Nanaimo drag queen Divine Intervention, Tara Beladi of Vancouver and Victoria’s Honey Dewme (from left) are among the nine performers taking part in the Suga Honey Iced Tea live-streamed fundraiser on May 30. (Photos courtesy Brookie Jay Photography/Dank Sinatra/Sortome Photography )

Island drag queen organizes benefit show for hospitals and performers

Suga Honey Iced Tea to feature nine drag artists from Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver

Drag performers from Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver are joining forces to present a live-streamed charity production to raise money for hospitals in their communities.

Nanaimo drag queen Gabriel Villasmil, who goes by Divine Intervention, said he’s been reading a lot about COVID-19 and is concerned about what a potential “second wave” of the pandemic could mean for hospitals.

“Things are going to probably get a little bit worse. I imagine the hospitals would need way more help than they’re getting right now,” he said. “So I decided to call on my drag queen sisters from different cities and try to make a live show that would be a little friendly competition to see which city would donate the most.”

On May 30 Villasmil presents Suga Honey Iced Tea, a show featuring three drag queens from Nanaimo, three from Vancouver and from Victoria a drag queen, drag king and a non-binary drag artist. Villasmil said the name of the show is meant to exude feelings of sweetness, refreshment and healing.

READ ALSO: Doctors celebrate a different kind of Mother’s Day this year

Dr. Khala Albert thought she’d be worried when the

A GoFundMe page has been set up with a $10,000 goal. Half of the donations will go towards Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, Vancouver General Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital with the remainder supporting the artists, as many have been impacted by show cancellations. Most of the performances will be pre-recorded.

“Right now, with all the live-stream shows that are happening that are drag-related, a lot of those drag queens are wanting to provide a product that’s very polished,” Villasmil explained. “And I guess the best way to do that is by filming and doing a pre-recorded video that you can edit and that you can tweak and you can put effects on it and make it way more visually appealing.”

READ ALSO: TB Vets provide life saving ventilators for Victoria hospital

Villasmil said all the performers in the show are very different and have their own niche. On the bill from Nanaimo are Divine Intervention, whom Villasmil describes as a “burlesque-y” Vegas show girl, his “drag daughter” Slutilina and “in-your-face” “tough gal” Levy Roze. From Victoria are Honey Dewme, who styles her drag after a neglectful southern single mother; Boi Idol, who Villasmil describes as “a little bit of goth but with a feminine touch;” and Eddi Licious, who the last time Villasmil saw him “hung himself from the ceiling and started doing all kinds of acrobatic moves.” Representing Vancouver are the “sultry and smooth” Eva Scarlett, comedy queen Karmella Barr and the bearded, ukulele playing Tara Beladi.

“Since COVID-19 hit they’ve been really struggling with their finances so this is to give a little bit of aid to the hospitals and the health practitioners and also the performers,” Villasmil said. “So basically I’m trying to make this show into a show that we can all benefit from.”

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria firefighters donate funds to help sick kids



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirusfundraiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford pitches Westhills as Canadian Premier League soccer hub

Langford could host all eight teams for August matches

Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

Transport Canada bans ships until end of October in response to COVID-19

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Great Horned Owl found in Kings Park killed by three rodenticides

Person finds bag of drugs while out for walk in Langford

Police ask residents, drivers to check surveillance footage

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read