IS THIS THE BIGGEST VOGUE BALL IN CANADIAN HERSTORY?
December 1, 2022
March 30, 2023
Is this the biggest vogue ball in Canadian herstory? The answer is yes and we’ve interviewed the organizers to get you all the delicious details.
On Sunday, December third 2022, the second annual World AIDS Day Ball (“the biggest and most explosive ball in Canadian history”) will have competitors werquing over $20,000 in cash prizes and History on Queen East. It’s a massive venue, one just might be able to handle the massive personalities and fashions from some of the best local and international performers hitting the runway.
They’ve brought in legendary DJ Byrell the Great, Precious Basquiat and Canada and Midwest Father Twysted Miyake-Mugler to run the shows and keep you drooling…
We asked organizers Aura West and Tamar Miyake-Mugler about all the delicious details and inspiration.
OK so, last year’s World AIDS Day Ball was big, but this one is next level. Why did you decide to go ever bigger, like all the way big this year?
After the success of last year’s World AIDS Day Ball and selling out at this Summer’s Queen Charlotte’s Ball, we felt a true need to give local talent the stage they deserve. Over the past year, we’ve been hard at work, laying the foundation for FUNCTION, our partnership tackling Ballroom- and queer-based events and culture. Ultimately, our mission is to highlight the Canadian scene and encourage crosspollination with US folks and houses, and this year’s World AIDS Day Ball is another step in that direction.
Does world AIDS day hit home for either of you personally? We’re finding it harder to get people interested or to read up on AIDS these days... this is a brilliant way to bring awareness...
The initial idea of hosting a Ball highlighting World AIDS Day stemmed from Tamar’s HIV awareness program at Maggie’s Toronto. She was looking for ways to engage and support BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ folks more effectively, where they would feel celebrated and at home, and this was a perfect opportunity to do so.
World AIDS Day is such an important opportunity to remind ourselves, our community, the public, and our governments that HIV still affects millions of people worldwide, and that we must stay engaged and address the systemic inequalities creating barriers for priority populations—and if we can bring some of Balllroom’s flavour, spice, flamboyance, and entertainment factor in the mix, then it’s a win for us all.
You’re bringing Byrell the Great from NYC! This is so exciting, why are they the perfect DJ for this function?
Byrell’s a legend. Not in a queer lingo way—which comes from Ballroom, by the way— but an actual legend within our scene, and his touch is magic. He understands the nuances of Performance and other categories and knows exactly how to keep things moving.
For folks who aren’t familiar, can you explain how fucking cool it is that Precious Basquiat - from the house of Basquiat - is coming to Toronto?
Honestly, chances are they’ve already heard Precious somewhere, whether it be in a recent Nike BeTrue campaign or on Viceland’s My House. She has commentated balls all over the US and overseas and has one of the most recognizable voices of our generation.
Having been to many a ball... where would you say has the most exciting or innovative ballroom scene these days?
Outside of the Mecca of Ballroom, which is New York City, the European scene, more specifically Paris, has been turning it for nearly a decade. It’s really easy for folks to travel from all over Europe, congregating to major balls like they do in the US.
How does Toronto hold up on the global stage?
Toronto is the oldest international scene—and we’re most definitely in the running—but strict immigration laws and expensive domestic travel have held us back. This year’s World AIDS Day Ball is the first time we’re seeing such interest coming from US girls, with houses storming in great numbers, and hopefully by next year, Toronto will become thee Ballroom destination come every December.
The categories and the prizes are MASSIVE this year... what do you expect people are bringing to the ball?
Top-notch talent and effects. Period. If it doesn’t look like $1000, our panel of legendary and iconic judges will be quick to chop. We’re expecting folks from all over to hit the floor with passion and hunger, and we can’t wait for the public to get into the best Canadian Ballroom has to offer.