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Street party in Waterloo raises money for Spectrum

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A Waterloo business celebrated their 25th anniversary by giving back to the community.

Cowboys & Angels on Princess Street East hosted a cut-a-thon and street party on Sunday to mark the major milestone and raise money for Spectrum, an organization supporting and affirming 2SLBGTQ+ people in Waterloo region.

“It means everything to me to have a safe space. We’ve been a safe space for 25 years, and that means so much,” Cowboys & Angels owner Cindy Calhoun told CTV News.

A large crowd gathered in front of the salon where a temporary stage was set up behind safety barricades.

The event was hosted by Canada’s Drag Race pit crew member and owner of Hands on Exotics Seth Falk.

Drag Queens and Kings strutted their stuff to raucous applause from the assembled crowd. Some of the performers decided to donate their tips back to the cause.

The event drew some of the country’s most well-known performers, including Canada’s Drag Race season one contestants Tynomi Banks and BOA.

Canada's Drag Race contestant BOA performs at a street party hosted by Cowboys & Angels in Waterloo on June 16, 2024.

The Drag Queens weren’t the only stars of the show, as Hands On Exotics brought a menagerie of scaly and feathered friends, including Sampson, a cockatoo who has appeared on television and lays claim to thousands of social media followers.

Supporting Spectrum

Among all the fun, there was also a serious cause at the heart of the celebration.

“This support and this party, it’s amazing,” Spectrum board chair Tom Connelly said. “It means everything for our community. The proceeds are going to a trans youth fund we have set up. That’s especially important because they’re the ones who are having the hardest time, especially the youth. Our trans folks need our full support and Cowboys & Angels has been such a big supporter of our community for a long time.”

Drag Queens Melody Bijou and Vanity Affair host storytime during a Cowboys & Angels street party in support of Spectrum on June 15, 2024. (Shelby Knox/CTV News)

Connelly credited Calhoun with creating the event and drawing international stars to Waterloo. “She’s like a terrier. She likes to latch on to something and work her hardest to make it the best thing possible,” he said.

Calhoun humbly said it was her godson, Falk, who helped bring in the stars thanks to his connections.

“We just want everybody to know we’re here. We’re having a great time. We’re not going anywhere. Life is good,” she said.

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