It was an icy-hot night as performers took to the stage for the 18th Annual Kootenay Pride festival on August 29.
Hosted at the Element Club in Castlegar, the “Fire & Ice” event marked the second anniversary of the Castlegar portion of the three-day-long celebration, which hosted 12 events in Nelson as well.
New for this year’s Castlegar affair was the presence of exciting live performances from local and international talent who gave the audience stellar shows they won’t soon forget.
“This year was purely professional performers, so that was a change and it went really well — they did a great job,” said Daniel Ellis, who co-organizes Kootenay Pride alongside Nelson resident Cole Johnston.
Indeed, with the evening being hosted by Nelson’s own world-famous burlesque legend Judith Stein, it’s easy to understand why the show was such a hit.
Accompanying Stein on stage were Holly Von Sinn and Beau Creep, founder and co-host (respectively) of the popular Edmonton burlesque experience “Sinners, Freaks and Geeks.”
Following the live dancers were DJ performances by local Shambhala Music Festival regulars, Logan Hart and DJ Wallis, who kept the beats coming.
“It wasn’t a very large crowd, but everyone who was there had an amazing time. People said it was the best one they’d ever been to,” said Ellis.
With all proceeds from the night going back into the Kootenay Pride organization fund, Ellis explained that the money raised goes towards future events. “We’re trying to build it up so we can do more throughout the year, such as more dances, social events, and events from ideas of people within the community.”
Ellis is hopeful that the 2015 Kootenay Pride festival will see more events hosted in the City of Castlegar, but admitted that since the celebration originated in Nelson, it’s hard changing people’s ideas in both communities.
For more information, to see photos or to volunteer, visit www.kootenaypride.com.