Queer Pride is radical love and defiant self-expression. It’s a time when all of the queer communities come together to celebrate everything that we are and all that we can be. It is in this spirit that Queer Pride 2018 thrives – a festival of queer theatre, comedy, art, music, and parties that showcase our community’s unstoppable spirit.

For those who crave adventures beyond the expected, artists who refuse to conform, and communities who will not allow themselves to be silenced. On stage, you’ll find a stellar line-up of Toronto’s most exciting queer entertainers, and every weekend your favourite drag queens and DJs turn out the most outrageous parties in the village.

For three weeks, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre hosts a stellar line-up of Toronto’s most exciting queer entertainers. In an exciting addition to their Queer Pride Festival this year, Buddies is partnering with Pride Toronto to program the stage in the Alexander Street Parkette over Pride weekend. The Buddies in Bad Times Pride Toronto Stage, curated by Katie Sly (winner of Buddies’ 2016 Queer Emerging Artist Award), offers two afternoons of entertainment in the park, celebrating the work of bi and trans artists.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

• Musical offerings from the Queer Songbook Orchestra, Vag Halen, ContaQt, and Boiband the Boy Band. Plus two drag musical presentations, with I Don’t F*ck with You: The Goth Drag Musical and Pearle Harbour’s Battle Cry.
• Theatrical works from local Queer artists Bruce Gibbons Fell, Izad Etemadi, Johnny Salib, and a Playwrights Canada Press book launch featuring readings of newly published works by the Independent Aunties, Catherine Hernandez, and Katie Sly.
• Fay Slift and Fluffy Soufflé, known for their story time events around the city, throw an immersive family-friendly house party full of singing, dancing, and, of course, reading.
• The best queer comedy in town – with perennial favourites Bitch Salad, Homo Night in Canada, and Dawn Patrol – showcasing the talents of Chantel Marostica, Zoe Whittall, Vong Sundara, Richard Ryder, and more. Plus, a new show from Elvira Kurt.
• Late night fun including a live lipsync battle at You Better Work!, a special angels and demons edition of Butch Femme Salon, a karaoke night, and four full-facility parties with some of Toronto’s best drag queens and DJs.

Catch a show and dance until last call. Feel the love at Buddies Queer Pride.

Full Line Up of Entertainment Below

Flying Solo presents Whole
June 8 at 8:30PM // The Chamber // $25 in advance, $30 at the door
They rose with the fire, jumped in and got wet, roughed it up, and then got blown! This year, Flying Solo enter into the abyss of the fifth element, bringing a sexy night of aerial acro and dancing double acts to the Chamber. Witness the unveiling of a new apparatus paying homage to the fifth element.

Juicy Moon Productions Invites you to You Better Work! All Star Edition
June 8 at 10:30PM // The Cabaret // $7 before 11:30PM, $10 after
A night of dancing and drag brings together an all-star cast to compete in the ultimate lip sync battle. Previous winners Bon Bon Bontemps, Devine Darlin, Priyanka, and Beardra Bidness compete for your votes to win the All Star crown. With pop and throwback hits by DJ Maggy.

Cocodrilo Triste presents The Communist Manifesto for Children
June 9 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // FREE
Tha languid and laconic Latin American countryside. The 1950s. Four children steal Marx and Engel’s manifesto and decide to act out passages from the book. A play for grownups about class, boredom, innocence lost, and the battle between the Spectre of Communism and the Spirit of Capitalism. Which team are you on? A sneak peek of a work in development by Bruce Gibbons Fell through the Buddies Residency Program. Featuring Carlos Gonzalez Vio, Jesse LaVercombe, Liz Peterson, and Sofía Rodríguez.

Vag Halen: Heavy Leather Parking Lot
June 9 at 9:30PM // The Chamber // $12 in advance, $15 at the door
VAG HALEN presents Heavy Leather Parking Lot – an ode to queer/dyke leather bars and tailgate parties (a la Heavy Metal Parking Lot). Joined by artists NYSSA, Dainty Smith, Roxanne Luchak, Axel Blows, and Shane McKinnon, VAG HALEN promises to bring the sweat, the sexxx and the queer rock n roll to Pride 2018!

Elvira Kurt: Fired Up!
June 10 at 8:00 PM // The Chamber // $20 general, $10 student & artsworker
Why rage stroke alone? Elvira Kurt, one of Canada’s best-known and most-loved comics presents a night of comedy – by the queers for the queers – to give the world the ‘fuck you’ it deserves. We need this. We got this.

