Scantily clad go-go boys served spring rolls and breaded shrimp. Entertainers crooned. Attendees consumed wine and cheese and reconnected with friends after a long winter. The occasion? The Village’s Build Our Bank.
Ottawa-Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi says Village fundraisers are a good way to catch up with his old friends and create awareness for a visible gay district on Bank St.
“Build Our Bank speaks volumes to the character of the community. We all know this is where the Village is. So many businesses cater to the LGBT community. People understand it as part of the fabric. A formal recognition is only going to benefit the businesses,” says Naqvi.
Centretown resident Alex Munter says he came to reconnect with his friends. He talked about his new job heading Champlain Local Health Integration Network, which he started last January.
“I already passed my 100-day mark. This new job is a great opportunity to work for a stronger healthcare system,” he says.
Munter, who is no stranger to community newspapers, used to run and own Kanata Kourier. He founded the publication from his basement at the age of 14, when he lived in Kanata.
Barrhaven resident Sarah Corbett says she attended BOB to show she supports the Village, even though she does not come down to Bank St very often. In fact, she donated cupcakes to the event. She comes to the event because “I get to hang out with a friendly community I am proud to be a part of.”
Nathan Hauch says he was glad he was at the Village fundraiser because he saw many of his friends.
Coming directly from the BIA’s AGM was its executive director, Gerry LePage. He says he saw friends he hadn’t seen in a long time.
“I go to probably 10 gay parties a year. Life is just too short to not enjoy it,” he says.
When it was suggested that he was the best-dressed guy in a roomful of gay men, he smiled and said, “I don’t know about that.”