a million things to do

So it would appear that the next month is the absolute perfect time to be living in both Toronto and Montreal, because there’s a ton of cool and sexy stuff going on. Luckily I’m sorta doing both these days, even if I’m only paying rent in one place. Here’s a quick summary of my personal picks; details are posted, in order, below. Even if you’re not much one for event listings, I do endeavour to make this kind of post entertaining, so go ahead and read the first part and skip the later details if you just want a bit of leisure reading!

MONTREAL

February 2-3: The Vagina Monologues! Trust me, people. There is nothing quite like being in an auditorium full of people who love vaginas. I’ve done it three times now and it’s been one helluvan experience every time. Especially when they get to the “moan” piece. It’s worth going just for that. (The “militant bisexual moan” is a treat not to be missed if you can’t make your own, or even if you can.) Plus, there’s almost two weeks worth of related activities – workshops, film screenings, open mics, and the like.

February 7: Condoms and HIV: A Cultural History, a free lecture given by Paula Treichler as part of Concordia’s HIV/AIDS lecture series. Can I tell you how much I’d like to be attending this? Cultural history is so much fun. I’m way jealous. I only get into town a couple of days later. If you go, I want your notes…

February 9: Meow Mix. But not just any Meow Mix. The second annual King Size Meow Mix, with Montreal’s most fabulous drag kings taking over the stage and getting us all worked up. I can’t wait. (Do you think Rod Screwheart might wink at me this time? I keep hoping…)

February 9 and 10: Phobophilia, a new and intimate play by Montreal’s own gender-bending 2boys.tv. You know I’m always intrigued to learn about new fetishes and kinks… I knew of this one, but it never occurred to me that its name would be so cool. Phobophilia: arousal due to fear. Neato. This is a play for tiny audiences – they’re only selling 20 tickets for each performance, so at three shows per night over two nights, that means reserve now if you wanna get in at all. I’ll be reviewing the show here afterwards, but by then it’ll be all over, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that Studio 303 has really cool programming and the 2boys have an excellent reputation for doing amazing theatre work. I very much look forward to my first experience with them… see you there?

February 12: Vaginal Vernissage, a vaginal art show and silent auction that “celebrates the strength and delicacy of women.” Well, I know lots of women who don’t have vaginas, and vaginas who don’t have women, not to mention lots of both that are not particularly delicate, but whatever. The gal who’s organizing this is a fabulous trannygirl so I don’t think her politics are as essentialist as this might otherwise sound. Besides, how cool is it that there’s a whole lot of vagina art being made and enjoyed? I personally have seen enough euphemistic Georgia O’Keeffe flower art to last me a lifetime, and am much more interested in actual cunts. I mean, pictures of actual cunts. Yes. That’s it. Among other things, I recently purchased my very own cunt puppet (thank you to all those who pointed me to House O’ Chicks for this – fortunately they’re sold right here at Come As You Are so there was no need to order one and pay for shipping). She’s gorgeous… dark red velvet, a nice big knob of a clit, a pleasantly ribbed G-spot, and a place to stick your hand inside (behind the thing, I mean, not the usual place) that fits perfectly over one of my bedposts so she greets you when you walk into my bedroom. How lovely is that?

TORONTO

January 29: a panel discussion entitled “The Future of Queer Neighbourhoods in Toronto.” Really, for a freshly installed Toronto resident, what better way to get the lay of the land than to show up at a philosophical discussion about local queer neighbourhoods and gentrification? I’ve been looking forward to this for weeks. I intend to post something about it afterwards, possibly in conjunction with my review of former Toronto resident Karen X. Tulchinsky’s novel The Five Books of Moses Lapinsky. I’m sure I can tie ‘em together.

January 31 to February 10: Never Man’s Land, a play by director/writer Tristan R. Whiston featuring Anna Camilleri, among others. She’s the cool gal who was part of the much-loved Taste This book called Boys Like Her (as in, “boys of her type,” not as in “boys find her appealing,” though I suppose both interpretations could be accurate) for those who have it and treasure it as I do that should be reason enough to see her theatre work. She also edited the anthology Brazen Femme, and the co-edited the femme-penned erotica collection With a Rough Tongue. In other words: very very neat chick. I’ve never seen her live, so this will be fun. Plus, a play on a Peter Pan theme? My life is full of magical bois and boys these days, so this should be perfectly fitting.

February 5: “Looking Queer: Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Body Image.” A community discussion about all sorts of queer and trans-related body image stuff. I haven’t suffered radically from body image issues, but I know many who have, and the issues that are common to fat-phobia, transphobia and homophobia are fascinating to me. I expect this event to be a thought-provoking one; if it is, you can be sure I’ll blab about it here.