Pearle Harbour’s Battle Cry
June 10 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // $20 general, $15 student & artsworker
A drag concert extravaganza, Pearle Harbour’s Battle Cry reimagines some of the most popular pro-war rallying songs of the last century, without loyalty to nation or cause. It’s proper propaganda to get your toes tapping and feet marching! Pearle pulls her audience into the trenches, to find out what’s worth fighting for, and if you’ve got what it takes.

Buddies Youth Ensemble presents Clamorous Concords
June 13 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $10 in advance, PWYC at the door
Clamorous Concords is the magik, impermanence, powerlessness, and unstoppability of a community coming together. This theatrical adventure celebrates, examines, ignites, and inspires while unravelling the many quandaries and complexities of youth, queerness, and life in 2018. CoDirected by Leelee Davis and Bilal Baig and performed by the Buddies Youth Ensemble. With a special opening act by the Queer AF collective (Bilal Baig, Teiya Kasahara, François Macdonald, and Sofía Rodríguez).

Karaoke Party & Boiband the Boy Band
June 13 at 9:00PM // The Cabaret // FREE
Sing your heart out at Buddies with host and certified karaoke queen Mel Hague. Featuring a special set by Boiband the Boyband – the Latinx drag king experience you’ve been waiting for! Like the Jonas brothers but with melanin, better hips, and facial hair. Join Papi, H&M and BabyFace as they dance their way to your heart (with your consent, of course).

Unmarked Theatre presents Creme de la Femme
June 14 at 8:00pm // Cabaret // $15 in advance, $20 at the door
A new cabaret creating space for artists to showcase work about their relationship to femininity and femme identity, Creme de la Femme is a chance to try something new, to wrestle with hard questions, to find community, and to test new modes of healing.

ContaQt: Many Faces “We are all Marilyns”
June 14 at 8:00 PM // The Chamber // $10-$25
ContaQt presents a concert about vulnerability, strength, and defiance, confronting issues that have been recently amplified in Toronto’s queer community and the violence that has always been part of it. Featuring music by Eve Beglarian, Amnon Wolman and John Oswald, and choreography by Laurence Lemieux.

Kings and Classics: Existence is Resistance Pride Edition
June 15 at 10:30PM // The Cabaret // $18 in advance, $25 at the door
Pretty Munny Productions returns with a special Pride edition of Toronto’s favourite drag king showcase. Kings and Classics creates a safer space for both new and more established performers to find community and express themselves.

Fay & Fluffy’s House Party
June 16 at 1:00PM // The Chamber // $15 adults, $5 kids
Fay Slift and Fluffy Soufflé love reading; they say it’s FUNdamental! Known for their Storytimes around town and beyond, Fay & Fluffy invite you to an immersive HOUSE PARTY full of singing, dancing, reading and fabulousness! For families of all ages and configurations, babies, kids and big kids (that’s you, adults). All the kids are talking about it.

Dawn Patrol presents Yo Sis!
June 16 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $15 advance, $20 at the door
Toronto’s favourite Monday night show presents the most exciting comedy revue yet for Pride 2018, featuring Toronto’s best queer comics, music and drag performances. Hosted by Dawn Whitwell, featuring performances by Chantel Marostica, Courtney Skye, Carolyn Taylor, DeAnne Smith, Fay Slift, Hoodo Hersi, Zoe Whittall, Elisabeth Bailey, and She’s The Man.

Sisyphean Productions Presents Oasis Love
June 16 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // $20 general, $30 VIP
Part comedy, part drama, part musical, and all heart, Oasis Love follows a love-stricken boy as he navigates his first serious relationship, from falling in love to coming out and everything in between. Written and performed by Johnny Salib.

Queer Songbook Orchestra presents Anthems & Icons, a QSO album release & short film premiere
June 17 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $20 advance, $25 at the door, $16 student & senior
The Queer Songbook Orchestra return to Buddies for the release of their first studio album, Anthems & Icons, and mark the world premiere screening of Reach the Sky, their short stopmotion animation. With special guests from the queer community, this intimate evening showcases a selection of the best material the ensemble has developed to date.

I Don’t F*ck With You: The Goth Drag Musical
June 19 at 9:00PM // The Chamber // $10 advance, PWYC at the door
“I Don’t Fu*k With You: The Goth Drag Musical” is a performance and drag mentorship program prioritizing the emo, the too much, the not enoughs, the ones who love to wear black clothes in the summer, the people some won’t fu*k with, and the portals of never-ending darkness that have sucked away many a living soul.

