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Category Archives: Queer Musicians

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What’s Happening this week in the Okanagan! Oct 26 – Nov 2, 2020


Tuesday, October 27 – Gender Identity Group ~ Online

This is a positive, safe, inclusive, supportive space for, gender non-conforming, non-binary, transsexual, transgender, gender queer inter-sexed or questioning (or any variation there of under the rainbow spectrum) people living in or near Kelowna or the Okanagan are to discuss matters and various topics while providing and obtaining peer support.

We meet every Tuesday from 6-8 via Discord.

For more information on this group meeting, please join the Gender Identity Group on Facebook.


Wednesday, October 28 – QUSIC, 7 pm – 8:30 pm, featuring Damase Elis, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Creative BC.

Damase Elis (she/her) is a Calgary born singer-songwriter with roots in Batoche, Saskatchewan; roots that make her proudly Métis. Damase formerly performed under the alias ‘Riel’ but has since returned to performing by her given name. Her music is a culmination of both ancestral and contemporary sounds, inspired by literature, folk tunes, and a unique lineage. Damase most recently performed in the Central Okanagan during the Kelowna Pride Festival on September 26, 2020.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Sunday, November 1 – Drag Brunch, hosted by Friends of Dorothy Lounge ~ Kelowna

Get ready for a #SundayFunday. The drag is here!

Come out and see a show at Friends of Dorothy Drag Brunch (by reservation only). Seating begins at 11am followed by the performance at 12pm.

Tickets are $30 per person and include:
One mimosa or one Caesar AND an item from our brunch menu

CALL TO RESERVE! For more info go to: https://www.fodlounge.com/


unicorns live logo

Coming Up on Unicorns.LIVE

Events include QUSIC and A Sip With Sparkle!

Wednesday, October 28 – QUSIC, 7 pm – 8:30 pm, featuring Damase Elis, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Creative BC.

Damase Elis (she/her) is a Calgary born singer-songwriter with roots in Batoche, Saskatchewan; roots that make her proudly Métis. Damase formerly performed under the alias ‘Riel’ but has since returned to performing by her given name. Her music is a culmination of both ancestral and contemporary sounds, inspired by literature, folk tunes, and a unique lineage. Damase most recently performed in the Central Okanagan during the Kelowna Pride Festival on September 26, 2020.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Monday, November 16 – A Sip With Sparkle – Autumnal Aperitifs, 7 pm – 7:45 pm, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery ~ Kelowna and Online

The days have become shorter and cooler, with nighttime perfect for snuggling up next to an adult beverage to keep you warm and toasted…er, toasty! On this episode of A Sip With Sparkle, our cocktail queen Sparkle is joined by Ella Lamoreaux to guide you through crafting some fantastic liquid fall fare, the “Harvest Mule” and “Spiced Gin Sangria”.

Both drinks are Sparkle’s spins on classics that will be sure to warm you from head to toe!

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Wednesday, November 18 – QUSIC – 7 pm – 8:30 pm, featuring Bex, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Creative BC

Bex (she/her) is a Kelowna singer-songwriter who grew up performing throughout the Okanagan. Starting at the age of five years old, she thrived at musical theatre and classical voice training. Bex’ sound embodies an intuitive balance of effortless, breezy dream folk with ballad-like moments of soul stirring vibrato; a juxtaposition sparked by a space of vulnerability and groundedness. Through her live performance she strives to capture her most authentic and uninhibited side, drawing audiences in with weaves of storytelling.

Since 2014 she has been most recognized for her musical collaborations with OK Sister (post-modern feminist pop/rock), and most recently with, Josh + Bex (dreamy alt-folk). As a solo musician, Bex is currently performing her most recent work—a solo Indie folk EP Collisions with Jupiter, set to hit the studio next year. Earlier this year, she released a piano series of recovery songs, Set Fire and All That There Is. Her newly recorded single, Call it Broke, is set to be released on all streaming platforms in April of 2021.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE

unicorns live logo

Coming Up on Unicorns.LIVE

Events include QUSIC, A Sip With Sparkle, and QueeReads!

Sunday, October 18 – QueeReads – Spooky Lesbian Short Stories, 7 pm – 7:45 pm, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Author Leigh Jarrett, read by Jill Karpick ~ Kelowna and Online

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Monday, October 19 – A Sip With Sparkle – Halloween Hair-Raiser, 7 pm – 7:45 pm, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery ~ Kelowna and Online

Welp, the most wonderful time of the year is upon us: Gay Christmas (also known as Halloween)! Your sensationally spooky hostess, Sparkle, and the eerily evil Ella Lamoreaux, are set to make this the tastiest and spooktacular Halloween ever!

