June is Pride month, and a local restaurant is offering an exclusive event June 22 to benefit the Airdrie Pride Society (APS).
Sorso Lounge, Espresso and Wine Bar will host a Drag Night beginning at 8:30 p.m., managing partner London Richard said. The show will feature three performers – Angelina Starchild, Smother Theresa and Kate Shade.
“If you’ve ever seen RuPaul’s Drag Race, we’re going doing sort of a lip-sync battle,” Richard said.
The event happens to correspond with Airdrie’s first Pride Festival, and Richard said he sees the drag show as an unofficial after-party for the day’s celebration.
“This is Airdrie’s first time ever doing an Airdrie Pride festival, so we wanted to get as much word out there that we and tons of people in this community support that,” he said.
Sorso has rented a stage for the event, which will be set up on the restaurant’s outdoor patio. Richard estimated the venue can accommodate 120 to 150 people on a first-come-first-served basis, but noted due to the show’s content, attendees must be at least 18 years of age.
The event came about, Richard said, after a conversation with one of his employees.
“He actually recently came out,” Richard said. “It was a big deal for him, and all the staff wanted to support him. He actually went out and did a drag show out in Calgary, and he and I were talking about how the community of Airdrie doesn’t have anything like that.”
That conversation, Richard said, set in motion the planning of the drag show. APS reached out soon after to express their appreciation, he said, and the management of Sorso decided it would be a fitting organization to support throughout the month of June.
According to Richard, the restaurant has done a monthly fundraiser for about one year, choosing a different local charity to benefit. One dollar from every pint of Sorso’s house beer is donated to the charity, and the restaurant hosts a fundraising event near the end of the month that usually includes live music and silent auctions. It’s important to give back to the community, Richard added, because Airdrie has been so supportive of the restaurant.
The drag show is just part of Sorso’s month-long support of APS. The restaurant will host a Pride Party June 28, which will resemble its typical fundraiser. For a minimum donation of $2, Richard said, customers can also sign a paper rainbow that Sorso will display on its walls for the rest of the month before APS incorporates all the rainbows into its Canada Day Parade float.
According to Kiersten Mohr, president of APS, funds raised by Sorso will be put towards its youth program, Pride Youth Social Movement (PRYSM), as well as a scholarship program APS is in the process of creating.
“That’s coming from a belief amongst the board that if we really want to change and impact the future, then we need to get these youth [to the future] in a really healthy and successful way,” she said.
Mohr said APS is completely behind any local business that is willing to showcase inclusivity and diversity in the way Sorso has by hosting the drag show, and added it was “absolutely amazing” that Sorso chose APS as this month’s charity.
“They’ve done everything and anything to help us out and support us,” she said.
Richard said, depending on how the first show goes, there is a possibility Sorso could incorporate regular drag shows into its schedule.“The feedback we’ve been getting from it is very positive,” Richard said. “We’ve had a lot of people coming in and saying thank you.”