gein Wong and Catherine Hernandez. It brings together five emerging queer artists of colour and incorporates dance, poetry, music and theatre. And we’ll have the third Bizarre Ball, a super welcoming and inclusive vogue ball. It’s a true celebration of freakiness, originality and beauty. This year’s theme is “A Fucked Up Fairy Tale” so you can imagine the outfits folks will cook up. Whether you walk the runway or just watch, you’ll have a great time
This will be your last Pride with Buddies before you depart. Is there any special resonance for you with the event?
Everything seems to have extra resonance these days. I love Pride at Buddies. The amount of stuff happening in the building is insane, from parties to dance shows, to comedy acts to musical cabarets. It reminds me how lucky I am to be a part of such a rich, talented community. I also love the particularly sexy vibe it brings to the building — people are feeling good, the weather is getting hot and there’s a lot more skin showing. I’ve had some memorable hook ups at Buddies during Pride. I even fell in love. Fortunately, no longer being AD doesn’t preclude me from attending in the future.