February 22: The Hobo Homos present Abnormals Anonymous, “A Celebration of Circus Freaks and Social Deviants.” For every cohort of gay folks who want to be as normal as possible, whatever that means, there’s a handful of relentlessly anarchistic queers who wants to fuck with the whole idea of normal. And what better way to do so than by celebrating queer and trans freakishness? Well, okay, so there are lots of ways to do that, but this looks like it’ll be one pretty awesome one. As a former employee of the world’s biggest circus, I have a certain fondness for the ancient performance art(s) as a medium of expression, so I will definitely be checking this one out. Plus, they’re serving popcorn and candy apples. Um, yes please!

Oh, and on a completely un-Toronto-or-Montreal-related note, there’s a massive sex workers’ conference taking place this June in Chicago called “Pulling Back the Sheets: Sex, Work, and Social Justice.” Check it out.

And now, for the details.

***

MONTREAL

Vagina Monologues and related activities!

Feb. Sat. 2nd and Sun. 3rd
The Vagina Monologues
855 Sherbrooke West
Doors 7:30 pm, Play Start 8 pm.
Tickets: $12 Students, $15 Non-Students. (tix @ SNAX & Lola Rosas)
Come help us celebrate V-Day’s 10th anniversary with two amazing performances of “The Vagina Monolgues” by Eve Ensler.

Feb. Mon. 4th
Sexual Health Workshop
Shatner Bldg Rm 433A 
7-9 pm
donations welcome
Learn everything you wanted to know about protection, STIs and oral sex from
Chantal, a gynecological nurse, and Head and Hands.
 
Feb. Tues. 5th
Read My Lips: Body Talk
The Yellow Door 3625 Aylmer
8 pm
donations welcome
Feel inspired after seeing the monologues? Express yourself through spoken word or come support the Montreal Artistic Community.  All submissions by Feb. 3rd to: events.vdaymcgill@gmail.com

Feb. Wed. 6th
Gender and its Intersections
SSMU Bldg  Clubs Lounge
8:30 pm
donations welcome
Explore the multi-dimensional realms of gender issues today with Queer McGill, the UGE, SACOMSS, and the Harm-Reduction Centre.

Feb. Friday 8th
Screening of “Until the Violence Stops”
Shatner Bldg  Clubs Lounge
6 pm
donations welcome
Get motivated by Eve Ensler’s new activist documentary targeting gender-based issues. 
Popcorn and Soda served.

Feb. Sat. 9th
Write-Your-Own-Erotica
SSMU Bldg. Lev Bukhman Rm (2nd fl.)
5 pm
donations welcome.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day! Compile all your steamy thoughts onto paper to heat up from your winter blues.

Feb. Sun. 10th
Body Positive Movement and Dance
SSMU Bldg. Ballroom (2nd Floor)
10 am – 1 pm
donations welcome
Break a sweat doing modern dance, hosted by Inertia.   Get your breakdancing groove on, and release your stress through yoga. Dress comfortably, bring a towel and water.

Feb. Mon. 11th
Screening: Beautiful Daughters
3475 Peel. Cultural Screening Rm
donations welcome
The documentary chronicles Deep Stealth Productions’ V-Day LA 2004 event, which was the first-ever all-transgender cast performance of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues.  Popcorn and Soda served.

Feb. Tues. 12th
Fetish and BDSM 101
SSMU Bldg. Clubs Lounge
7-9 pm
donations welcome
Round-table discussion introducing you to the fetish community and culture. Explore how fetishes interact with controversial issues.

Feb. Wed. 13th
Cunt Crafts!
Atelier Woodenapples 5319 Parc
6 pm
donations welcome
Come contribute material to V-day’s first zine! Arts and craft supplies will be
provided along with fun gender-friendly art projects.

Feb. Thurs. 14th
Lola Rosa Valentine’s Day Dinner
545 Milton
6 pm
donations welcome
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a culinary treat at this famous vegetarian restaurant. 
Set menu with special prices for this special day.

Feb. Sun. 17th & Mon. 18th
A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer.
Petit Cafe Campus 57 Prince Arthur E.
Doors 7:30, Play Starts 8 pm
Tickets: $10 Students, $12 Non-Students (Tix Sold Soon)
Following Eve Ensler’s successful Vagina monologues, the diverse voices from this play rise up in a collective roar to break open, expose, and examine the insidiousness of brutality, neglect, a punch, or a put-down. Including works from Jane Fonda, literati Dave Eggers and feminist Carol Gilligan along with many others.

***

Please join us February 7th, 2008 at 6pm for Condoms and HIV: A Cultural History, a lecture given by Paula Treichler.
 
FREE Admission: Everyone Welcome!
Paula Treichler teaches in the College of Medicine , Institute of Communications Research , and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her most famous book is How To Have Theory in an Epidemic: Cultural Chronicles of AIDS (Duke UP 1999). She is now working on How To Use a Condom: A Cultural Analysis. This book entails the collection of cartoons, jokes, lore, legends, pop culture references, and personal histories on the subject of condoms in North America.

