The 519's legendary pride kick-off event, Starry Night, hosts over 5,000 for Toronto's biggest ever drag ball!

RuPaul's Drag Race season six stars and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne among the guests at the seventh annual Starry Night celebration

TORONTO, June 26, 2014 /CNW/ - The stars filled the sky – and The 519 Church Street Community Centre – at the seventh annual Starry Night Fundraiser that was held tonight at Cawthra Square Park in Toronto's Church-Wellesley Village. As the must-attend kick-off party for The 519's legendary Green Space Festival, an estimated record crowd of over 5,000 came to support The 519 and were entertained with spectacular performances by the top four queens of the popular OUTtv series RuPaul's Drag Race season six: Bianca Del Rio, Courtney Act, Adore Delano and Darienne Lake.

Along with the finalists from RuPaul's Drag Race, guests were entertained with fabulous performances by 50 local drag queens, the largest ever gathering of drag performers in Toronto history. The well-known DJ Mado joined the celebration from Montreal and kept the crowd dancing the night away.

Some of the world's most recognizable drag performers shared the stage with the newly-elected Premier of Ontario, The Hon. Kathleen Wynne, who spoke to the enthusiastic crowd alongside her partner Jane Rounthwaite.

Many of Toronto's biggest media personalities came to show their support and have a good time. Other guests included Toronto mayoral candidates Olivia Chow, Karen Stintz and John Tory, David Soknacki, Sarah Thomson as well as several local city councillors, Members of Provincial Parliament, Members of Parliament and local business leaders.

"With Toronto being the first North American city to host WorldPride, our community has an opportunity to show the world who we are and the values we all stand for," said Tyler Fleming, Chair of The 519 Church Street Community Centre. "Starry Night is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that brings people together to celebrate our diversity, while also raising money that funds year-round programs and services that is making a real difference for people in the community."

In its seventh year, Starry Night quickly became the must-attend event during Toronto's pride festivities. Starry Night is the kick-off to Green Space Festival, The 519's biggest fundraising event of the year that is expected to attract over 50,000 guests to a series of landmark events over pride weekend at two locations: Cawthra Square Park and the Ryerson University Quad. Entrance to the events at Cawthra Square Park are free, while guests are asked to contribute $10 for the events scheduled at the Ryerson University Quad on Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, June 29. All proceeds raised during Green Space Festival support programs and services at The 519, which is the centre of the LGBTQ community in the heart of downtown Toronto.

The Green Space Festival continues throughout WorldPride weekend with five more events:

  • One World (Friday, June 27 – Cawthra Square Park) – 5:00 p.m. – midnight
  • Main Event (Saturday, June 28 – Ryerson Quad) – 1:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
  • Lipstick Jungle (Saturday, June 28 – Cawthra Square Park) - 1:00 p.m. – midnight
  • Disco Disco (Sunday, June 29 – Cawthra Square Park) - 1:00 p.m. – midnight
  • TreeHouse Party (Sunday, June 29 – Ryerson Quad) - 1:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.

For more details, visit www.greenspaceto.org.   

About Green Space Toronto
Green Space Festival is The 519's biggest fundraising event of the year that attracts over 40,000 guests to a series of landmark events during Toronto's pride weekend. Since its introduction in 2008, Green Space Toronto quickly became a must-attend festival that caters to LGBTQ communities and allies.

Green Space Toronto's dynamic four-day celebration is programmed with specific themes that appeal to many diverse communities with entertainment ranging from DJs, live music and dance performances that span electro, house, folk, hip hop and international music genres. The high caliber productions that span the festival feature national and international artists, providing amazing outdoor shows in gorgeous tree-lined venues at Cawthra Square Park and the Quad at Ryerson University.

Starry Night, the festival's kick-off event welcomes more than 5,000 revelers to the park each year, including community leaders, politicians from all levels of government, and artists, as well as local and national media.

About The 519
A registered charity, The 519 Church Street Community Centre is an agency of the City of Toronto with a mandate for building healthier, more welcoming communities for Toronto's downtown and LGBTQ residents. As a charitable public-private partnership of the City, The 519 receives core funding to maintain public access to its building while attracting individual, corporate and government investment in its programs. In 2013, The 519 received $2.87 in community investment for every dollar provided in core funding. Through innovative and engaging community programs and partnerships, The 519 enables over 200,000 people to meet, participate and celebrate together every year.

Follow the excitement on Twitter using the hashtags #My519 and #GreenSpaceTO

SOURCE The 519 Church Street Community Centre

For further information: Luc Levasseur, NATIONAL Public Relations, 416-435-7064, llevasseur@national.ca