Photos by Ruth Gillson
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The Melody Bar, Toronto
Dixie Evans, The Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque, passed away on August 3, 2013. To honor her memory and celebrate the life of the Godmother of burlesque and founder of Miss Exotic World, performers and fans alike flocked to Dixie Evans Week events where all funds raised are being used to cover the costs of outstanding medical bills as well as memorial services and a permanent memorial in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
All over the world, burlesque communities came together to put on all types of fundraisers for Dixie Evans Week — from shows to classes to online fundraising. Our Toronto community did not sit idly by, as producers, performers, artisans, and photographers came together too for Exotic Elegance, a sultry showcase of Toronto’s starlets of striptease. Held at Toronto’s iconic Melody Bar in the Gladstone Hotel, the show was produced by The Great Canadian Burlesque’s own Dolly Berlin — a powerhouse performer who showed that she’s no slouch in the producing department. She rallied together a stellar ensemble of Toronto’s burly best for an evening of wine, women (…ooh, and men), and song, with performances by…
A Platinum Production (Belle Jumelles/Johnny B Goode/St. Stella)
El Toro (GCB/Boylesque TO)
Esther De Ville
Fionna Flauntit (Great Canadian Burlesque)
Laura Desiree (Vamps Like Us)
Loretta Jean (Nerd Girls Burlesque)
Miss Cadence (GCB/Pink Velvet Burlesque)
Miss Mitzy Cream (GCB)
Pastel Supernova (GCB/Love Letters Cabaret)
Rouge La Rouge (The Harlettes)
Sassy Ray (GCB/Girly Show Revue)
Sauci Calla Horra (Skin Tight Outta Sight)
Tanya Cheex (GCB/STOS)
… and your hosts Daryl Scorpio and Canadian Wolfman
After all was said and done, our Toronto burlesque community really came through! There were 60 presold tickets, many sold at the door, and with the photo booth, raffles, and a few extra vendor donations, the Toronto Burlesque and Vaudeville Alliance donated nearly $2,000 Canadian dollars (over $1,800 US) to Dixie’s YouCaring fund.
A huge thank you to all the sponsors who donated fabulous raffle prizes: Kingpin’s Hideaway, Make Up Forever, Dollfactory by Damzels (love these guys!), Manuge et Toi, Great Canadian Tease Brunch, and Ruth Gillson (your photographer for the event). Thanks to my partner in crime for the evening at our fun(d)raising photobooth — great photog Chris Hutcheson — who lugged all his equipment and 12’ crimson backdrop in for the evening. We thank all those who donated to have their portraits taken — your moolah went into the overall kitty! But the biggest thanks is to tireless Dolly Berlin who didn’t perform this evening, choosing instead to produce this fabulous fundraiser, running around ensuring that it went off without a hitch, bringing in some wonderful talent for the evening, and raising some serious cash for the cause. You’re awesome Dolly!
As I was manning the fun(d)raising photobooth with Chris at the back of the room, I asked fellow photographer Ruth Gillson to provide photos from the event. I’ve been shooting burlesque with Ruth for years now, and she’s super talented, with a style all her own. She’s shot all over Toronto, as well as both the Toronto and Montreal Burlesque Festivals. Check out her work here.
All photos ©Ruth Gillson, and used here with permission by Burlesque Beat. Please respect photography copyrights and do not use images without obtaining explicit permission.