Help a Rainbow Refugee Resettle in Canada

As we head into Pride Weekend in Vancouver, we reflect on the privileges and freedoms afforded to Canadian citizens. While not perfect, they’re far better than many places around the globe, especially for those identifying as LGBTQ+. Rights have been extended in more and more countries but unfortunately, there are still at least 14 countries where homosexuality is legally punishable by death.

Rainbow Refugee is a Vancouver based community organization supporting people seeking refugee protection in Canada because of persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Since 2011, Rainbow Refugee Society has worked in partnership with the Federal government to direct a blended sponsorship program called the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Project (RRAP). This is a national project and Rainbow Refugee has the responsibility of working with its own Circles of Hope as well as other community organizations across Canada to sponsor LGBTQ+ asylum seekers.

The Rainbow Connection is one of the Circles of Hope hoping to supporting Rainbow Refugee. We are a group of friends, lead by Mr. Gay Canada 2019, working together to assist a LGBTQ+ person hoping to resettle in Canada. We are grateful to live in Canada and have the ability to live and love in a safe and supportive community. Supporting a person, presently living in an African refugee camp, whose life is in danger because of who they are is our way of sharing the benefits that we have through our citizenship and friendships.

We have set up a Canada Helps donation page to help raise funds online as well as raising offline funds to support our goal. Along with our knowledge and support, the money we raise will assist this Rainbow Refugee to set up a new life in Canada. It will go towards food, housing, transportation, personal health… anything and everything needed every day to live a full life.
We hope you will support us in this endeavour, any little bit you can contribute is greatly appreciated and if you cannot provide monetary support we ask that you share the donation page with your network.

Thank you!

The Lady In Red Ball Returns to Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

While the ghostly Lady In Red haunts the upper levels of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, patrons will be celebrating the second Lady in Red Ball in the Pacific Ballroom. Kicking off Pride Week, July 25th, the Lady In Red Ball benefits Dr Peter AIDS Foundation. 

Lady In Red Ball Host & Fairmont Pride Ambassador Kendal Gender

Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar winner and Fairmont Pride Ambassador, Kendall Gender, hosts the evening’s events, including a show-stopping drag performance with Vancouver’s premiere girl-gang, The Brat Pack.

The evening will also feature a live musical performance by singer/songwriter Stephen Scaccia, DJ-ing by Man About Town Entertainment, will keep the dance floor filled, watch for pop-up performances by stilt-walkers and acrobats, as guests peruse and bid on silent auction prizes, sip cocktails and nibble canapes.

Partial proceeds from The Lady In Red Ball support the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. The Dr. Peter Aids Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support innovative health care at the Dr. Peter Centre, British Columbia’s only HIV day health program and 24-hour nursing residence. The only program of its kind in Canada, the Dr. Peter Centre is a leader in HIV care, particularly for individuals with multiple medical conditions and social barriers.

After a successful debut year, The Lady In Red Ball looks forward to building on that momentum to fill the Pacific Ballroom and be able to grow its support of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. 

The Lady In Red Ball takes place, Thursday, July 25 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Pacific Ballroom from 7pm – 10pm.  Tickets are on sale now $89 per person, + GST (must be 19+ years to attend). To purchase tickets online, visit

Reset Retreat Reboots Your Soul, June 9 – 15, 2018

Liberation Yoga is a collective of yoga teachers, artists, bodyworkers, culinary artisans and mental health professionals with a goal to create a sacred space and healing experience for those at a crossroads in life.  Anyone in crisis, not only those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse but also those who know they need a change but are unsure of exactly what it might be.

Liberation Yoga works together to create a unique opportunity, Reset Retreat, where, through beautiful surroundings, nurturing food, art, movement, nature and the power of the group, the collective gives the participants the love and support they need.

Reset Retreat is a five-day yoga based retreat, for people in crisis that is 100% free to participants. Through twice daily yoga practices (asana, meditation, pranayama, etc…), group discussions, healthy nourishment through excellent and healing food, therapy, art, exploration of the outdoors, writing, bodywork (massage, chiropractic, T.R.E.) and community the hope is to connect individuals to themselves and a broader community of likeminded individuals to help them have a new prospective – a reset.

The retreat is 100% financed through donations, in order to provide the services free to participants, as those who most need the healing are often the least likely to be able to afford it.  Limited applications are now being accepted for participation in the courses. Last year’s Reset Retreat was able to provide accommodation and service for 20 participants. This year’s Reset Retreat, scheduled June 9 – 15, 2018 in Kamloops BC. To aid their fundraising, a gofundme page is also taking public donations, at 

2014 DOXA Online Auction is on Now

DOXA Curio
DOXA Curio

Last week, DOXA Documentary Film Festival held their Fall fundraiser, Curio, at CBC Studio 700.  Circus Side Show themed entertainment, games and carnival food kept the attendees amused while archival footage of Vancouver’s Expo 86 and PNE / Playland was screened to remind people of the carnivals gone by.  Throughout the evening patrons were invited to bid on a great array of silent auction items, from hotels and restaurants to wine and coffee.  If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend and bid on anything at Curio, you can still support DOXA.

