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We didn’t discriminate, says Club Edge owner

Gay bar defends its hiring practices

Club Edge DJ Martin LeGuerrier. Credit: Promotional photo
UPDATE: On Sept 23 the Ottawa Sun posted a retraction about an article alleging that Club Edge practiced gender-based discriminatory hiring practices.

Club Edge owner Donevan Olexi says he is satisfied with how the Sun handled the retraction and wants to move forward, promoting Club Edge’s revamped image.

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The owner of Club Edge has responded to claims his staff didn’t hire an applicant because she is a straight woman.

 
Donevan Olexi says he thinks the accusation, first published in the Ottawa Sun, is a setup.
 
A day after the club’s grand reopening on Sept 16, the Sun reported that a young woman, Brittany, said she didn’t get a job as a bartender because she is not a man.
 
The gay nightspot recently underwent extensive renovations.

Although Brittany did not reveal her last name, her photo accompanied the story. Brittany did not respond to Xtra’s request for comment.  
 
Olexi says he suspects a rival bar may be involved. 

“The whole thing is bizarre. [Brittany] says in a news article, ‘Don’t use my name, but here’s a photo of me’. I don’t know, but it looks like a setup,” he says. 

The Sun reported that 30 people were interviewed for various positions, but Olexi says it was around 70. He says just five new staff members were hired: three men and two women, including a straight female bartender.
“It’s not like we said, ‘No, we don’t hire females or blondes.’ We didn’t discriminate. Would we hire a cute, bubbly boy? Sure, but we need variety,” he says.

Club Edge DJ Martin LeGuerrier, who looks after promotions, called the story “mysterious.”

While previous bar experience helped some candidates snag jobs, LeGuerrier says personality and ability to fit in with the team are more important. 

“A nightclub is not like the movie Coyote Ugly where the bartender’s doing a show. There are a lot of people. You make a drink, get the money and go to the next customer. The bartender is easily trained to do the job. In a lot of cases, we will go more on instinct to get the best people possible and train them afterwards,” says Leguerrier. 

He says having many friends in the gay community is not a requirement, although it does help.