Buddies in Bad Times Theatre has announced the line-up for Queer Pride 2019 – a festival of queer theatre, comedy, cabaret, art, music, and parties that showcases the community’s unstoppable spirit. For three weeks, Buddies hosts a stellar line-up of Toronto’s most exciting queer entertainers.

Marking the end of Buddies’ 40th anniversary season, this year’s Pride Festival includes the theatre’s 40thBirthday Party: The Future is Queer, as well as a launch party for The Youth / Elders Podcast, an intergenerational podcast recorded weekly throughout the first half of the season.


  • An immersive, traveling performance – Switch: The Village  that takes audience members through the Village, exploring queer histories and ideal futures.
  • Special cabaret presentations – in collaboration with The Marlborough Theatre in Brighton, UK, award-winning trans artist Emma Frankland shares an evening of her film and performance, while Tipi Confessions brings together an array of artists for a live storytelling show on sex and sexuality, with a decolonial lens.
  • Theatrical presentations from Buddies resident artists Bilal Baig, We Other Sons Collective, and Pearle Harbour. 
  • For the first time, the Emerging Creators Unit show their pieces at the Pride Festival – look out for new works by Ophira Calof, Brock Hessel, Shohana Sharmin, and Jade Walker and Kasden Leo Indigo.
  • The best queer comedy in town – with perennial favourites Homo Night in Canada and Dawn Patrol, and a new showcase, Laugh Riot  showcasing the talents of Elvira Kurt, Chanty Marostica, Hoodo Hersi, Kyle Brownrigg, David Benjamin Tomlinson, and more.
  • Late night fun including a Kings and Classics, a space-themed edition of Butch Femme Salon, and four full-facility parties with some of Toronto’s best drag queens and DJs.

The Future is Queer: Buddies 40th Birthday Party

May 31 at 8:00PM // Full Facility // Free

Celebrate 40 years of queer with a massive full facility dance party. Featuring DJs Lushus Lix,John Caffery, and Sofia Fly with lots of surprises all night long.


June 5-9 // The Chamber // $30-$50

A new chamber opera about the endurance of love over time – Pomegranate follows lovers Suli & Cassia from ancient Pompeii to Toronto’s 1980’s lesbian bar scene. In a final duet in the ruins of Pompeii, the lovers count the years of their passion in pomegranate seeds. The rich resonance of three cellos, a flute, and  an oboe underscore this tragic tale of lesbian love.

The Youth/Elders Podcast Launch Party

June 7 at 7:00PM // The Cabaret // FREE

Buddies launches their first ever podcast! Recorded weekly at the Oakwood Village Library in the Fall of 2018, the podcast features personal stories, lived histories, and candid conversations from queer elders, youth, and in-betweeners. Join us to celebrate the release of the first episodes, with opportunities to listen, connect with community, and dream up the future of the project. 

Rituals for Change

June 11 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // PWYC-$15

In collaboration with the Marlborough Theatre in Brighton, UK, this evening is an introduction to award-winning trans theatre creator Emma Frankland, whose work often contains elements of ritual, destruction and visually stunning imagery. A screening of Emma’s acclaimed film Rituals for Change will be followed by a special live performance and opportunities for conversation.

There is no Rainbow without Rain

June 12 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $10

A drag musical celebration of the emos, the goths, the not enoughs, the too much, and the ones who believe wearing black is not only slimming, but also a way of life. Hosted by Chocolate Baby Daddy and Ms. Nookie Galore. Warning: QTBIPOC excellence.

Emerging Creators Unit Showcase

June 12 + 14 at 8:00 PM // The Cabaret  // PWYC

Four new works in one night – from Ophira Calof, Brock Hessel, Shohana Sharmin, and Jade Walker &Kasden Leo Indigo. Since October, these fierce theatre artists have been developing new works under the guidance of Emerging Creators Unit director Catherine Hernandez. Now paired with professional directors, they’re ready to share their work with you at Pride. Presented by Buddies in association with b current performing arts.

Songbuster – An Improvised Queer Musical & Karaoke Night

June 13 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // $15-$20

Fast-paced, ridiculous, and always entertaining, a stellar cast of musical improvisers creates an hour-long musical from a series of suggestions provided by the audience. Creating the music from thin air, the ensemble conjures up a world of engaging characters and captivating stories that you won’t soon forget. Followed by a Songbuster-hosted karaoke party.

Les Femmes Fatales: Wild

June 13 at 9:00PM // The Chamber // $15-$25

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. Wild is a defiant, honouring and joyful reclamation of our wild, without shame or apology – a celebration of our inherent magic and sensuality and of the power of performance and storytelling.

Tipi Confessions

June 14 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // PWYC – $20

A live storytelling show on sex, sexuality, and gender that features spoken word, personal narrative, erotic fiction, burlesque, live musicians, and short theatre performances. Produced by three Indigenous women (Kim TallBearTracy Bear, and Kirsten Lindquist), this curated evening highlights Indigenous, decolonial, political, humourous, creative, feminist, and educational perspectives.

Kings and Classics: We Are Worthy

June 14 at 11:00pm // The Cabaret // $15-$20

One of Toronto’s hottest and longest running Drag King and Gender Performance shows, Kings and Classics brings a special Pride edition show to Buddies.

