Now in its fourth year, the Pony Cabaret returns with a line-up of local and west coast talent.
Hosted by Miss Cookie LaWhore, it will showcase performers across a variety of disciplines. Artists this year include Juno-nominated musician Tariq, Calgary humorist, writer and poet Nikki Reimer, local impresario Erin Scott, comedian Peter Navratil, a teen juggler and at least one mouthy drag queen.
Miss Cookie LaWhore, host of the event, is the alter-ego of UBC Associate Professor Michael V. Smith, who teaches in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.
“Pony is an exploratory place, designed to celebrate what is different, because understanding difference is where the best growth happens,” said Smith.
“I started doing Pony because there weren’t enough queer spaces in Kelowna. We made Pony to give performers a place to explore, to be racy, to challenge, and fail and try again.”
The goal of this event is to make a space that everyone can feel welcome, regardless who they are or where they come from. It also helps to explore what an inclusive space looks like and how to make room in a community for queer and trans identities, he explains.
The goal, said Smith, is to make our communities work intersectionally to make room across differences of black and indigenous people of colour, LGBTQ+, women, ability and class.
“Every year Pony is a surprise laugh riot. We never know what to expect. Cookie will say anything. The performers try stuff out that they’ve never attempted before,” Smith said.
“The whole culture of Pony is to encourage attendees to bring out their best weird. Wear what you want. Be who you want. Prance how you want. That’s the spirit of a pony.”
There is a serious side to Pony, Smith said. All proceeds from the event go to the Living Positive Resource Centre, which provides harm reduction, prevention and education resources along with supportive services that focus on individual and community health and wellness to anyone living with, affected by, or at risk of HIV, hepatitis C or related health issues.
Pony Cabaret will take place at the Black Box Theatre April 6 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. tickets are available at the door.
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