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Women mean business

N.Veerman photo(web)

N. Veerman photo

In just a few weeks, Jasperites will get the chance to take a dive into the psyche of one of their favourite drag queens.

Toni Lester Van Blam—Mychol Ormandy’s alter ego—is this year’s guest at the Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce’s Women Mean Business luncheon. March 21, she will sit down with the Fitzhugh’s own Nicole Veerman and treat the audience to a showcase of all of her favourite things, complete with free samples of each and every one of them. All of those goodies will end up in a bag that the women will take home at the end of the event.

”It could be anything that will end up in there,” explained Pattie Pavlov, manager of the chamber.

Along with a pile of swag, Van Blam will also dole out beauty advice and wisdom from her years as a drag performer.

“This is a light-hearted approach to Women Mean Business this year,” Pavlov said. “People can come in, laugh, have a good time, do some networking, but have a good time with it.”

In its four-year history the event has brought in guest speakers who have tackled a number of important women’s issues, and this year organizers “decided we were going to mix things up entirely,” Pavlov said.

Enter Van Blam.

Pavlov said the drag performer should provide a whole new perspective on what it means to be a woman.

“Who knows women better than a drag queen?” she asked. “It seems that drag queens have a real keen, honed sense of what it’s like to be a women, because they have to work at it.

“Some times we take ourselves too seriously, sometimes we think we need to be all things to all people. And I think we need to laugh sometimes at some of the things we do,” Pavlov continued, saying that she hopes Van Blam helps women get into that frame of mind.

With Women Mean Business falling on the opening day of Jasper’s pride festival, Pavlov is calling the event the “official, unofficial kick off to Jasper Pride Weekend.”

Normally, 80-100 people come out to the event, but Pavlov hopes its association with pride will bump up the numbers this year.

With a cash bar, door prizes and 50/50 raffle, she said there are a lot of reasons to come out, although she joked that an afternoon with the one and only Toni Lester Van Blam should be enough to entice anyone.

Trevor Nichols

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