On this episode of A Sip With Sparkle, your favourite tarnished twosome will create a devilishly delicious black vodka potion called “Witches Brew”, while later terrorizing your taste buds in the most sinful way with a “Pumpkin Pie Whiskey Sour”. Miss this very special Halloween episode of A Sip With Sparkle at your own peril…(muaha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha)…coming up on Monday, October 19, 2020 live at 7:00 pm PST only on Unicorns.LIVE!

Want to see the tragedy unfold live? You can join the audience for A Sip With Sparkle by reserving your table (in groups of 4-6, within your social bubble) by calling Friends of Dorothy Lounge at 236.420.4565 or by emailing info@fodlounge.com. Friends of Dorothy Lounge continues to provide a safe, healthy environment for both staff and patrons.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Wednesday, October 28 – QUSIC, 7 pm – 8:30 pm, featuring Damase Elis, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Creative BC.

Damase Elis (she/her) is a Calgary born singer-songwriter with roots in Batoche, Saskatchewan; roots that make her proudly Métis. Damase formerly performed under the alias ‘Riel’ but has since returned to performing by her given name. Her music is a culmination of both ancestral and contemporary sounds, inspired by literature, folk tunes, and a unique lineage. Damase most recently performed in the Central Okanagan during the Kelowna Pride Festival on September 26, 2020.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE


Wednesday, November 18 – QUSIC – 7 pm – 8:30 pm, featuring Bex, hosted by Unicorns.LIVE, and supported by Friends of Dorothy Lounge and Creative BC

Bex (she/her) is a Kelowna singer-songwriter who grew up performing throughout the Okanagan. Starting at the age of five years old, she thrived at musical theatre and classical voice training. Bex’ sound embodies an intuitive balance of effortless, breezy dream folk with ballad-like moments of soul stirring vibrato; a juxtaposition sparked by a space of vulnerability and groundedness. Through her live performance she strives to capture her most authentic and uninhibited side, drawing audiences in with weaves of storytelling.

Since 2014 she has been most recognized for her musical collaborations with OK Sister (post-modern feminist pop/rock), and most recently with, Josh + Bex (dreamy alt-folk). As a solo musician, Bex is currently performing her most recent work—a solo Indie folk EP Collisions with Jupiter, set to hit the studio next year. Earlier this year, she released a piano series of recovery songs, Set Fire and All That There Is. Her newly recorded single, Call it Broke, is set to be released on all streaming platforms in April of 2021.

To find out more, visit the Facebook Event Page

Watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE

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QUSIC – Hayden McHugh


Hayden McHugh is playing at Friends of Dorothy Lounge tonight, Wednesday, October 14, from 7 pm – 9 pm.

With joyful tones and happy beats, Hayden McHugh (he/him/his) looks to make you dance and smile with his brand of feel-good dance-pop. He is a producer, songwriter, and vocalist from Calgary, Canada, who is ‘a vibrant, exciting, and collected individual, poised to make his presence felt in the ever-evolving Calgary arts community’.

Hayden has been performing professionally for 5 years, putting on and performing at various events for his program MusicGivesYYC. He has performed with Cirque de la Nuit at venues like the Palace Theater and Pride Calgary, opening for artists such as Scenic Route to Alaska at the Gateway, and being nominated for Male Artist of the Year by the YYC Music Awards in 2018. His most recent single, TAKE YOU, not only received over 13,000 streams on Spotify, but also opened up opportunities with Beakerhead, Calgary Pride and collaborations with artists from around the world.

This show can be watched live or by live stream. To reserve a table, please visit the Facebook Event Page and click the link that says ‘Find Tickets’.

Or watch the livestream on Unicorns.LIVE. – https://watch.unicorns.live/programs/live-qusic-hayden

QUSIC is a new LGBT2Q+ Artist Music Series, produced by Rebellious Unicorns Production Company Inc., in which all presenting artists must identify under the LGBT2Q+ spectrum. This innovative series celebrates the LGBTQ2+ community, which includes individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit as well as a range of other gender and sexual identities. QUSIC will feature solo performers, duos or group acts, provided that the headlining artist identifies as LGBT2Q+.

QUSIC supports the growth and development of the Canadian music industry, highlighting artists who identify as LGBT2Q+. The music series invests in Canadian talent and will help to grow awareness of LGBT2Q+ musical artists, and helping to put money in their pockets so that they may continue to create this essential art form.

Confessions of an Enthusiastic Yet Reluctant TV Host

The host of Unicorns.LIVE’s QUSIC reflects on the journey thus far, and where he hopes the show will go…

Here we are — the middle of October 2020 already, and just about at the end of the first season of QUSIC. It’s safe to say that none of us expected this year to turn out the way it has; life in 2020 has really become synonymous with that old gem “rolling with the punches”. When I look back on what has been an extremely challenging year, I have to say that hosting QUSIC has certainly been one of the highlights. 

