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DunnEnzies owners and patrons speak out after drag protest in Kelowna

On Dec.7, people gathered at DunnEnzies to protest an all-ages drag show
Joelle Wolf and her three children at the all ages drag show at DunnEnzies on Dec. 7. (Jacqueline Gelineau/Capital News)

The owners of a restaurant that say they have received threats of violence over the last week said “love shined much brighter than hate,” at the all-ages drag show event that they hosted on Dec. 7, despite the protesters that were

“We will say we are proud to have hosted a very successful community show and fundraiser last night,” said Karyn Mackenzie, co-owner of DunnEnzies.

READ MORE: Protesters clash with attendee at Kelowna drag show; police investigating

She added that due to the open police file regarding the threats against herself, her business partner Deb Dunnigan, their family and team, DunnEnzies will be making no further comments about the protestors or drag events.

A small group of protesters, led by Graeme Flannigan, gathered outside the show held at DunnEnzies on Lakeshore Road on Dec. 7. The group stated that they were upset that the restaurant allows people of all ages to attend the drag shows.

Flannigan said that he was concerned that the event would sexualize children. The protesters held signs that said “no sex shows for kids.”

Dunnigan and Mackenzie said that they are not sure why the protesters are calling the drag event a sex show.

Joelle Wolf attended the drag event with her three children. Before going into DunnEnzies, Wolf and her kids held signs that shared expressions of love and freedom, to counter-protest those that were concerned about the safety of children attending the show.

Wolf posted a statement on Facebook after the event addressing those that were concerned for the well-being of her children.

“Drag is not inherently sexual…Drag is about poking fun at social norms, gender roles, racism and hate culture… Many have concerns that drag performers/the trans community ‘opens the door to pedophiles having access to children’- where is this energy when church leaders are actively demanding blind obedience especially to those with social power over children/vulnerable women, excusing violent sexual acts… There was no nudity at this event. The more risque jokes went completely over the children’s heads and the performers, even though they didn’t have to, adjusted their performance for little ears…Lastly, Drag and the 2SLGBTQ+ community are incredible protectors of children. The ONLY threat to my kids last night was the vile and hateful rhetoric yelled at them from the anti-drag protesters.”

She said that her family enjoyed the show.

READ MORE: Multiple overdoses, syringes in neighbourhood falls on shoulders of concerned Kelowna woman


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

I'm a reporter in the beginning stages of my career. I joined the team at Capital News in November 2021...
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