Three queer artists reflect on AIDS & art for Cabaret 87

Ryan Hinds by Georges Dutil

When activists founded AIDS Community Care Montreal in 1987, they hoped that one day we would see people live with HIV and not just die from it. Twenty-five years later, community org ACCM celebrates survival and success with a fabulous cabaret hosted by Antonio Bavaro, with Toronto’s Ryan G Hinds, and performance artist Danny Gaudreault + friends this Sunday, February 3 at the Sala Rossa. (See details for our ticket contest below!)

Active in the Toronto and Montréal cabaret scenes, a beloved writer for Xtra and all-around fabulous personality, Ryan G Hinds (featured photo by Georges Dutil) will be making Cabaret87 the highlight of a whirlwind weekend such as he’s so notorious for in Montréal. Winner of the 2011 Steinert & Ferreiro Award for LGBT commitment to the arts, Hinds is diva with enough soul for two cities, and will doubtless be a show-stopper on Sunday night.

In terms of my art, AIDS means honouring the past, celebrating the present, and charting the future. Every time I step on stage, I bring ghosts with me: artists and story tellers like Craig Russell, Sylvester, Peter Allen, and Liberace inspire my work. For ACCM’s 25th anniversary I wanted to tell a story of looking back with affection (without denying the tough moments) and remaining hopeful for tomorrow, and I dedicate it to our absent friends and present comrades.” – Ryan G Hinds

Known for his triple (goddess) threat performances as Connie Lingua (or Hedwig, or Frank-N-Furter more recently) Antonio Bavaro is a Concordia theatre student, and so much more! Hailing from the Court of the Wild Rose, and soon to be featured in his own 10th Anniversary show (Cabaret Cochonne), Bavaro is a fixture of the alt-drag scene in the 416, 780 and 514 who is sure to serve more than lip sync at this special event. He’ll be thinking about Sticky Vicky (the late Vincent Richards) when he takes the Sala Rossa stage to host Cabaret87.

Antonio Bavaro as Frank-N-Furter at the Mainline Theatre, 2012

My first friend/mentor to pass away from AIDS is an Edmonton legend: the electro-punk Broadway club kid coat-check queen by the name of Sticky Vicky, Vincent Richards. They were the first drag queen to be nice to me when I was still under-aged, and they were always supportive of my charisma, uniqueness, nerve & talent once we started performing on the same stage. (Supposedly she was the #1 blow-job groupie of punk band SNFU). You never really understood what she was saying, but you always knew she cared. Thank you, Vicky.” – Antonio Bavaro

Inexplicably moving performance interventions are Danny Gaudreault’s calling card, whether at Radical Queer Semaine events or at numerous art festivals like Visualeyez and Écho d’un fleuve. His work evokes loss and alienation with a decidedly theatrical approach. Inspired by clown and nightmarish Edward Gorey-esque motifs, Gaudreault is unflinching and always awesome.

COHÉSION et autres tentatives – Performance #4 from Danny Gaudreault on Vimeo.

My art practice is about affirming a hybrid identity by adding several layers of perceptible references. Similarly, HIV/AIDS is not an identifiable motif, but is present when I make reference to my own vulnerabilities: I am potentially affected and therefore concerned. I am also engaged in looking at ‘the other’ in an empathetic way, the same mode in which I consider the past, the present and the future: with hope.” – Danny Gaudreault (translation by JA)

Coral Short and Deanne Smith round out a stellar line-up of queer artists who will help ring in ACCM’s silver anniversary in style. See you there!

Cabaret 87 – ACCM’s 25th anniversay

Hosted by Antonio Bavaro w/ Ryan G Hinds, Danny Gaudreault, Coral Short, Deanne Smith + friends (Cocktail hour hosted by Lady Gaza + Mini Maul, with lots of prizes and an auction!)

Sunday, Feb 3, 8pm – $15

@ La Sala Rossa, 4848 boul. St-Laurent, Montréal

WIN 2 FREE TICKETS TO CABARET87 by adding a comment below and liking our Facebook page. The winning commentator/liker will be selected randomly on Saturday, Feb 2 and announced on Forget the Box’s Facebook page (go ahead and like ACCM‘s too).  Good luck!

 

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