Last official College Night
Wed, Oct 8, Church on Church
A sign of bad things to come is an almost empty gay bar on a weekend. Other than College Night on Wednesday, Church on Church struggles to stay afloat. Especially after Prism’s Gairy Brown (he with the massive list of pretty party people) ended his Saturday-night party there. And tonight, unbeknownst to many, is the last College Night at this venue. Nothing is said, but whispers are heard. DJ Sumation lets it slip that the current owners have sold the year-old venue to established bar owner Michael Ramawad, one quarter of the Crews & Tangos team. I’m not sure why they couldn’t make a go of this spot. They certainly did a lot of work to make the interior unique and memorable. Under the yellow light of the pendant lights, a luscious lesbian couple is busy twerking. At the long back-lit bar, fashion entrepreneur Jeff Rustia is ordering doubles. Drag queen Devine Darlin’ is taking selfies with DJ Cajjmere Wray from the raised DJ booth overlooking the packed dancefloor. And at the rustic harvest tables, men are busy chatting each other up in hopes of getting down. A week later Russell Palloo (who brought this weekly party here when The Barn closed) tries to move the party to Club120, way down at Church and Queen, a move I see as disastrous. Twinks hate walking. I predict the college set will make Diablo, Church on Church’s new Wednesday-night name, their new home. Either that or the originator of College Night as we know it will have to come out of self-imposed retirement to get the party restarted. Dust off your skinny jeans, Matt Sims.
Alex & Giorgio
Anna & Chinny
DJ Cajjmere Wray & Devine Darlin’
Victor, Arik & Roney
Vixon, Sumation, Sofonda and Joey
Thurs, Oct 16, Four Seasons Centre
A sign of interesting things to come is the merger of scenes through the fusion of musical genres. The Canadian Opera Company is going hard by positioning itself younger and more virile. Since its inception 11 years ago, COC’s gala fundraising event, Operanation, has aimed the company’s deep throats and well-endowed vocal chords at the younger set. Give them a little taste now and get them hooked later. And the mad music these divine dealers are pimpin’ is addictive. But instead of working some shady street corner, the action tonight takes place in the modern glass masterpiece known as the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. And the music of tonight’s Light Up the Night–themed party ingeniously comes opera-à-la-carte cut with some poppy back beats courtesy of French electro group Yelle. On their own, Yelle played a sold-out concert at the Mod Club the night before. For tonight’s festivities they headline and then share the stage with four members of the COC ensemble. Gorgeous. Gays have long had an ear for both opera and electro, so it’s no surprise that a healthy queer presence is in the house. Performance artist Keith Cole’s Yacht Rawk Flash Mob sees a group of black-tie boys and gown-draped debs being led in impromptu dance sessions as DJs Phil V and Cozmic Cat provide the soundtrack. As we nibble and drink, cheers and clink, we roam the three-level complex, viewing neon art by Orest Tataryn and rubbing shoulders with Bay Street boys and babes and Queen West guys and gals, like recently retired designer Jeremy Laing and partner Frank Griggs, fashion blogger Anita Clarke and the always stunning April Wozny. What will Operanation do next year? I predict a sampling of opera mixed with home-grown hip hop. Get your black tie pressed, Kardinal Offishall.
Al, Christina & Michael
Alison, Bear & Hilary
DJs Cozmic Cat & Phil V
Francis & David
Eric, Christina & Brandon
Julian, Keith Cole, Richard & Ben
Stephen, Russell & Sam
Yelle and some Canadian Opera Company singers.