This past November 2012 has been a busy month for me. I covered three events in three different cities – first Mr. Leather Ottawa-XX in Ottawa, then Mr. Leather Cowboy in Detroit, and finally the second annual Toronto Bound Weekend in Toronto, which landed on the American Thanksgiving Weekend.
This particular Toronto Bound Weekend – a weekend put on by Toronto’s Heart of the Flag Federation (HOTF), filled with “fun, education, and play” as HOTF president Master Jack Pearce explained it in its first year – was special to me. Three years ago on this weekend, I competed for Mr. Leatherman Toronto and despite not winning the title, it was a critical point in my leather journey.
Although that contest moved to August for Toronto Leather Pride, this Toronto Bound Weekend had its very first Toronto Puppy Contest. For this inaugural contest, three pups stepped up (or is it, “pawed up”?) to the plate. In their contestant order, they were:
- Pup Ace
- Pup Digger
- Pup Ego
Toronto Bound Weekend participants had the opportunity to meet the contestants sans pup gear (well Digger had his tail sticking out of his pants) during the registration/reception at Northbound Leather on Friday, November 23rd. Later that night, at the official kick-off party held at the Black Eagle Toronto, the pups were introduced in their gear along with the judging panel who would determine which of these pups would be the best in show as Toronto Puppy. They were:
- Canadian Leatherman 2004 and Alpha of the Black Eagle Kennel Klub Paul Ciantar (a.k.a. Argo) as the Toronto Puppy Contest Head Judge
- Ottawa Puppy 2012 Pup Scout
- Master Scott
- HOTF Executive Producer Victoria Windsor
- buddy aka Jacques Coetzer as HOTF Tally Master
- slave pup Kalen as Judges’ Boy
The next day, on Saturday, November 24th, the judging panel met with the three contestants for private interviews. At the same time, Toronto Bound Weekend participants participated in a series of seminars and workshops at the 519 Church Street Community Centre, including a violent wand workshop with International LeatherSir 2009 Master Tony Palazzo, a boot lacing technique workshop with International Mr. Bootblack 2012 Nick Elliott, a CBT workshop with Eastern Canada Leatherboy 2011 boy iain, and a single-tail workshop with Victoria Windsor. Later that night, Steamworks hosted the Men’s Play Party for the male Toronto Bound Weekend participants.
On Sunday, November 25th, the first-ever Toronto Puppy Contest occurred at Club 120 (formerly Goodhandy’s). The contest was hosted by Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2008 Matthew Pavelich and Mr. Leather Fellowship 2008 Laurence Heath as its emcees, who were part of the same titleholder trio as HOTF President Master Jack Pearce when he was Bootblack Toronto. On a fashion point, the emcees also changed between each act, which reminded me of Sarah Jessica Parker when she hosted the MTV Movie Awards in 2000… minus 9 outfit changes
In the first part of the contest, IMBB 2012 Nick Elliot handled each contestant as he came out in their pup gear for the Puppy Image. Nick commanded each pup to sit on a carousel on the stage so that they could be showcased from mask to tail as it turned. Then, each contestant were re-introduced sans mask to give their 90-second speech.
In the second part of the contest, each pup did a fantasy scene. Here are videos I took of these three funny fantasies.
After the fantasy scenes, the pups came back out for the Pup Mosh portion of the contest, where the pups interacted with each other in a mosh environment on stage, whether rolling and sniffing around, and fighting and flipping each other (which is a personal favourite move of my pup alter ego Mushu much to the chagrin of a certain Toronto Alpha). Check out the Pup Mosh video at the end of the Puppy Contest video above.
Now there is something I’m sure every contestant hoped/hopes to do – a chance to roll around with their title classmates on stage… that is, if they haven’t already done so behind the scenes. Alas, I never got to do that when competing for MLT, but I can always dream… Anyway, after the Pup Mosh concluded, the contestants completed the contest, the judges completed their comments and scores, and the audience waited to see who would be the first Toronto Puppy. In the final part of the contest, before the results were announced , board members of HOTF presented the HOTF Community Awards to the following people:
Volunteer of the Year is Patty Hayes.
Man of the Year is Master Tony Palazzo.
Woman of the Year is Carlyle Jansen of the Toronto women’s sex store, Good For Her.
The recipient of the David Galbraith Award is slave-boy jake English.
The recipient of the Craig Rose Award is the late John Giaouris. His father, and owner of Northbound Leather, George Giaouris accepted the award on John’s behalf.
As well, to celebrate the achievements of Toronto leather people in the global community, two Pantheon of Leather awards were presented. The Canadian Regional Community Service Award was presented to Eastern Canada Leatherboy 2011 boy iain, and the Man of the Year Award was presented to the very first Canadian male to receive it, Master Jack Pearce.
After the awards presentation, it was time to present the results for the first Toronto Puppy Contest. As voted by the contestants, Pup Digger received the Showmanship award. The second runner up was Pup Ace. The first runner up was Pup Digger. Which means the First Toronto Puppy is pup Ego. Congratulations to all three for putting on a fine pup show. I mean, WOOF! WOOF! RUFF! RUFF! BARK! BARK!
What Did JJ Deogracias Wear at Toronto Bound 2012 Weekend?
Friday – Spike It Up
It’s no secret that I like add a little bad-ass element to my outfit; I mean, I’m not all sparkle and spice. In the past, I wore a headpiece that could knocked people around with a turn of my head. I wield accessories as something cute, or something playful, or something weapon-like like my leather boa or my metallic war fans.
And then, there are the spikes. Not only do they pop literally out of the leather and make my outfits a little more bad-ass. But when wearing the spikes, even hugging me can be dangerous. Not that it has really deterred kinky and leather people from hugging me when they see me all spiked up. Unless of course, they’re wearing latex.
So I pulled four of my favourite spiky pieces – my spiky eye mask (from Northbound Leather]), my pair of spiky gauntlets (also from Northbound), and my spiky chest harness (which I recently picked up from the leather swap during the recent Mr. Leather Ottawa-XX weekend). I wore my spikes on top of two black shirts which I layered together – the long sleeved shirt had cyber print on the sleeves, the short sleeved shirt had a silver flame pattern on the shoulders. And then, of course, I wielded my metallic fan to top off this simple but effectively bad-ass outfit.
Sunday – Hello Cheshire Kitty
During my WDJJDW? column for my wrap-up article for the Northbound Leather fashion show “Dream”, I
mentioned about how I was referred to as the “Hello Kitty of the (Toronto) leather community” and how that inspired one of my outfits that night.
Well, for the Toronto Puppy contest, I was inspired to be a little ironic and revisited the Hello Kitty look.
For the bottom, I pulled together my chap shorts revealing my pink underwear, a hot pink Hot Topic tutu on top of the chaps, and my Chippewa boots. For the top, I pulled together my pink chevron corset and my Priape handcuff harness (which I replaced the handcuffs with pink handcuffs from Northbound). And on my head, I placed a metallic Hello Kitty ears headband from Hot Topic and my “Why So Serious?” mouth mask that I got at IML from the booth of Semmerling & Schaefer Mask Artists Studios.
With the mouth mask, people saw a bit of Chesire Cat in me. But hey, a cat is a kitty and a kitty is a cat, and that is that!
And by the way, even as Hello Kitty, I felt I could still kick some ass… Or as seen in the picture below, some chest courtesy of Ottawa Puppy 2012, pup Scout. Unfortunately, I should not be doing such high kicks without a little stretching first.