Halifax Pride invites members of the community to get gussied up for the Fancy Gay Dress Party March 21 at the Marriot Harbourfront Hotel.
The inaugural Fancy Gay Dress Party appears to be quite the lavish black-tie affair, but beyond the celebratory features of cocktails, a three-course meal and entertainment — DJ Motlette, comedian Gavin Crawford, musicians Cliff LeJeune and Gwen Dawson — the true spirit of the fundraiser event is in honour of all things queer. The Fancy Gay Dress Party hopes to raise money for this year’s Halifax Pride festival.
“It’s a big gala fundraising event in a really luxurious setting,” says Hugo Dann, chair of Halifax Pride. “It’s about trying to make connection with the professionals in our community. We want to help make the academics, lawyers and business partners engaged in our community. It’s all done by the help of great relationships.”
Halifax is painted various shades of the proverbial rainbow from July 19 to 26. With an overhead cost of approximately $200,000, the Halifax Pride festival requires support from the local business community to keep the festivities afloat.
“Fundraisers are never just about making money,” says Dann. “It’s about getting out in the community, creating a dialogue and seeing what’s really involved in Pride.
“If it’s going to survive it has to become a festival about the community, by the queer community. It really needs to be important to the entire city of Halifax.”
The Fancy Gay Dress Party is an evening of celebration where some of the city’s finest queer-friendly supporters and potential partners can hob-knob and kick up their heels. Local musical maven DJ Motlette is sure to keep the dance-floor filled.
“There is a great sense of flamboyance and celebration during Pride week,” says DJ Motlette, known by day as Kellie Manning. “Part of my role is to be able to illustrate that excitement through music. The timing of the event is really appropriate. After a long grey snowy winter we are all ready to come out and get fancy in support of a great cause.”
Manning believes music is integral to any event and selecting the right tunes is critical. Possibilities for the Fancy Gay Dress Party include: Madonna, Depeche Mode, Lady Gaga, Thunderheist and Junior Boys.
As DJ Motlette, Manning started taking over her friends’ stereos at parties 10 years ago. She has been honing her professional music chops for the past year at various events, including Girlish Productions’ annual Pride corker WetSpot. Most recently she can be found hosting retro-inspired dance nights at the newly opened Company House on Gottigen Street.
“This is such an important event,” says Manning. “It’s an opportunity for Pride to leverage the support of the Halifax business community to help keep and make the festival happen.”
The Fancy Gay Dress Party kicks off with a cocktail reception at the Halifax Ballroom of the Marriot Harbourfront Hotel, followed by a succulent dinner.
Canadian comedian and actor Gavin Crawford, most noted for his work on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the Gavin Crawford Show, promises deep belly-laughs during his performance. Cliff LeJeune and Gwen Dawson will give a fabulous musical salute to Broadway.