The Vancouver Chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is gearing up this holiday season with three events to support the homeless and those living with HIV/AIDS.
Part of a global order of queer nuns established in San Francisco in 1979, the Vancouver Chapter’s mandate is to “spread joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and support the homeless and those living with HIV/AIDS in Vancouver”.
First up for the Vancouver Sisters this holiday season is White(Face) Christmas, a sing-along to the 1954 Christmas classic White Christmas starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. A quintessential part of many holiday traditions, the Sisters will no doubt put a whole new spin on the Clooney/Vera-Ellen song “Sisters” from the movie. In the spirit of the season, the Sisters will collect warm winter clothing and blankets in lieu of a cash donation. Collected items will be donated to the Gathering Place Community Centre in Yaletown who operate a clothing bank for those in need, including many young LGBTQ adults. While men’s clothing is in greatest demand, the Sisters will accept any donation provided they clean and in good condition.
For their second holiday fundraiser, the Sisters head out to New Westminster’s Heritage Grill to host Female Trouble on December 14. The Sisters team up with The Drag Show starring Mz. Adrien & Friends and explore the bizarre world of the John Waters’ film. Tickets are $5 or $10 with admission to The Drag Show immediately before Female Trouble.
On December 16, the Sisters will join AIDS Vancouver at their Holiday Grocery where, in addition to donating $1,000 to the grocery fund, the Sisters will also help hand out food and sing Christmas carols in support of the event which provides festive groceries for up to 800 people in the single day.
In addition to their public appearances this holiday season, the Vancouver Sisters have also announced that they will donate $1,000 to the LOUD Scholarships fund honoring community activist Jim Deva who died earlier this year. In August 2012, the Sisters honored Deva with Sainthood, the highest honor the Sisters can bestow to champions of the queer community.
The Sisters raise funds through their own fundraisers and by donating their time as entertainment, door staff, coat check, and doing raffle sales for various non-profits and queer events. The money raised in turn is donated to community programs. During the 2013-2014 holiday season the Vancouver Sisters donated $2,750 to AIDS Vancouver, Gordon Neighbourhood House and Out In Schools.