RT Collective presents In Your Pocket: Time After Time
June 19 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // PWYC
The RT Collective brings you a screening series of short works shot on smartphones. For the 2018 edition, Time After Time, artists have been invited to contemplate individual/collective histories, present realities, and future possibilities. Featuring work by Jess Dobkin, Phil Villeneuve & Sofonda Cox, Rodney Diverlus, Thom Vernon, and more.

Les Femmes Fatales present Resistance And Lipstick
June 20 at 9:00PM // The Chamber // $15-$20
Les Femmes Fatales, Canada’s premiere burlesque troupe for Black women and women of colour, femmes and gender non-conforming persons, bring their new show to Buddies. These defiantly glamorous artists are passionate and political – they are survivors who rock their war wounds with red lipstick. Featuring Dainty Smith, Ravyn Wngz, D’vine Chocolate, Axel Blows, Suki Tsunami, and more.

Laugh With Leila Productions Leila Live!
June 20 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // $15-$20
Leila and her mother have been rehearsing for months in their living room and are now ready to present this cabaret to show off her skills and talents in acting, singing, dancing, rapping, comedy, impressions, sound effects and puppetry. Buddies Queer Emerging Artist Award winner Izad Etemadi brings Leila Live! to Buddies after a sold-out run at the Next Stage Festival.

Butch Femme Salon: Angels & Demons
June 21 at 9:00PM // The Chamber // $15
All spirits, dark and light, dust off your wings, sharpen your claws, polish your halos, and come on out to Butch Femme Salon! Featuring Ravyn Wngz, PrettyRiikkii, Miranda Tempest, Lou Lou La Duchesse de Riere, and a dance party that’ll shake the heavens and raise a little hell. Remember, the brighter the light, the darker the shadow.

Playwrights Canada Press Spring Launch
June 21 at 7:00 PM // The Cabaret // FREE
Playwrights Canada Press celebrates their spring 2018 titles with a party! Featuring readings and remarks by the Independent Aunties (Gertrude and Alice), Catherine Hernandez (The Femme Playlist / I Cannot Lie to the Stars That Made Me), Katie Sly (Charisma Furs, published in Q2Q: Queer Performance Texts), and more.

Bitch Salad
June 22 at 8:00 PM // The Chamber // $20
Canada’s first and foremost showcase of female and LGBTQ comedians is back for one last night of unforgiving laughter with a wink to our past and a nod to the future, featuring an all-star lineup of some of our most glittering alumni and some of Toronto’s brightest newcomers. #ByeBitch

Glam Glam Productions presents Homo Night in Canada 2018
June 23 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $25
A must see event of Toronto’s Pride weekend, showcasing some of North America’s best gay and lesbian comics. Get your tickets early for what promises to be a night of hilarity and highschticking! Hosted by the B-Girlz with Martha Chaves, Paul Hutcheson, Caitlin Langelier, Brian Millward, Ashley Moffat, Richard Ryder, Vong Sundara and Dawn Whitwell!

The Lady Oiye’s Tea Dance
June 24 at 3:00 PM // The Cabaret // FREE

The Buddies in Bad Times Pride Toronto Stage
Curated by Katie Sly and Presented in partnership with Pride Toronto
TOO QUEER: A BI VISIBILITY CABARET
June 23, 1:00 – 5:00 PM // Alexander Street Parkette // Free
Too Queer creates a loving container in which bisexual, pansexual, and polysexual art can develop, evolve, and form community. This special daytime edition brings you bi+ art from across Canada and the U.S., headlined by Toronto operatic soul/alternative R&B legend Witch Prophet.

TRANSFEST
June 24, 1:00 – 5:00 PM // Alexander Street Parkette // Free
An all-day celebration of non-cisgender identities in words, fashion, and music! This is your trans, genderqueer, and non-binary playground at Pride! Expect performances from across Canada, a runway by non-binary underwear line NEWFRDM, and an afternoon of music.

TALLULAH’S PRIDE PARTY
The best party on the block takes over the whole building for Queer Pride. Featuring amazing DJs spinning top-40 tunes and Toronto’s hottest queens dominating the stage.
SATURDAY, JUNE 9
10:30pm | The Cabaret | $7
with DJ Secret Agent
SATURDAY, JUNE 16
10:30pm | Full Facility | $10
with DJ Regina
FRIDAY, JUNE 22
10:30pm | Full Facility | $15
with DJ Johnny B Goode
SATURDAY, JUNE 23
10:30pm | Full Facility | $15
with DJ Regina
hosted by Fay Slift
SUNDAY, JUNE 24
10:00pm | Full Facility | $10
with DJ Tom Cable

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.