Lectures are held at Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve W. H-110 (auditorium).
INFO: aids.concordia.ca

***

The Drag Kings of King Size invite you to SELF LOVE, our all-new drag king show that will melt in your mouth AND in your hand!

Meow Mix and the Drag Kings of King Size present

“SELF LOVE”

A Valentines Dragstravaganza!

Hard centers, soft centers… we like ALL the chocolates in the box!

Featuring: Gary Dickinson, Bo Stallion, Johnny Cox, Mitch Mitcham, Rod Screwheart, and debut performances by 5 new drag kings! With guests Nat King Pole and The Mambo Drag Kings!

Emcee: Mitch Mitcham and friends!

Followed by an after-party with DJ Marie-H. B.

SELF LOVE DRAG KING SHOW & MEOW MIX
Saturday, February 9th
10:30 pm (doors open at 9 pm)
$10

La Sala Rossa, 4848 St-Laurent

***

Studio 303 presents :
Phobophilia
(arousal from fear)

A new transmedia creation by
2boys.tv
(Stephen Lawson & Aaron Pollard)

February 9th & 10th 2008
3 performances nightly at 20h, 21h & 22h
(places limited to 20 people maximum)
at Studio 303, 372 Ste-Catherine W., Montreal

Tickets: $12 regular or $10 VIP/students
sold online or at the door (cash only)
Infos: (514) 393-3771 or www.studio303.ca

Montreal, January 14th 2008 – Studio 303 is thrilled to present PHOBOPHILIA, the newest creation from Montreal transmedia duo 2boys.tv; a unique and intimate experience for small audiences of 20 people maximum!

2boys.tv (aka Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard) delve into the eroticization of terror, a deeply personal journey into the dark shadows of their own dreams. Asking the question “What is the role of the poet in an age characterised by fear?” this dynamic duo is back at Studio 303 with a new hybrid performance work, a contemporary chronicle that uses the life and art of Jean Cocteau as its palate and inspiration.

Together, Lawson and Pollard, under the moniker of 2boys.tv, and sometimes even as their alter-egos Gigi L’Amour and Pipi Douleur, create and tour multimedia performance pieces that often incorporate video projections, soundscapes, found and original music scores, transgendered apparitions, outrageous (sometimes sculptural) costume, props, vocal/textual works, and the art of lip-sync. Based in Montreal, the duo has also produced several video art pieces, installation works, performance interventions and a plethora of pithy political cabaret works. Their cross-disciplinary works have been presented in clubs, galleries, theatres, streets and cabarets across Canada, in the U.S.A., Europe and South America.

www.2boys.tv
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=gigiETpipi

- 30 -
Source : Melissa Guay, Communications and Production Coordinator, Studio 303, (514) 393-3771


Studio 303
Danse et arts indisciplinés
Dance & Related Arts
372 Ste-Catherine Ouest
Montréal Qc H3B 1A2
Tel. : (514) 393-3771
http://www.studio303.ca/

***

Vaginal Vernissage, Vaginal Art Show and Silent Auction
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Le Social, 1445 Bishop

Vaginal Vernissage displays the creative talents of local artists and those inspired by the strength and delicacy of women. The works featured range from whimsical feminine expressions to fierce female representations. Selected works will be available by silent auction for private collections.

******************************************************************

TORONTO

Red Dress Productions presents
NEVER MAN’S LAND, Toronto Production
@ Alchemy Theatre
by director/writer Tristan R. Whiston
featuring Anna Camilleri, Christopher Cauley,
Canon Cook
January 31 – February 10, 2008

Peter is at the edge of a question that must be answered in order to grow up. Is he a man, a woman, or betwixt and between? Peter Pan runs away the day he is born in order to remain a boy forever. In Never Man’s Land, Peter and Peter come face to face with Captain Hook, Wendy, Mrs Darling, and ultimately, each other. The two Peters lock swords—and there’s only room for one on the island. Time is running out.

video art by Leslie Peters and Marcus Rak
movement by Kathleen Rea

Thursday January 31 to Sunday February 10, 2008
Alchemy Theatre,133 Tecumseth St. (one blk W of Bathurst, S of Queen)
Wednesday to Saturday 8pm with 2:30 pm Sunday matinees
Tickets: $12-$15 sliding scale and matinees PWYC
Box Office/Information: 416-629-8795|reddressproductions@gmail.com
Advance Ticket Locations:
Toronto Women’s Bookstore (73 Harbord Street @ Spadina)
9 PERFORMANCES ONLY!

Red Dress Productions (RDP) is a registered not-for-profit theatre company founded by Co-Directors Anna Camilleri and Tristan R. Whiston. Never Man’s Land is supported by the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal Foundation, and STAF (Small Theatre Administration Facility).

http://www.annacamilleri.com/

***

Tuesday January 29, 2008 – “The Future of Queer Neighbourhoods in Toronto” Panel Discussion” @ Gladstone Art Bar. Free – No Cover.

