Kink Power: Montréal Fetish Weekend Aug 30 – Sept 3
As the students are taking back the streets and the politicians are preparing to seduce you with promises, promoter Eric Paradis and his team are getting ready for Montréal’s 8th Fetish Weekend on Labour Day. They too plan to take over the city and to seduce you, but, as opposed to the mastermind of our province, they will keep their kinky and creative promises. Photos by Savon+
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“My strategy is very simple: we listen to what the attendees want and we provide it to them,” says Paradis, founder and producer of the event. Even though the strategy seems simple, in these times of financial uncertainties, it has proved to be a necessary and highly successful one : the pre-sale already has doubled since last year. “Our public is faithful and since we have no subsidies, we have to adapt,” adds Paradis.
Fetish aficionados are shape-shifters, and so is their weekend: this year’s event will have more play area then last year and, actually, than ever. “It’s completely different than anything I’ve even been too. Just the fact that we’re making the patrons part of the show…actually, they are the show. It’s all about them, to the max. We are there to serve them, I feel very submissive in that kind of sense,” says Mistress Irony, the sideshow coordinator and professional dominatrix, laughing.
If Fetish Weekend is a good occasion to dress up in the most creative way (and get a good spank if you want to), it is also a way for many people to be themselves. “There are such strict guidelines in life, in a vanilla way. People are told growing up you have to be a lawyer, you have to be a doctor, you have to be a teacher. Well some people are like: well I don’t want to do that. I want to put on a pretty dress and swing on a swing you know!” says Irony followed by Paradis, who adds that the event is a way for people to be like super heroes “like an extension of their better self.”
And what ever people feel like they are inside, they find ways to express it with a max of creativity, as Montréal is a hotpot of imagination when it comes to fetish fashion. Crafters and artists will have at least three big nights to show off their unique sense of style. On Saturday, Kabaret Kink will receive patrons for a fetish fashion experience in a Moulin Rouge-themed party accompanied by the music of DJ Xris Smack. “This is the night where the curious come and they are like : oh, I want to do that!” says Irony, who will be hosting the fashion shows and giving a good rub to people wearing latex at her Lube booth.
On Saturday night, the famous Latextacy will be held, with a retro kink vibe from the sixties to the eighties, in a changing visual landscape set by Athanore. Sunday, the experimental Night of Masks will be held at the Olympia. “This year the theme is steam punk, so retro-cyber-post apocalyptic. If Friday is a more open night, the Sunday is meant for a more specialized clientele,” says Paradis after naming all the possibilities of what steam punk involves. “It’s a really open theme, from time traveling to tank girl,” adds Irony.
Montréal, a true fetish lady
This year will also be the 4th edition of the Fetish photo walk, a dressed up tour of the city that will prove to citizens that fetish lovers don’t melt in the daylight. This event, that allows bonding between the partiers and the spectators, is one that helped change the people’s perception of what fetish is. In fact, it changed so much that the name of the event is no longer called the Exhibitionist Photo Tour.
Organized by Tanis and Stéphane, this walk is the staple of the weekend. “It’s also our way to say thank you to the city because it empowers not just the attendees but it empowers the city. Thousands of photos are being taken and we stop at strategic points where the landscape is recognizable,” says Paradis, who, in the future, wishes to see more activities on the street level, “maybe we will even have a fetish pride parade!” he adds.
So as the mainstream world may be looking grim, Fetish Weekend is getting bigger, better, closer to itself and to its people. “People want to get closer to themselves and to other people. We are in a society where there’s a screen separating everyone, a computer screen or a facade. It’s a very empowering event and it allows you to get down the basics of humanity,” says Irony, very seriously.
“Human contact is a powerful thing,” concludes Paradis. “I always think of the ripple effect of the crazy things that we do at the fetish weekend. What could be the repercussions? And in my opinion there is beautiful creativity expressed rather than harsh politics or territoriality. This is what we’re about. Opening the channels of creativity. And it happens.”
So get away from your screen, dress up your body, strip down your soul, wear a mask to show your real face, get in touch with yourself and, mainly, go touch get touched by many beautiful people.
Montréal Fetish Weekend