Pride is breaking out all over Victoria.
It’s not just a parade or a day of events – it’s a week of activities that carries a welcoming acceptance that lingers in our city throughout the year.
Pride Week launches June 27 with CabarGAY, an evening of song, dance, comedy and burlesque from Victoria’s leading LBGTQ performers at the Belfry theatre.
“You can sit down and enjoy stand up comedy, dancers, top singers and a lot of Victoria’s LBGTQ performers and their friends,” says Richard Lucas, Victoria Pride Society social media co-ordinator. “It’s really a cross-section of the gays and straights and sponsors who come together to have a beautiful show.”
This year CabarGAY is hosted by Mary Zilba (The Real Housewives Of Vancouver) and Fiona Forbes (The Fiona Forbes show) and features the legendary Gouda Gabor, comedian Diana Kuch and the Cheesecake Burlesque troupe.
Gabor, is Lucas’ alter-ego and a mainstay on the Victoria stage for the past few years.
“Gouda Gabor came about because I wanted to sing and didn’t want to compete with my clients,” says Lucas, who runs Lucas Talent. “So I established this character who’s a lost Gabor sister.”
A media darling, Gabor is bold, brassy, able to get the party started and keep it going.
“We have fabulous hosts,” says Lucas. “Fiona is a well-known fashionista and has her own talk show on the air in Victoria. Mary Zilba from the Real Housewives of Vancouver – she’s the most popular one, she’s known as the ‘nice one’ – she’s a singer and had seven top 40 hits and she’ll be singing at the show,” he says.
Forbes is excited to return to Victoria and spend the weekend with her bestie Zilba. “We’ve done a lot of stuff together before. She’s been on my show, I’ve been on hers – that was not the funnest, that was the Housewives, but ‘take one for the team’ for your BFF,” she says with a laugh.
The show includes a variety of acts, including an “army of handsome young men” doing a musical theatre tribute. “Expect the unexpected … but that sums up Pride Week everywhere,” says Forbes, who frequently hosts and attends charity functions. Tickets for CabarGAY are $20 and funds raised go to the Victoria Pride Society.
“Mary and I are really looking forward to the whole weekend, it’ll be exciting to be back in Victoria … and Pride on top of that is a bonus.”
Though, Forbes adds, she’ll leave the singing up to Zilba. “I’m completely and utterly tone deaf, if she needs me for backup I’ll stick to the tambourine.
Kick off Pride Week with hosts Mary Zilba and Fiona Forbes. Tickets $20 ($25 at the door) at the Belfry Box Office, 1291 Gladstone or belfry.bc.ca
Official CabarGAY afterparty
Join some of the stars from the Belfry Theatre show and let your hair down at the afterparty with DJ ronnyb. 11 to 2am at Paparazzi Night Club.
Big Gay Dog Walk
It’s Pride with Paws at Victoria’s most scenic off-leash dog park! Bring your pup, or just come and watch the parade of doggie-dress up, agility displays, music, prizes and of course hot dogs. 1pm at Dallas Road-foot of Cook St. Free.
Pride Boat Cruise
Set sail from the wharf behind the Coast Hotel for a festive evening of cocktails and comradery on the Orca Spirit Catamaran, 7 to 10pm. victoriapridesociety.org and at Paparazzi Night Club. 19+ only.
Comedy at Pride
Its queer stand up time as Darcy Michael brings his signature style of jam-packed comedy to Sugar Nightclub. He will be joined by popular Victoria funny woman Shel Suzuki. firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Gouda Gabor and the House of Gabor gang for the biggest Pride Week dance party with Children of the Cheese dancers, top DJs and special guests. Sugar Night Club, 858 Yates. houseofgabor.com