Qulture Club Opens Soon

Posted on November 16, 2010 by

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QTC Qulture Club    [by Gene Campbell]

The queer community of Fredericton will have a new place to gather, come January 4, 2011, thanks to the efforts of founders Shaun Bartone, Debi Skidmore, Mad McDaniels and Ken Spragg. Bartone is a well-known local poet, and founder of Travesty Cafe. Debi Skidmore was Chair of this summer’s Fredericton Pride festivities. Mad McDaniels is a published author of erotica and member of the Fredericton Pride Committee. Ken Spragg has been a member of Spectrum, the UNB-STU gay group, almost since its inception. A Kick-Off party for the new Centre will be put on by the QTC—Queer Theory Collective—on January 4th, at the Gallery Connexion, located at 440 York Street in the Old Chestnut Building.

Plans for the QTC Qulture Club have been in the works for some time. Bartone said the whole idea behind the Club “is to expand the presentation of the queer arts and culture. There are a lot of gay people in Fredericton, but no gay culture. We want to expand that culture. The QTC is about freedom of expression for a community that includes the whole range of queer people.”

The co-founder added that “gay life in the Capital is very closeted, and the opening of the Qulture Club will give gays not only a place to meet, but also a place where they can be more open, can meet others with the same interests, and be more themselves. It’s all okay, here in Fredericton, if you are in a couples relationship, but not so if you are on your own.” He said that there is a very large gay population in Fredericton, but that there is no queer culture. He added, “We wanted a café so people could come out, and have someplace to go other than a gay bar. That’s why we got the QTC Qulture Club underway.”

The new Qulture Club will be open 7 to 10 PM, every Tuesday and open to all ages. There will be no admission charge to the Club, but donations will be accepted. Co-founder Bartone said the new Club will be “in addition to boom! Nightclub,” the city’s only gay-friendly night spot. “We’ll never replace what boom! does,” he said.  “It’s merely an alternative. Boom! is for 19-and-over only, and it doesn’t open till 10 PM. We will be open much earlier. In addition to being open to youth, the Qulture Club is for more mature gay and lesbians also, who have aged out of the bar scene. The Qulture Club gives the older crowd a chance to meet new people, and talk about issues that interest them.”

Bartone said the Gallery Connexion, who they are renting their space from, “is providing us with a lot of advice, and they offer us a lot of facilities built into the space, which they provide at no extra cost. We will have a screen, digital video projector, cafe, PA System, and a stage. These are all the things we couldn’t afford to provide ourselves. We have a good relationship with them.” He said that the new QTC Qulture Club”will have a monthly film night—the 2nd Tuesday of each month—when we will feature queer films.”  He added they will be serving coffee and tea.  “We do have the availability of a wet/dry liquor licence if we want it, but we aren’t going to use it except for special occassions.”

On Saturday, January 8, the QTC is planning on a fundraiser to raise money for the QTC Qulture Club. “Two acts are taking part, so far,” Bartone said, the Kamalas, a pop punk band from Moncton, and Linsay Morgan. It will be held at boom! Nightclub, located at 474 Queen Street in downtown Fredericton.

Bartone said that since the founding of Travesty Café, they have wanted to move the queer culture scene to a new level. “We are now working towards a Centre which could be open maybe three days a week, where we could really promote the arts and culture of the gay community. We plan on having workshops and conferences dealing with issues that are of interest to the gay community.”  He said the Centre would include a gallery for visual art. He added that “we also plan to have a gay used book store, where people could come in and read any time they want, and if they want, buy a book for only two or three dollars.”

In the meantime, plan on attending the soon-to-be-opened QTC Qulture Club each and every Tuesday from 7 to 10 PM, starting January 4, in the New Year, at Gallery Connexion, 440 York Street, located in the Old Chestnut Building, in the heart of Fredericton.

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