Fay & Fluffy’s Funhouse

June 15 at 2:00 PM // The Chamber // $15, free for kids

It’s just another day at Fay & Fluffy‘s house, full of music, dancing, glamour, special guests, and of course reading! For families of all ages and configurations, babies, kids, and big kids (that’s you, adults). All the kids are talking about it.

Khwaja Sera

June 15 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // PWYC

Initially developed as part of the Emerging Creators Unit, Khwaja Sera tells the story of two siblings separated for almost twenty years – one, a third gender sex worker in Lahore, Pakistan and the other a young man suffering from PTSD in Toronto. Angel Glady and Usman Khan perform in this staged reading of Buddies resident artist Bilal Baig’s play.

Dawn Patrol: Eat It Up!

June 15 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $20-$25

Dawn Patrol is back with an outstanding lineup of Toronto’s best queer comics, musicians, and drag performers.  Hosted by Dawn Whitwell, featuring She’s the ManZoe WhittallElvira Kurt, Fay Slift,Hoodo HersiCourtney Gilmour, and Ina Unt Ina.

 Switch: The Village

June 18-20 at 9:00PM // Alexander Street Parkette // $21

Starting at Buddies, The Switch Collective invites you on a performance that ventures through the village, accompanied by portable projections, song and soundscape, poetry, shadow puppetry, dance, and movement-based storytelling. Using a transformative justice framework, Switch: The Village explores our relationships to Toronto’s Gay Village, queer history, invisibilization, and ideal futures.


June 18 at  8:00PM // The Cabaret  // PWYC-$15

An evening of poetry and prose readings from David BatemanPatricia Wilson, and Brock Hessel, with special musical guests. The event marks the launch of Bateman and Wilson’s book transmeditations and Wilson’s writing collection Musings From the Bunker/Slouching Towards Womanhood.

Forte Unzipped – Pride Edition

June 19 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $20-$25

For over twenty years, Forte – Toronto’s Gay Men’s Chorus has appeared at a variety of beloved queer events, including an ongoing cabaret series at Buddies. From Motown to Broadway tunes, Forte promises an uplifting evening of song to help you celebrate Pride, offering a selection of their most popular numbers.

What’s Done Must Come

June 20 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // PWYC

What’s Done, Must Come explores sex, and the intersections of the sacred, profane, and prophetic for queer men of colour. A multi-disciplinary bio/mytherotic new performance experiment from Buddies resident artists We Other Sons collective.

Butch Femme Salon

June 20 at 9:00PM // The Chamber // 15$

The Butch Femme Salon returns to Buddies with an intergalactic edition! This Pride, join Sly Feiticeira andPretty Riikkii for a galactic gala as they celebrate being OUT in SPACE! Featuring performances by some of the most spectacular stars in the solar system, and an out-of-this-world dance party. To inclusivity and beyond!

Distant Early Warning

June 21 at 8:00PM // The Cabaret // $15-20

A drag concert extravaganza, Distant Early Warning reimagines some of history’s most popular pro-war rallying songs of the last century, and hopes to make sense of the crisis to come. Wartime wonder, tragicomedienne, and Buddies resident artist Pearle Harbour presents a crash course in resistance, revolution, and survival. Are you ready for the fight of your lifetime?

Laugh Riot

June 21 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $20-$25

Laugh Riot is a celebration of us, and of those who sacrificed so much so that we could live and laugh loudly and proudly today. Canadian Comedy Award winner Chanty Marostica hosts a Queer and Present Danger comedy variety show with headliners Kyle Brownrigg and Brandon Ash-Mohammed, plus appearances by Honey BennettBee BertrandAidan O’Loughlin, and many more.

Homo Night in Canada

June 22 at 8:00PM // The Chamber // $28

A must-see event of Toronto’s Pride weekend showcasing some of North America’s best queer comics, Homo Night turns twenty this year. Get your tickets early for what promises to be a night of hilarity and high-schticking! Hosted by the B-Girlz and featuring Kyle Brownrigg, Elvira Kurt, Chanty Marostica,Ashley Moffatt, Ted Morris, Richard Ryder, David Benjamin Tomlinson, and Dawn Whitwell!

The Lady Oiye’s Tea Dance

June 23 at 3:00 PM // The Cabaret // FREE

Buddies provides cool respite for the weary and thirsty on Pride Day afternoon, spreading out the welcome mat for a friendly gathering just off the parade route.

Tallulah’s Pride Party

The best party on the block takes over the whole building for Queer Pride. Come early to see Toronto’s top drag queens in a super-charged floor show, and stay late with our resident DJs spinning your favourite top-40 queer anthems.

Saturday, June 15

10:30PM | Full-Facility | $10

w/ DJ Regina Gently

Saturday, June 21
10:30PM | Full-Facility | $15

Katinka Kature + Carlotta Carlisle // DJ Johnny B Goode 

Saturday, June 22

10:30PM | Full-Facility | $15

Hosted by Fay Slift // DJs Regina Gently + Sofia Fly

Sunday, June 23
10:30PM | Full-Facility | $10

Katinka Kature, Baby Bel Bel + Fantasia Royale Gaga // 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.