It was all aboard this past Saturday afternoon for the packed and much-anticipated Filmore Foundation annual Prairie Fowl Supper. This was my third time around and I still haven’t quite mastered the art of the supper (I’ll be adding some tips and nuances below for your next visit to it!), but even if you’re not yet a pro, this charity dinner is without a doubt one of the best events Vancouver’s gay scene has to offer.
Attending with fellow writers Patrick, Tyrell and Jonny, I played cruise director as they were virgins to the Supper deal. And, I can tell you: they loved every minute of it. The energy of the crowd was buzzing, there smiles as far as the eye could see on everything from giggling twinks to rumbling bears and even a few grandmas in their Sunday best (that’s not a gay euphemism by the way, there’s actual grandmas at this family-friendly supper). But don’t worry, this is a gay even through and through: led by Linda Filmore, septuagenarian drag queen extraordinaire, attendees are treated to a night of laughs and a LOT of food.
First off, what IS the Filmore Foundation Prairie Fowl Supper, right? Well: “The foundation was formed in 2003, as an umbrella organization to create accessible events, that inspire grass-roots involvement and enjoyment, while making a contribution to others in need. The foundation strives to emphasize the importance and ability of all individuals to make a difference in their community.” The supper itself: “Is a prairie phenomenon brought to life through the involvement and vision of innumerable church groups and service clubs. Each fall, in celebration of the harvest (bountiful or not) communities gather to share in a down-home Turkey dinner with all the trimmings.” BASICALLY, it’s a fifty dollar a plate dinner that goes towards a great cause (despite my issue with its religious roots grrr).
And now, for the tips!
1. BRING CHANGE!!!
While the 50$ entry is a great start to your donation for the evening, there is giant change round up that happens pre-meal. Everyone (and I mean EVERYone) brings between 15-1000 dollars in change… yeah, no joke, guys head into the back and cash out hundreds upon hundreds into toonies and loonies for this thing. You all spill your change onto the table and count together and the amount that your table raises sets your order for eating.
2. GET THERE ON TIME
I’ve been strolling in about 45 mins after the doors open for a few years now and finding seats together is getting harder and harder! We fluked out finding the last four seats clustered together as you sit picnic style at a huge bench/table. It’s a great part of the night that has people meeting fellow gays they likely never even knew existed in our little hamlet.
3. PREPARE A COSTUME
This year was a BIT of a cluster-F of themes as they switched for the first time from cowboys to cruise wear (hence my awful puns) and a lot of people did not get the memo. There was everything from first-timers who wore street clothes to cowboys use to dressing as such to cruising sailors who analyzed the ticket closely enough to get prepped. It doesn’t actually matter if you’re dressed but you’ll get more attention and it’s more festive if ya do, so I suggest it.
4. FILL YOUR PLATE
There is NO lack of food at this puppy (thanks to donation by the Fountainhead Pub) and you don’t want to be “that guy” who hits up the buffet twice as it takes nearly a full hour for everyone to get even their first plate. So, hit those mash potatoes hard cause you don’t want to be hungry for more when other tables haven’t even gone up yet!
5. GO WITH A GOOD ATTITUDE
Though I’m likely the last person that should recommend people set aside expectations and demands of entertainment, this event is truly just a fun time to relax, eat, drink and meet new people from all walks. As I said before, this thing attracts fashionistas to north shore hermit gays and they’re all just there to enjoy a great party. Even if you don’t come smiling, I guarantee you’ll leave that way.
Overall, it was a great night. I didn’t even mention the drag shows, the naughty gelatine mold competitions, the dancing and the tasty jello shooters (Thanks Andrew!), but that’s because I want you to try it for yourself next year. Here’s the link to their site, and do beware: by your ticket early next year as this baby sells out. They have a great tickets swap for those in need last second, but I say get on top of it and enjoy the ride!