RTA School of Media students crowdfund holiday drag show

Open Air Productions is a group of 7, fourth year students from the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University. (Photo courtesy of Snow Queen 2014)

Senior students from the RTA School of Media kicked off their Indiegogo campaign for Snow Queen, a live holiday drag show at the Winter Garden Theatre. They’ve already reached $1,426 but by Dec. 9 they hope to raise $2,000.

With the challenge of funding the whole project themselves, the idea of collaborative financing only seemed natural.

“Crowdfunding is inherently social,” explains Olivia Giammarioli, last year’s vice-president of the Ryerson University Accounting Society.

Depending on the amount of money donated, attendees can receive personal shoutouts on Twitter, signed photographs from the drag queens, or free tickets to the show.

“People love the idea of tying themselves to something they care about and can wed that with financial return,” she says, adding that crowdfunding aims to connect people to companies and other individuals where their passions align.

This is exactly what Open Air Productions, the group of RTA students behind Snow Queen, is doing. Students in Ryerson’s theatre school are teaming up with them to help with the almost $33,000 production behind the show.

The show is mostly financed through external sponsors, as well as Sheldon Levy. Open Air Productions says raising more money through crowdfunding will allow them to meet their recuperation costs quickly. That means more of the proceeds from ticket sales can go to The 519 Church Street Community Centre.

Sachil Patel, Snow Queen’s executive producer, says donating to Open Air Productions promotes LGBTQ art and culture to mainstream audiences as well as supporting The 519 Church Street Community Centre.

OUTexpressions News, a Toronto-based media publication, spoke out on Twitter today disagreeing with Open Air Production’s decision to help support The 519 Church Street Community Centre because it ignores other LGBTQ-focused charities, like Queer West.

“The Church-Wellesley neighborhood is practically part of Ryerson’s home and we need to recognize where we are on the map,” says Patel.

“It’s not often that this many students get together to create something as large-scale as this. We need to keep supporting these students and the local talent in our backyard.”


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