Montréal is Burning: The return of vogue
Montréal in the 1990s was home to an active voguing (or “ballroom”) scene, the queer dance form brought to mainstream attention by Paris is Burning and Madonna’s smash hit single ‘Vogue’. And while ballroom remained a constant, vibrant underground presence in New York City LGBTQ life, that storied Montréal scene is but a memory.
Flash-forward to 2017 and voguing and its culture is experiencing an international resurgence as chronicled in the critically-acclaimed documentary KIKI, winner of the 2016 Teddy Award for Best LGBT Documentary Film at the Berlin Film Festival. Following a group of inspiring ballroom individuals both inside of the ballroom and out, KIKI proves voguing is alive and well and ready for its second close-up.
Werq-ing for the Weekend
Vogue takes over Montréal and Canada Pride with a weekend-long line-up including lessons, history, and the rare chance to learn from and compete for prizes in front of a distinguished panel of judges from MTL, Toronto, and New York:
August 12, 2017, 14:00: Workshop: Vogue Fem 101 Avec Chi Chi Mizrahi at Diss Torsion dance studios
Learn from one of the best. Chi Chi Mizrahi’s role in the House and Ballroom community extends beyond his official titled role as Mother Chi Chi Unbothered Mizrahi, a leading member of both the houses of Cartier Unbothered and Mizrahi. As mentor and teacher, he’ll introduce you to the world of vogue fem.
August 12, 2017, 19:00: Screening: Kiki // Ball Culture Talk and Q&A at Centre Phi
As principle subjects of the film KIKI, Chi Chi Mizrahi and Twiggy Pucci Garçon (also credited as the film’s cowriter) will follow this rare big screen showing with a ball culture talk and Q&A session to explore the rich history of vogue and ballroom in NYC.
August 13, 2017, 17:00: IN DEEP Kiki Vogue Ball at Bain Mathieu
Take what you’ve learned and walk for the judges in categories ranging from Vogue Fem to Runway. Hosted by Gerard X Reyes and Amazon Wayne and featuring Twiggy and Chi Chi at the judges’ table, Montréal has never been fiercer.
August 14, 2017, 19:00: The Runway Theory Workshop with Twiggy Pucci Garçon at Diss Torsion
Master the art of walking the runway in multiple styles, taught by the legendary Twiggy Pucci Garçon, founding mother of the Haus of P.U.C.C.I., Overall Overseer of the House of Comme des Garçon, and the winner of the 2017 Pepper LaBeija Image Award at NYC’s mammoth Latex Ball. Sashay and shantay with the best.
August 15, 2017, 10:30: LGBTTIQA2S Lives: Our Struggles, Our Victories, Our Challenges Conference featuring Twiggy Pucci Garçon
As the Associate Program Director at the True Colors Fund, Twiggy Pucci Garçon leads their Youth Collaboration programs, forging collaborations with young adults towards the aim of ending youth homelessness. He has been profiled in both the film KIKI as well as HBO’s series The OUT List. His work as an activist, advocate and healer focuses in part on elevating the authentic representation of the House and Ballroom community worldwide. Here he will speak both on the struggles faced by LGBTQ homeless youth and the role the House and Ballroom community plays in saving lives.
Despite the fierceness, fashions, vogue battles and quest for snatching the trophy and claiming a prize, Ballroom culture has always been first and foremost about empowerment. In Twiggy’s wise words, “When people step onto the floor, they’re telling you no matter what you think, I am beautiful.” Come join us and take your turn in the spotlight.
Mark Hamilton, blogger, Queer MTL community manager
Male, mid-to-late 30s, tall and bearded. Likes romantic walks on Mont Royal, long-distance cycling, beard oil products and antique travel guides. Has a bad habit of falling in love with men in vintage photographs who are certainly long dead. If he could be anything, he’d live his life as a professional flâneur. Until then, he spends his time writing, making music, and wandering.
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