Ottawa
2 min

Social quickies

Speed dating hits Ottawa's queer scene

HYPER DATE. Pink Planet founder Adrian Lloyd hopes that his version of Speed Dating will provide a new way for gay and lesbian singles to connect. Credit: Rob Thomas

An old Jewish matchmaking tradition might soon help queers in Ottawa meet that special someone.



Californian Jewish resource group Aish Ha Torah claims to have founded speed dating in 1998 as a way for Jewish singles to meet. The group based the concept on the ancient tradition of holding chaperoned gathering of Jewish singles. In the past six years, however, a rash of media stories about the dating system has bolstered its popularity in wider communities.



“My version is called Hyper Dating,” explains Ottawa entrepreneur Adrian Lloyd. “The traditional speed dating has two groups of people. One group stays at a station while the other group rotates every four or five minutes. So you basically have between eight and 25 mini dates that last about five minutes each – and you have a scorecard on which you discreetly mark off whether you would like to see that person again.”



Under the banner of his newly formed company Pink Planet, Lloyd is coordinating a hyper date event as part of a fundraiser for Pink Triangle Services’ Generation Q, a social discussion group for queer men and women in their 20s and 30s.



Dubbed Queers In Space and held at The Lookout bar, the event will feature a pair of two-minute dating rounds for groups of gays and lesbians 19 years and older. Contact e-mails will be provided for all matches – couples who are both interested in meeting again – within 48 hours and a dance will follow the dating event.



Although proceeds from the first event will go to Generation Q, Lloyd is hoping his hyper dates catch on. Pink Planet is a for-profit company and Lloyd is currently organizing an event for gay men, likely to be held in May. Depending on response, staggered male and female events held every two weeks might follow.



“This is totally something new to the community,” Generation Q facilitator Glenn Crawford enthuses. “It hasn’t been done before, as far as I know. Our community is known for having bars, but there aren’t really that many opportunities to meet people outside of that.”



Crawford, who is single and looking for a relationship, is ex-cited about the hyper date idea and open to trying it himself.



Twenty-three year old Generation Q member Christine Bazinet shares Crawford’s enthusiasm. Bazinet has identified herself as lesbian for the past two years and is yet to have a long-term relationship in part because she hasn’t met the right person.



“It’s hard to meet women in the city that aren’t out of the club scene,” says Bazinet, “and also it’s just timing, I guess.”



QUEERS IN SPACE.

Sat, Apr 24.

8pm: Hyper Date.

10pm: Dance.

Tickets: $5 or pay what you can for the dance.

Tickets for the hyper date are $10 and must be purchased in advance. Available at After Stonewall, The Lookout, mother tongue books, One In Ten, Pink Triangle Offices, Venus Envy and Wilde’s.