Occasion 4 The Occult in Vancouver is a Black Tie Halloween for all Gender and Sexual Identities (or Lack Thereof)


By Casey Stepaniuk

I’m not the first person to say this, and I certainly won’t be the last, but Halloween is like Christmas for lots of LGBTQ+ people. It’s a holiday you spend with your friends—for many queer folks, chosen family—and you can wear all the weird, freaky stuff you might want to wear more often but can’t because it’s deemed too “queer” or gender-bending for every day. It’s the perfect night to go out in drag. This Halloween in Vancouver, there’s an event worthy of—in my opinion—the best holiday of all time, and it’s called Occasion 4 the Occult.

Occasion 4 the Occult is the brainchild of the masterminds of other beloved queer events Queers and Beers and Man Up. (I wrote about the history and latest incarnation of Queers and Beers in a previous post; Man Up is a multi-gender drag performance and dance party held at the Cobalt the last Friday of every month). An Occasion 4 the Occult is many things: a black tie / formal wear event, a masquerade, a Halloween costume party, and, of course, hella queer.

How I imagine everyone at Occasion 4 the Occult will be dressed / Image via denofgeek.com

How I imagine everyone at Occasion 4 the Occult will be dressed / Image via denofgeek.com

There’s lots of stuff happening at Occasion 4 the Occult, which is being held at The Emerald in Chinatown. After the doors open at 8:30 until 10, there will be an exclusive dinner and hors d’oeuvres menu, with $4 shots, $5 pints, and $6 “cocktails for the damned.” The burlesque and drag performances, featuring Vixen Von Flex, Ruby Slicker, Thanks Jem, Valynne Vile, and hosted by Man Up lead drag king / founder Ponyboy, will start at 10:30. Dancing with DJs Bey and Manybothans will follow, in the words of the event coordinators, “UNTIL WE RAISE THE DEAD.” Central City Brewers and Distillers are sponsoring the event.

Have a look at the Facebook event for more details, including one I especially appreciate: “racist or culturally appropriative costumes will NOT be tolerated.” I’ll see y’all there, in your spookiest, queerest formal attire!

When: October 21, 2016
Where: The Emerald, 555 Gore Ave.
Tickets: $10 – $12 in advance or $15 at the door

Casey Stepaniuk is a writer and librarian-in-training who runs the website Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, where you can find LGBTQ+ Canadian book reviews and a queer book advice column. She also writes for Book Riot. Find her on Twitter: @canlesbrarian

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