Champion Queen pride with tribute band Stone Cold Crazy

Let your acceptance flag fly during this weekend's Pride kickoff, which includes a performance by Queen tribute band, Stone Cold Crazy, on Saturday night. The Revelstoke Mountaineer also chats to Safe Spaces Revelstoke Society about why they're needed here.

Singer and pianist Tania Gosgnach channels the legendary Freddie Mercury during a Stone Cold Crazy performance. Photo: Publicity shot.

Love a bit of culture, spectacle and good music? Then make sure you check out Queen tribute band Stone Cold Crazy during this weekend’s Pride kickoff extravaganza, presented by The Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre in conjunction with Safe Spaces Revelstoke Society.

Rock out to Queen's greatest hits at Saturday, October 3rd's performance by tribute band Stone Cold Crazy. Photo: From Facebook page.
Rock out to Queen’s greatest hits at Saturday, October 3rd’s performance by tribute band Stone Cold Crazy. Photo: From Facebook page

On Friday night, film Pride will feature the comedic true story of a UK LGBT community who join forces with Welsh miners to protest strong government polices in the 1980s.

And on Saturday night, Vancouver’s Stone Cold Crazy, a tribute band to legendary UK rockers Queen, aims to impress.

With gender-bending performances from singer and pianist Tania Gosgnach, who channels the legendary Freddie Mercury, this band captures the spirit, spectacle and songs of Queen with power and grace.

The group’s background is pretty simple: “Formed by happy accident during Summer 2008 from a quintet of local Vancouver rockers who discovered their mutual burning love for all things Mercury, Stone Cold Crazy skillfully project the quintessential Queen from the 1973-1980 heyday,” their Facebook page states.

Singer and pianist Tania Gosgnach from Vancouver based tribute band Stone Cold Crazy. Photo: From Facebook page.
Singer and pianist Tania Gosgnach from Vancouver based tribute band Stone Cold Crazy. Photo: From Facebook page

Safe Spaces Revelstoke Society chair Martin Ralph said he is thrilled to have this band on board.

“Not simply because it is Freddy Mercury and Queen, of course, but because this tribute is female,” Ralph said. “I have never seen a Queen tribute performed by [a female lead singer]. What an opportunity. I really hope many people will come out for this as well. It promises to be a great show.”

Stone Cold Crazy’s performance, along with the showing of Pride, is part of the Safe Spaces Revelstoke’s bid to encourage diversity in our community. As their website states, “Invisibility is not the same as integration and acceptance. Visibility is about living OUT, in the open. Free to express ourselves safe from fear, discrimination, judgment and violence.”

What: Stone Cold Crazy Queen Tribute

When: Saturday October 3, 2015 – 7:30 p.m., Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre.

Box Office: Tickets $20. Buy tickets online and access online discounts here. Enter special promo code revmountaineer for a 5% discount.

Check out other upcoming films and events in the Revelstoke Mountaineer’s guide to the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre’s loaded winter calendar.

Quick Q&A with Safe Spaces Revelstoke Society chair Martin Ralph

How have things been for Safe Spaces since it began?

Things have been busy for us. But rewarding… I sometimes get questions from people about why an advocacy group is necessary in Revelstoke, in this age of ‘awareness and openness.’ My answer to that question is simple and straightforward. How aware and open are we, really? Think about it.

When we as a community see LGBT persons walking down the street, hand in hand, like others, who might take it for granted, or, when we can truly understand, support and accept transgendered persons for who they really are and their special needs, or, when we can appreciate and accept same-sex marriage, without all the political noise and posturing, then, perhaps, an advocacy organization is not as necessary.

Until then we have work to do as an entire community.

Were you happy with the result of the pride flag being accepted on city hall’s door windows and why was this important to the group?

Yes, I was extremely happy with the City of Revelstoke’s decision to fly the rainbow flag on its public places! It is sometimes a difficult thing for people to understand, but it is very important for many members of the LGBT community to know that when they walk into a public place or business that they are safe, accepted, understood and appreciated when they walk in those doors.

There have been times when I have felt uncomfortable entering certain businesses with a same-sex partner out of fear of discrimination, or worse. This is something many of us also take for granted, that we will be safe and accepted wherever we go.

…This simple act of valuing diversity and visibility is incredibly important and meaningful, and I am very grateful to everyone who has willingly contributed to this! I have had many comments from locals and travellers who expressed their great appreciation for something like this is a small community.

(Martin said they have more free flag stickers available for businesses or organizations who would like to place them on their doors.)

Why is the Safe Spaces Revelstoke Society important to have in this town?

An LGBTQ2S advocacy group such as Safe Spaces is very important in a small community where information, education and resources are often limited, and where LGBTQ2S persons sometimes feel marginalized or living on the sidelines of a truly open, active, and OUT life, which we all need to be happy, healthy and productive members of the community.

I was raised in a large city where information, resources and activities were easily available and where being an open LGBT person was more commonly accepted and understood.

When I came to Revelstoke I was immediately aware that there was very little in that regard here, and I felt somewhat like I had stepped into a time warp. That was many years ago and things have changed in that time, with the help and support of other groups and organizations, but there are still many specific gaps, which need to be addressed. These gaps cannot be addressed without focus and direction from an LGBT advocacy group, with members who have lived experience to help guide that focus.