A special presentation of Java Knights Public Forum – Hosted Gay West & ACT Toronto

San Francisco’s Castro District to Provincetown to Toronto, the hard bodied and cool are displaced in favour of cold hard cash. Gentrification is having a dramatic impact on everything from the GLBT bar scene to politics. The question is, can the GLBT Community survive and thrive without the cocoon of the traditional gay ghetto?

As the ghetto becomes more exclusive, regular gay and lesbian Americans and Canadians are forced to search for new neighbourhoods that are inclusive. For gays who enjoyed living in the traditional gayborhood, moving dramatically changes their quality of life.
This will be a philosophical discussion on GLBTQ new homesteads in city. The Q & A discussion, is a serious look at finding out why this is happening, and is it a good thing or bad thing?

We will be showing one or two of “Queer In the City Video’s” ( 9 minutes each) recorded by the GLBT Historical Society. San Francisco CA in 2007 IV Clips 01, 14 and 15 of 15 – Queer Neighbourhoods of the Future. Panel Discussion and Q & A will follow videos.

http://gaywest.905host.net/files/javaknights.php

***

Looking Queer: Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Body Image

How does systemic and internalized homophobia impact the way we feel about our physical selves? What impact does transitioning have on body image?

Does coming out make a difference? Does gender? Does generation? Does community?

Please join us for a community discussion to mark Eating Disorder Awareness Week. The discussion will be facilitated by Nadia Bello and Anna Penner from T.E.A.C.H., a program of Planned Parenthood Toronto.

Tuesday February 5th
6.00 – 8.00 pm

Sherbourne Health Centre
333 Sherbourne Street
2nd Floor

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Michele Clarke at 416-324-4177 or mclarke@sherbourne.on.ca

Eating Disorder Awareness Week: Celebrating Our Natural Sizes
February 3 – 9, 2008
www.nedic.ca

***
THE HOBO HOMOS PRESENT – ABNORMALS ANONYMOUS

A Celebration of Circus Freaks and Social Deviants!

FRIDAY, FEB 22, 2008
9-2AM
$15
 
This is a never-before-seen autonomous night of queer political performance reclaiming the original notion of the “freak” in sideshow and circus!

The parallel drawn between the present social voyeuristic fascination with “difference” as experienced by international queer communities of various abilities, backgrounds and deviance.

http://www.dotanddribbleproductions.com/abnormals.htm

***************************************************

SEX WORKER CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO July 16-20, 2008
SAVE THE DATE: The 2008 Sex Worker Convergence is hitting Chi-Town!

On July 16-20 of 2008, hundreds of sex workers and sex worker activists will converge on Chicago at the Desiree Alliance Conference:

“Pulling Back the Sheets: Sex, Work, and Social Justice”

The Desiree Alliance is a diverse, volunteer-based, sex worker-led network of organizations, communities and individuals across the US working in harm reduction, direct services, political advocacy and health services for sex workers. They provide leadership development and create space for sex workers and supporters to come together to advocate for human, labour and civil rights for all workers in the sex industry.

The time is NOW to get active in the movement, so go to…

www.desireealliance.org

7 Responses

  1. Several years ago, loud long moans were streaming from a professor’s office out into the hallway. I never heard the rehearsals personally (too bad), but heard a lot about them. The town’s right wing were up in arms about the show so much that the school’s president was asked to step down. It was crazy.

    Maybe Rod will wink at you if you toss him a piece of lingerie.

  2. Tell me, VQ, would you like me to ask Rod to wink at you ; )

  3. Goodness. All this encouragement. I’m rather short on lingerie right now, as I discovered subsequent to telling all the guests I invited to my housewarming that they needed to wear sexy underwear and then looking in my own drawers to see what I’d choose. So unless you think Rod’s really into well-worn cotton, we may be outta luck in that department. And while I definitely appreciate the offer of a nudge, Jacky, I sorta gave up that strategy back in high school… :) So I think I’ll just wink at him myself. Fun!

  4. I think you’re guaranteed winks from all the kings if you wear one of those revealing tops ; ) Not me, of course. I’m a gentleman.

  5. Heh. As is Hung, who hasn’t been to a Meow Mix in ages and is looking forward to it.

  6. Looking forward to seeing Hung there. Whee!

    As for “one of those revealing tops” – goodness, you make it sound as though I had a closetful of string bikinis. I wonder if I still deserve a wink if I wore a turtleneck. Perhaps I’ll aim to find out…

  7. Ha! Good plan. Leave the revealing tops up to us drag kings. I will say no more not to give away any secrets (after my first number, you will understand my above tongue-in-cheek comments).

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