When QUSIC was first proposed, I was ecstatic. The opportunity to work with and promote the talents of LGBT2Q+ musicians was incredibly appealing, and hot off the heels of several very successful Peak Pride events I was basking in the after-glow of being surrounded by other queer folx as well as incredibly supportive allies. The overall concept of QUSIC is absolute genius: if you’re as yet unfamiliar with what the show is about, here are the historical details…  


QUSIC is a new LGBT2Q+ Artist Music Series, in which all presenting artists identify under the LGBT2Q+ spectrum. QUSIC celebrates the LGBT2Q+ community, which includes individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit as well as a range of other gender and sexual identities. The show features solo performers, duos or group acts, provided that the majority of the band and the headlining artist identifies as LGBTQ2+. QUSIC has been streaming live on Unicorns.LIVE (watch.unicorns.live) every second Wednesday at 7:00 pm (PST) since May 27, 2020 with episodes available to subscribers to the streaming platform after they air. 

This, however, was not always the plan: enter COVID-19, stage right…

As is the case for all of us on Planet Earth 2020, the pandemic brought everything to a screeching halt. For us at Rebellious Unicorns Production Company Inc.  (aka, RUPC, the company behind QUSIC and Unicorns.LIVE) every project we were working on was disrupted, put on hold, or had to be reimagined. Luckily, we were able to make some tasty lemonade out of the rotten, shitty batch of lemons the Universe had just handed us.

“What now? What do we do? How do we make sure these artists are getting paid? How do we get their music out to the intended audience? What does the show even look like?” These were among myriad questions that dominated our conversations. QUSIC, which was meant to be a multi-city performance opportunity for LGBT2Q+ musicians, suddenly became something very different than how it was originally conceived. And yet, it was somehow perfect for the strange world we suddenly found ourselves in. 


To be honest, it took a bit of courage for me to outright ask for the hosting job. Despite how I may sometimes come across to people who watch the show, I don’t enjoy the spotlight. I’d rather be a facilitator in helping others tell their stories, putting the details together, or assisting others along the way during their journey to wherever they’re headed. Given the situation, I knew I had the chops for the gig — I started a career in broadcasting when I was just 19 years old. While I haven’t worked exclusively in this field, I’m blessed with the ability to connect and converse with others quite easily and enjoyably. 

One of my greatest joys as host of QUSIC has been connecting with the artists, getting to know them and their music, and becoming a fan of their work.

It has been an absolute privilege to interview every single one of our guests, and then sit back and listen/watch them express exactly what they need to in that moment. I’ve sometimes been brought to tears (happy or sad); listened to the stories of how they express themselves through song; learned about other sexual and gender identities; and I’ve been forced to examine the relationship with my own queerness. I’ve been given this incredible opportunity to become a part of these people’s stories, and their music has completely enriched my life. This I know unequivocally. 

And yet, a degree of frustration exists. I find myself becoming so angry with current musical content because everything sounds irritatingly familiar, like it’s all been done before. So much of what I hear or see in pop media has just become regurgitated and rebooted bullshit. I love a good remix or a solid cover, but for the love of all that is holy: where is the originality?Where are the new voices? Where are the stories that we can connect with and move us to think and feel and evolve? QUSIC — that’s where. It might not be the entire answer, but it’s certainly a major part of it. When I’ve had the privilege of watching those who have performed on QUSIC, I’ve quite often asked myself, “Why does the world not know more of you?”. 

Let me be clear: this is not a broad criticism of everything that becomes widely popular, and I’ve not calling for an all-out queer takeover of the music industry. But the time is nigh for queer artists producing original, musical content to have their moment. Not all stories that need to be told are straight, white, male, and cis-gender. I’m so incredibly passionate about what I do with QUSIC because, from what I’ve been exposed to thus far in my journey with QUSIC, there are many tales (IMHO) that more people in general should be listening to and learning from. Music is music is music. As humans, we have been gifted the ability to create this wondrous artform that allows us to express so many thoughts and feelings, at times even empowering disenfranchised groups in society to bring about change. And, sometimes, maybe that wondrous artform just allows us to enjoy love for the sake of love, or experience anguish because it hurts…because we are all human. 

We’ve come a long way since debuting this show in May 2020 during a pandemic. I’m so grateful to the team I work with to create this project, and I can’t wait to discover what we have in store for the next series. QUSIC, like life, is a work in progress. Moving forward, I’d really like to see this show become a true vehicle for emerging artists’ careers, a place where past guests feel they want to return to, and a platform that attracts established artists to share their stories and songs. I’ve already been so impressed with the calibre of talent we’ve hosted during Season One; I’d really like to see QUSIC become an entity that enters the conversation in the music world and in the larger community. Season One is winding down, but I hope the audiences, viewers, and the artists (the reason we do this in the first place) are ready to strap in alongside me for the musical rollercoaster ride that is yet to begin. 

QUSIC will air three more regular season episodes through mid-November on select Wednesdays at 7:00 pm (PST); on October 14, October 28, and November 18, 2020. A special Season Finale is in the works for December; stay tuned for details.

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