The DOXA Online Auction is now underway on eBay, over 40 items are listed online with auctions ending in batches between tomorrow November 22 to Wednesday November 26th. Arts & culture, tours, travel, electronics, apparel and sporting events are all online for sale.  With the Holidays coming up it’s a perfect opportunity to do your Christmas Shopping and help support one of Vancouver’s premier film festivals.

To view the full auction list visit DOXA on eBay.

Strongbody Apparel gives your workout a Kickstarter

Pulse Elite Tee Strongbody Vancouver activewear company, Strongbody Apparel has launched a Kickstarter campaign to spread the word on their innovative, stylish performance wear.
Engineered for style and function, to appeal to today’s active lifestyle.  Strongbody Apparel’s technologically advanced activewear incorporate nanotechnology from the ocean with a secret ingredient, Chitosan, derived from crab and shrimp shells and provides an antibacterial, bio-friendly technology. This innovative treatment keeps Strongbody Apparel’s products stay smelling fresh, hygienic and odor free.

SBA - Detail Shot- Performance SHortStrongbody has created an aesthetic to suit your whole day, from working out to hanging out; instead of bright, flashy, and overly branded activewear, Strongbody Apparel features a clean and sleek look that goes with everything or looks great on its own.  Strategic ventilation, and body mapped panels play double duty by adding performance fit and function, while offering flattering silhouettes. Every detail has been carefully adjusted to work with the mechanics of the body, and enable you to perform in your top condition. Moisture wicking technology works in harmony to deliver performance apparel with a great, understated look.

“We believe that activewear should perform, look great, and be good for the world,” says Meghan Conyers, CEO and Co-Founder of Strongbody Apparel. “We realized that men’s activewear is falling short, and is an industry ripe for disruption. We have developed a range that is designed for performance, and looks great in and out of the gym.”

The Co-Founders Meghan Conyers and Quincy Samycia have spent over two years researching and developing their products and now are ready to show the world via their now underway Kickstarter.

SBATake a look at their line and get some great offers on their made-in-Vancouver gear.  In addition to helping kickstart a great local enterprise you can feel good about your purchase in supporting Strongbody’s “Buy One Feed One” initiative supporting the World Food Program.

Find out more about Strongbody Apparel online and get shopping and looking great now.

What’s On Weekend – December 15 – 18, 2011

With Christmas coming up next weekend this week’s activities include a lot of festive festivities.

Thursday Dec 15
– ongoing, through the Holidays are a number of festive fun activities including Vancouver Christmas Market, The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge’s Canyon Lights, VanDusen Festival of Lights, Bloedel Conservatory Jewel Box of Light and Bright Nights in Stanley Park
– hit up Main & Hastings (it’s not as bad as you think) and join the fun & dancing at the Rickshaw Theatre for Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party Xmas Party Gaylore

Friday Dec 16
– the legendary Prince brings his “Welcome 2 Canada” tour and a plethora of hits to Rogers Arena followed by another performance tomorrow in Victoria at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre
– later, stop by the Friday edition of “We Like Boys” at The Helm
– for a little fun fundraising, check out Funderwear 2011 at Rickshaw Theatre, admission is a new pack of socks / underwear or $10 with proceeds to the Harbour Lights Foundation

Saturday Dec 17
– the talented and dapper young foursome, Canadian Tenors, bring their p-opera vocals to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre
– hopefully there isn’t another riot and they actually take to the stage this time, Guns & Roses are playing Pacific Coliseum
– perhaps one of the biggest shows of the year, Jay-Z & Kanye West bring their “Watch The Throne” Tour to Rogers Arena for the first of two nights.

Sunday Dec 18
– at the Commodore Ballroom, alternative-rock legends Dinosaur Jr are joined onstage by equally legendary punk icon, Henry Rollins as Rollins leads an interactive Q&A session before the performance.

Sutton Place – Home For The Holidays

Now in it’s 6th Year, Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver’s Home For The Holidays event is a fun and festive fundraiser.
The hotel partners with local home designers, retailers and stagers who each create a signature tree to be showcased throughout the Sutton Place lobby. For a $5 donation, guests and Vancouverites can vote on their favourite tree. Proceeds from the donation goes to support PALS Autism School . Each vote is also an entry for a change to win some terrific prize ranging from a weekend stay at the Sutton Place Hotel to a Island Getaway to Victoria including a Helijet flight and stay at Hotel Grand Pacific or a Sunset Dinner Cruise.
Stop by the Sutton Place until January 4th and vote for your favourite tree!