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The community apparently contributed almost $5,000 to a proposed queer shelter that never got built, Xtra West has learned through a Freedom of Information request.

Adele Kafer first set her sights on building a Pride House for queer street youth in 1999. She formed a committee, incorporated it as a society and appealed to the community for funding and support. She even received a $65,000 federal grant to assess the youths’ needs. For her efforts, the community voted Kafer (and her partner, Dawn Greer) Volunteers of the Year in 2000. In 2002, Kafer and her teammates were still working diligently to bring the project to life. By 2004, the society had apparently disintegrated and Kafer had dropped out of sight.

When Xtra West finally found her this fall, she was reluctant to talk about it. She said the project had failed-and she blamed the community’s lack of support for its demise. Though she wouldn’t say how much money, if any, the community had contributed, she kept repeating that it wasn’t enough and that the community had failed to support the project.

But the society’s financial records tell a different story. They show Pride House received $4,817 in fundraising revenue and donations between 1999 and 2001 (the last statement on file). They also show the society had spent all but $344 of the $4,817 on capital assets, storage and other expenses by the end of 2001. The records make no mention of the $65,000 grant the project received from the federal government in August 2000.

Xtra West called Kafer for clarification but found she was no longer working at her last known place of employment and had left no forwarding contact information. Numerous attempts to track her down proved unsuccessful.



James Steck wants his neighbours in the Davie Village to get into the holiday spirit again and deck their window displays with decorations galore. Steck is the vice-president of the Davie Village Business Improvement Association (BIA), which launched its second annual Christmas decorating contest last week. “It just brings a little bit more Christmas spirit into the Village,” he says, and makes the whole place look happier (and hopefully more attractive to shoppers). Steck still remembers some of his favourite storefronts from last year’s contest, including GayMart’s take on a winter bears scene. Now, he says, he’s just waiting for Shoppers to put up their inflatable Santa and reindeer. In the meantime, he plans to mount his own recently purchased inflatable snowman on the roof of the Oasis Pub, which he manages. Frosty should feel right at home up there, now that the Oasis’ bubble machine is free to stay. “We won our bubble war,” Steck laughs, referring to his brief skirmish with another Villager who claimed the bubbles made the ground they burst on dangerously slippery. The city said the bubbles are safe, Steck says. And when the light is just right and you want to believe, the bubbles can glisten like snowflakes, he adds with a smile. Villagers can vote for their favourite decorations on the BIA’s website. A winner will be selected Dec 23.