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Venus Envy celebrates 15 years in Halifax with a bang-up party.

click to enlarge Mlk Reddd promises to get you going for Venus Envy’s 15th.
  • Mlk Reddd promises to get you going for Venus Envy’s 15th.

Venus Envy, Halifax's favourite sex positive shop, is celebrating 15 years of business. To celebrate, on May 3, Venus Envy is throwing a party worthy of Bacchus himself.

It's hard to imagine a time before our beloved Venus Envy rose up from the seafoam on a half shell and took its familiar place on the Barrington street block. "Over the years we've had a lot of support from the Halifax community and a lot of love there," says Venus Envy founder Shelley Taylor. "So we wanted to celebrate and for people to have fun with us."

The All the Way party definitely delivers on that promise, with a line-up featuring local acts such as DJ SwayBack and Regalia. Of particular excitement on the bill is Mlk Reddd (pronounced Malik), a hip-hop MC from Philadelphia living in Montreal.

Previously known under the name Benni E, Reddd is debuting his album under his new moniker, Lo-Fi Counterculture, on May 18. Reddd describes the record as more down-tempo and serious than his previous records, which is why he's looking forward to playing the Venus Envy show.

"This show is exciting for me because it'll be upbeat, but it's probably one of the last shows that'll be so exciting in this context," says Reddd. "I'm focusing on giving them hype beats and play a set that makes you want to jump and dance and move around."

Reddd is an out queer and trans performer and addresses the issues of the queer community in his music. "From gender to sexuality to living in heteronormative societies and coming back into our own and having that space safe to be free to be ourselves, all of those things I live by and are also in my work," says Reddd.

Reddd got involved with Venus Envy after playing an event for the Ottawa store. "I've worked with Mlk three times now," Taylor explains. "He's an awesome performer, and will really get the crowd going. We wanted a queer performer and to introduce him to Halifax."

"Shelley reached out when I was doing a show in Montreal for G-Woman," says Reddd. "I've always been a fan of the work they do and basically anytime Shelley calls I'm like 'Yes, I'll be there.'"

Moving to Montreal in January 2012, this will be Reddd's first trip out east. "I'm just coming through to show love for the community. I hope I can come back to Halifax more and show love there," Reddd says. Reddd is only performing at the Venus Envy party, so this is the only chance to see him while he's in Halifax.

The celebration, being held at Michael's, also promises performances from acts including Shay, Des Adams, St. Ephanie, Miss Magenta and Aireola. The cover for the event is $10 but Taylor affirms that nobody will be turned away if they're unable to pay. She encourages donations though, as all proceeds from the party will go to support the Venus Envy Bursary Fund. The fund raises money for women and transgendered individuals to help supplement the expensive cost of education in Halifax.

Dancing out to celebrate sex and queer positivity is something we can definitely get down with. Here's to another 15 years for Venus Envy, for we can safely say, it's been our pleasure.

All The Way Venus Envy Turns 15: DJs Regalia and SwayBack
w/Shay, Des Adams, St. Ephanie, Miss Magenta, Aireola, Malik Reddd
Friday, May 3, 9pm, $10
Michael’s Bar and Grill, 6100 Young Street


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