A group of Ryerson students is producing a drag show at the Winter Garden Theatre — with some help from the university president.
Snow Queen, a live, one-hour performance featuring prominent Toronto-based drag queens, is set to hit the stage on Dec. 12, with the ticket proceeds going to support The 519 Church Street Community Centre.
“Snow Queen is more than a school project for us,” says Sachil Patel, executive producer of Snow Queen.
“We have been immersed with the LGBTQ community for the past four years and we want to give back.”
Patel and the other members of the group are producing the show for their final-year thesis project in the RTA School of Media.
When Patel found himself in an elevator with the president of Ryerson, Sheldon Levy, he didn’t think his two-minute pitch about the show would turn into a generous donation.
“I told Sheldon we wanted him to come to our drag show,” Patel recalls.
Minutes later, he received an email from the president with one word: supported.
The $33,000 production, which received nearly half its funding from the president’s office, will feature drag performances by Bunni Lapin, Nikki Chin, Devine Darlin, Jada Hudson, Sapphire Titha-Reign, and Carlotta Carlisle.
“Ryerson is part of the rich history that makes up the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood,” says Patel.
“We want to inspire the next generation of Ryerson students to keep building strong communities like this one.”
The 519 Church Street Community Centre has been a significant player in the establishment and viability of the neighbourhood. In its 35-year history, the centre has been working with the LGBTQ community to provide a safe space for members.
Written and directed by students in the RTA School of Media, Snow Queen hopes to showcase drag culture in a more accessible way during the holiday season.
Tickets for Snow Queen are available on Ticketmaster and range in price from $25 – $45.
Alisha Sawhney was a photo and graphics editor at the Ryersonian in 2015. Currently, she was also the business editor at the Ryerson Folio. She previously worked at MoneySense, a personal finance and investment magazine.