Good music. Good peeps. That’s the message from the first annual Evening with Outloud, a drag show and silent auction at St. Albert’s Kinsmen Banquet Hall on Friday, Sept. 30 in support of LGBTQ youth.
The Outloud Foundation, a non-profit, youth driven support group, hosts the over-the-top evening of tongue-in-cheek fun. About a dozen members of the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Wild Rose will feature performances from both drag queens and kings.
Their eye-catching song and dance moves, with artists dressed in full costume regalia, tiaras and huge wigs, come across as vivacious, flashy and absolutely sassy.
“The amount of work and energy they put into the craft is amazing to me. They put their heart and soul into it. And they don’t allow us to pay them. It’s just a fundraiser for us,” said Outloud executive director Terry Soetaert.
He adds that artist routines usually revolve around impersonating celebrity singers such as Liza Minnelli, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Cher and even Elvis.
“We want to show the community that it is not about showing a lot skin. It’s about being elegant. Most wear crowns, long flowy dresses, wigs and lots of makeup. Their transformations are like night and day,” Soetaert said.
Outloud is primarily targeted to teens and young adults aged 13 to 24 who meet at the Collective in downtown St. Albert.
Since their startup in April 2014, Outloud has assisted about 180 youth and currently attracts about 20 to 30 teens to its regular Tuesday meetings on the first and third Tuesday of the month.
“This is where kids can get together in a safe place and discuss hot topics or confusing topics. We try to get kids to interact using various activities such as board game competitions, water balloon fights and tricycle races. We do goofy things to get kids involved and help kids relax,” said Soetaert.
Outloud does not provide therapy, however it offers information and tries to connect youth to available programs.
Evening With Outloud hopes to raise several thousand dollars for the club operations budget.
The drag show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight. The Kinsmen Hall is at 47 Riel Dr. Tickets are $30 online at www.outloudstalbert.ca or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the door.