TLP Contest Hosts, DJ’s, ASL Interpreter and Entertainers
HOTF / TLP is thrilled and honoured to have such prestigious hosts, entertainers, an amazing ASL interpreter and DJ’s for this year’s festivities. We hope that you will enjoy the diversity of their talents!
Information coming in early 2014!
Deb Pearce – TLP Competitions Host
Deb Pearce has been an active member in North America’s LGBT community for 20 years. She got her start in entertainment as a drag king in the early 90′s. Deb found the spotlight and grew as a performer through improv and hosts hundreds of events throughout North America, sharing stages with Cyndi Lauper, singing, comedy and appearing in drag on Queer as Folk. Deb co-hosted season 5 of Bump! on Logo and OUT TV. She has been the morning host on 2 radio stations here in Toronto and is currently in her 3rd year of hosting the award winning television show ‘foQus with Deb Pearce’ on Rogers.
Brandon Matheson – TLP Competitions Host
Brandon Matheson. Active in the leather community since the late 1980s, Brandon is the Publisher & Editor-in-chief of the Xtra papers (Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver) and international gay travel website, Guidemag.com. Brandon is a founding board member of the Church Wellesley Village BIA and Church Street Fetish Fair. He held the title of Eastern Canada LeatherSIR 2004 and since 2005 has co-produced the Eastern Canada LeatherSIR/Leatherboy contest with his partner and boy of 15 years, Dan Falkenham (EC Leatherboy 2004).
In January 2005, Brandon joined board of directors of Mr. Leatherman Toronto and held the post of MLT President when he resigned in August 2008. Between 2005 and 2009, Brandon organized and emceed the MLT weekend tribute dinner, Salute. In July 2008, Brandon was awarded the Pantheon of Leather’s annual Canadian Award.
In November 2008, Brandon was awarded MLTC’s prestigious John Stephen Bassett Leather Pride Award. Brandon has judged Mr. Leather Ottawa 1998, International LeatherSIR/Leatherboy 2006 in Dallas, the Mr. Black Eagle Toronto contests in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and Mr Leatherman Toronto 2011.
Brandon and Dan’s household includes their boy Alex, leather son Brad (International Leatherboy 2009), and boy Marco.
DJ Neill MacLeod – Leather Ball XIX DJ
This Toronto-based DJ, whose passion, energy and sexy beats have brought dance floors to life for over 13 years, has demonstrated he knows his music. Classically trained on trumpet, this artist has been making music since he was able to get his fingers on the piano at the age of 4. Neill continued his journey through high-school and university, studying many genres including brass, jazz, funk ensemble and singing, to name a few: all while working towards his degree in music education at the University of Ottawa. It is this deep foundation that gives Neill a unique sound that is truly music to your ears.
During his studies, Ottawa served as his home and introduced him to the underground scene of house music while he served in the Army reserves; contributing to the Governor General’s Food Guard marching band. Neill quickly took the city by storm as this DJ’s career captured local attention and took off within less than a year. Sharing his music in clubs to date are: Atomic, Icon, Helsinki, Surface and Flamingo and The Well where he first created a weekly industry night and year-long residency which successfully continued until he found his new home in Toronto in 2000.
New to the country’s largest city, Neill wasted no time: sharing his sound in major clubs such as 5ive, The Barn, Guvernment, System Sound Bar and Comfort Zone. This DJ’s fresh sound pumped local dance floors full of dynamic and playful beats while creating smooth, sexy sound. Neill has headlining a new monthly night at FLY Nightclub called S*T*U*D which he’s establishing as a night of masculine music with his usual sexy spin on electro, funk, tribal and rock!
In Montreal Neill made his debut at the respected after hour even ‘Church’ which immediately caught the attention of the local clubs and patrons alike. Neill’s style blended beautifully with the stimulating sounds of Montreal’s scene where his music exploded in clubs such as Stereo & Stereo Bar, Unity, Sky Pub and Parking Nightclub where he held a bi-weekly residency for almost 2 years.
Neill’s music took two of Canada’s major cities by storm where his sound is still in demand at clubs and major parties including both city’s leather scenes and communities. Neill opened for Toronto’s first leather ‘Beef Ball’ during pride 2003 and has since returned each year to head-line this popular event. Return appearances at The Fantasy Ball in 2008 & 2009 brought promoters from Fort Lauderdale who invited him to play at their annual The Leather Masked Ball 4.
Neill was invited to debut at Montreal’s first leather Labour Day event ‘Fuel Party’ at Stereo Nightclub giving him the opportunity to express his unbridled creative potential as he stood at the helms of the world-renown ‘Best analog sound system in North America.’ It wasn’t long before the world’s biggest circuit party organizers from BBCM Black & Blue brought Neill on board to play parties such as Black & Blue Leather Ball, Twist, Hot & Dry, Bal des Boys, Red Party and more.
