2 min

Drag Queens are taking over Big White

Okanagan queens Sparkle and Sasha will co-host the inaugural Peak Pride

Sparkle (left) and Sasha (right) will co-host the inaugural Peak Pride festival from April 7–9, 2017, in the Okanagan, in the BC Interior. Credit: Courtesy Peak Pride

For Sasha and Sparkle, the first drag queens soon to set heels on powder up at Big White Ski Resort for the inaugural Peak Pride, nippier weather won’t prevent them from being any less fabulous.

The two are pioneers of drag culture in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Sasha created the area’s first drag show, Embodiment, and the pair will now be hosting the three-day Pride festival, from April 7–9, 2017.

Xtra caught up with the duo to talk about life as a drag queen on a snowy mountain, and how to improve your chances of getting laid at the inaugural Peak Pride.

“The truth is, drag is so hot. When we are up there, we’ll be taking our clothes off,” Sasha laughs.

According to Sparkle, figure skating tights are your best bet when the temperature drops. “They make it look like you have bare legs, but you’re still warm. And also, because I don’t shave my legs because I’m a lazy queen.”

Lazy wouldn’t be the first word that comes to mind to describe the pair. Sasha and Sparkle will play hostesses throughout the festival from the opening reception to the closing Sunday brunch.

In between, the two will be busy co-hosting other events, such as The Freestyle Party following the opening reception, which will feature a drag performance by gender-bending performers Thanks Jem and Rose Butch.

Saturday will see the opening of Peak Pride’s beer garden on the hill, followed by a downhill-ski parade. Everything culminates at the Wipeout Party, which promises special appearances by Alyssa Edwards of RuPaul’s Drag Race and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars–fame. By then, attendees should be ready to wind down at the VIP Chatters Brunch to nurse their Pride hangovers.

The queens are hard at work preparing.
Courtesy Peak Pride

“Rehearsing drag for Sunday [brunch] will be tough, but at least we can drink,” Sasha laughs. “Alcohol is key to staying so fierce on the mountain,” Sparkle agrees. “A little liquid confidence goes a long way.”

Since Peak Pride will mark a first for Big White, a bit of liquid confidence might come in handy to shake away some nerves and meet some new faces. If you happen to be in search of some love on the mountain to keep warm, the queens have some advice.

For those open to the idea of exercising, Sasha suggests a proactive approach. “Just chase him right down!” she laughs.

For anyone less inclined towards a mountainside sprint, Sparkle’s “tips for dick” are to just let love come to you.

“Spread ’em wide, honey, spread ’em. You know how people choose to show [just one feature like their] chest, arms, or legs? Just show it all. Just wear a speedo and if people ask, just say, ‘I’m trying to get laid, that’s what I’m doing!’”

Honesty really is the best policy when it comes to Pride, she says.

Both queens are hopeful the introduction of Peak Pride will pave the way for more events in the BC Interior. Peak Pride co-producer Peter Breeze agrees. He’s been promoting events for 10 years, but says the festival at Big White is nothing like some of the smaller-sized events he’s worked on before.

Inspired by  Kelowna local Dustyn Baulkham’s  idea of holding a winter Pride, Breeze partnered with him to bring the mountaintop celebration to life.

Breeze says it’s all about working towards a larger goal of expanding Pride culture beyond metropolitan cities, a vision that Sasha and Sparkle wholeheartedly support.