Ottawa is a town full of stuffy galas. When an organization throws a shindig, it’s all floor-length gowns, dinner jackets and tiny appetizers on over-starched napkins.
“We’re too much fun for that,” says Veronica Michelle, Pink Triangle Service’s (PTS) event coordinator. For those of us who weren’t born with our noses in the air and silk ties growing out of our necks, there’s PTS’s third annual Glitterbomb gala.
Glitterbomb is a casual take on the gala. This year it will feature a variety of entertainment — from spoken word poetry, to comedy, to burlesque — by both established and up-and-coming artists. Later in the night, DJ Debonair will spin hot, dance-inspiring tracks for those inclined to booty-shake. Perhaps best of all, attendees can wear whatever fabulous costumes are most comfortable.
In previous years, Michelle reached out to performers she knew personally when arranging the entertainment for the night. This year, she instituted a public call-out to “connect with new performers and their fans and build more bridges.”
Among the performers new to Glitterbomb this year are musician Kate Monette, who raps about her queer identity and experiences, and boylesque performer Kensington Oxide, who does a genderfuck number. “It’s a bit of a statement on gender norms,” Michelle says of Oxide’s performance. “Blurring the line between masculine and feminine, implying you can pick and choose how you present.”
It’s PTS’s largest fundraising event of the year, but — in keeping with the goal of being a more accessible gala — it’s reasonably priced. Beginning this year, there’s also an option built into the ticketing system which allows folks to buy extra tickets if they choose; those tickets will be given out by PTS on a first-come-first-served basis to those who couldn’t otherwise afford to go.
At last year’s Glitterbomb, the fare was corndogs and vegan doughnuts (what’s a non-stuffy gala alternative without some suggestive food?). This year there will be cotton candy and some surprises. “The stuffy galas do usually have really good cheese,” she says, cheerfully adding that “we’ll have our answer to good cheese.”