This DJ’s non-stop musical career has gained momentum and brought him to major cities across Canada as far west as Vancouver, over the border to Chicago for IML 2011 weekend opened the IML Victory Ball at House of Blues, summers in California and also a yearly residency down south at the long-running successful ‘Beef Dip’ week-long event in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
It’s no surprise this musician has taken to the studio to create his own remixes and production. This year will be filled with new projects, performances, remixes and original productions as Neill promotes live performance during his sets on trumpet. When you think of Neill and his music, you can’t help but grin and start moving to a memorable beat. His mind and spirit have always been open to all cultures and forms of music. Undoubtedly, no matter where this artist plays in the world he will always make an impression, energize a dance floor, delight musical perceptions, evoke the dancer from within and leave the listeners dancing with a smile.
Gabriel Major – ASL Interpreter
Gabriel was trained at Seattle Central Community College and graduated in 1998 with his degree in ASL interpreting. He then worked full time for 6 years in the Seattle community. This ended when he became a full time care giver and part time interpreter for several years. During this time he continued to interpret for local gay and lifestyle events in the northwest from the Gay Pride Rally the Washington State Leather contests.
Proud to be a member of the Louisville leather & kink community Gabriel started the same service for Ms Kendra at Great Lakes Leather Alliance every year. That exposure led to travel all over the USA interpreting for leather & kink events. Look for him at the bootblack stand when he isn’t on stage as he is the 2011 Bluegrass Leather Bootblack and also proudly holds the 2011 Great Lakes Bootblack title.
Gabe describes himself as a World Class Kisser and encourages folks to come say hello and ask questions about interpreting, bootblacking & whatever else interests you.
Chris Edwards – Entertainer
Chris Edwards is one of the most titled drag performers on the continent with having won numerous awards and titles including Miss International, Miss Gay Universe, Miss New York State Continental, several of Florida’s Mrs. Beasley awards including Best Gay Entertainer, Miss Gay Canada and most importantly she was voted by the general public as entertainer of the year for five years running in her current hometown of Toronto. She has been instrumental in raising over a quarter of a million dollars for various aids charities in both Canada and Florida. In 1999, Edwards was chosen to star in a national ad campaign for Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur that ran in magazines and on billboards from coast-to-coast.
Born in Texas and raised in Arkansas, California and Florida, Edwards has never forgotten her southern US roots as she embodied the down-home, earthy and friendly persona regularly found in the South. Edwards first started out as a performer in 1983 in a lesbian bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and since then continues to appeal to a wide audience of both men and women, young and old. Well-known for her comedic talents as a master of ceremony and as a performer, Chris Edwards frequently gets booked at pride, leather, club and lesbian and gay community events.
Chris Edwards talent includes dancing, comedy, and serious numbers in glamorous evening gowns.
Ian McKechnie – Entertainer
Ian McKechnie has been a long-time part of the leather community. He was a member of the Golden Horseshoe Leather Association. He was the International Leatherboy for 2010. He also has a background in performing…he studied music theatre at the University of Windsor. He has portrayed such memorable characters as Henry Higgins, from “My Fair Lady”, and “Sherlock Holmes”. He lives in Hamilton.
Kajira – Entertainer
I have danced for many Masters but none so demanding as the two I
currently submit to. Each Master wanting more each and every time
I perform for them. They are rarely satisfied. They think my inability
to meet their expectations is rebellion on my part… maybe it is. But
at least I am the one who walks away satisfied…
Carlotta Carlisle – Meet the Contesants Host
A natural born bitch Carlotta Carlisle has been working and volunteering in the community for over 5 years. She has a natural love for rhinestones jose Cuervo and fur, both as a material and on her men. As a singer, drag queen and MC she has traveled the country entertaining and sharing a piece of her mind, (whIch is the reason many think she lost her mind). Most importantly she is the living embodiment of her personal montra “Larger than Life is just the right size”
Rainbow Ballroom Toronto – Entertainers
Rainbow Ballroom Toronto is an LGBTT (Lesbian/ Gay/ Bisexual/ Transgendered/Transexual) and straight-friendly non-profit group committed to teaching all types of ballroom dancing. We are a working group governed by consensus. We welcome people from all backgrounds and respect individual life choices. We provide our students the opportunity to participate in partnered ballroom dancing in the role they choose (leader or follower) without regard to gender, by creating an environment of mutual respect and self-expression. Our goal is to instill passion in our students and allow them to explore and express their true inner elegance through the art of ballroom dancing.
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