Fundraising event showcases west-coast Canadian talent
What: Pony Cabaret
When: Saturday, April 6, 8 to 10 p.m.
Where: Black Box Theatre, 1375 Water St., behind the Kelowna Community Theatre
Cost: Suggested fundraising amount $10 to $20, students $5
Now in its fourth year, the Pony Cabaret returns with a stellar line-up of local and west coast talent. Hosted by Miss Cookie LaWhore, Pony showcases performers across a variety of disciplines. Artists this year include Juno-nominated musician Tariq, Calgary humourist, writer and poet Nikki Reimer, local impresario Erin Scott, comedian Peter Navratil, a teen juggler and at least one mouthy drag queen.
Miss Cookie LaWhore, host of the event, is the alter-ego of UBC Associate Professor Michael V. Smith. The role of Miss Cookie, explains Smith, is to be the biggest freak in the room, and to make space for everyone else to feel a little more normal.
“Pony is an exploratory place, designed to celebrate what is different, because understanding difference is where the best growth happens,” says Smith. “I started doing Pony because there weren’t enough queer spaces in Kelowna. We made Pony to give performers a place to explore, to be racy, to challenge, and fail and try again.”
The goal of this event is to make a space that everyone can feel welcome, regardless of who they are or where they come from. It also helps to explore what an inclusive space looks like and how to make room in a community for queer and trans identities, he explains.
The goal, says Smith, is to make our communities work intersectionally to make room across differences of black and indigenous people of colour, LGBTQ+, women, ability and class.
“Every year Pony is a surprise laugh riot. We never know what to expect. Cookie will say anything. The performers try stuff out that they’ve never attempted before,” he adds. “The whole culture of Pony is to encourage attendees to bring out their best weird. Wear what you want. Be who you want. Prance how you want. That’s the spirit of a pony.”
There is a serious side to Pony, he notes. All proceeds from the event go to the Living Positive Resource Centre, which provides harm reduction, prevention and education resources along with supportive services that focus on individual and community health and wellness to anyone living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV, hepatitis C or related health issues.
This event is sponsored by the UBC Equity Enhancement Fund, which supports community-based initiatives that enhance equity, diversity and inclusion.
To find out more, visit: facebook.com/events/804034033303176
About UBC’s Okanagan campus
UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.
To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca.