In the past, Peter Cameron-Inglis wore a pair of pumps to ASK Wellness’ annual gender-bending fundraiser, but this year, he’s headed far away from his comfort zone.
The event previously known as Mz. Judged will now be known as Mx. Judged as it expands to include both male and female contestants, who will march across the stage showcasing their abilities and outfits to raise awareness around stigma and challenge gender stereotypes.
Cameron-Inglis, the owner of Mastermind Studios, is an avid Star Wars fan, which has inspired him to “walk a little bit on the dark side,” with the design of his outfits for this year’s event.
“My character’s name is Ella Vader — as in platform shoes,” Cameron-Inglis said.
“She’s a largely misunderstood, fictional partner of Darth Vader.”
During the last two fundraisers, Cameron-Inglis wore ladies footwear while making a speech on behalf of ASK’s board of directors, but this will be the first year he goes a little further.
Ella Vader will have three costumes to change to during the pageant, and he credits his designer, makeup artist and friend Cheryl Schwatzenberger for helping put the outfits together.
“She has gone all out,” he said.
A longtime board member of ASK Wellness, Cameron-Inglis said the organization makes a huge difference in the lives of its 7,000 clients.
“I just figured if I can be outside my comfort zone for an evening in front of the patrons of the event, then I can help the staff and clients of ASK Wellness who are constantly outside of their comfort zone every day — and it’s worth a little bit of discomfort on my end,” he said.
Presented in collaboration with Kamloops Pride, the fundraiser is important, as it’s the only one ASK Wellness does.
Money raised will be used to support the creation of safe suites for women and clients in crisis.
“I hope that people will come out,” Cameron-Inglis said. “They’re going to get some phenomenal entertainment.”
As a man, Cameron-Inglis said, when you put on those heels, it’s uncomfortable and hard to get around — demonstrating what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes.
“We’ve all gone through challenges, we’re all human beings and I think it’s important that we don’t define people by one single thing or set of circumstances,” he said.
The 19-plus show will be Saturday, May 11, at 5:30 p.m. at The Rex, 417 Seymour St.
General admission tickets are $50 each and include a $25 tax receipt, while cabaret table floor tickets are $150 with a $100 tax receipt.
The show includes appetizers, local beer and wine, live and silent auctions and games.
Tickets are available online at eventbrite.ca.