. (with notes provided by Brandon Matheson)
Changes in the Title
Back in January 2014, producers of the former Eastern Canada LeatherSIR / Leatherboy (ECLSb) contest announced a restructuring of the Eastern Canada region to create three new regions within the International LeatherSIR / Leatherboy (ILSb) and Community Bootblack (ICBB) contest family. The Eastern Canada region was replaced with the Atlantic Canada region (covering the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland), the Quebec region (which covered the province of Quebec), and the Central Canada region (which covered the province of Ontario).
“The change better reflects the geographical reality of the provinces involved. We also wanted to address the reality that the ECLSb contest has been Ontario centric. Since its inception in 2003, ECLSb has only fielded two contestants from outside Ontario. ILSb is going through a process of revitalization and change and will be increasing the number of regions in the United States as well, so the timing is perfect,” says co- producer Brandon Matheson. “We [Matheson and co-producer Dan Falkenham] will continue as producers for the new Central Canada LeatherSIR / Leatherboy contests and we will refine our focus to exclusively Ontario,”
For this past Easter weekend (April 17-20, 2014), it was truly a changing of the guard as the final titleholders of the decade-long ECLSb line (Eastern Canada LeatherSir 2013 Master R and Eastern Canada Leatherboy 2013 Dominic Fournier) stepped down, and a new team of titleholders stepped up to start the new Central Canada titleholder line.
The new Central Canada titles included the introduction of the Community Bootblack title.
“Bootblacks have been taking part at our companion event Rough House [http://www.roughhouse.ca] sporadically over the past couple years…. In January, two new bootblacks-in-training at Rough House were a great addition to the event and atmosphere. We plan to formalize Rough House as a regular ‘home event’ for the new Central Canada Community Bootblack titleholder, as well as any new or current bootblacks that want to come out and be active at Rough House to learn, practice or just enjoy time spent on the fetish of boots and the service of bootblacking,” said Falkenham.
Changing of the Guard
For the inaugural competition of the Central Canada titles, two contestants for the Community Bootblack title worked hard on the boots of attendees at the “Changing of the Guard” meet and greet reception held at Club 120 – Bootblack Henry of Ottawa, Ontario and Bootblackgirl Susy of Toronto, Ontario. The LeatherSIR and Leatherboy contestants – Sir James and boy gary respectively from Toronto – schmoozed with the judges and participants at this event before they went through their private interviews.
Nancy Irwin (a.k.a. “Naughty Nancy”), a 20-year SM activist, author, educator and community organizer was the keynote speaker for this event. In her speech, Irwin talked about her life, her journey, her passions, and her political views including her views on PrEP/PEP:
“….This brings me to a hard subject. I want to tell you what I’ve done. I’ve played with gay men so I’ve taken precautions. I’ve told both my doctor and and an international trade lawyer that I have knowingly played with men who are HIV+. I do this so that they will not be jailed for playing with me. Make sense? No? Guess what. Canada is among the worst when it comes to criminalizing HIV. The US is bad too. New laws seem to be directed at protecting straight women who supposedly haven’t heard of STI’s and might have been infected innocently. Can you say innocent? Like gay sex is guilty sex. It’s not enough that so many gay men were killed by HIV. Now we have to jail them for having sex, even protected? And it’s not about intentionally spreading disease. So, can your negative playmates prove that they knew you were positive before they played with you? Will they? Will you? This could now be required.”
For the rest of the event, Matheson conducted an “In Conversation” interview with International LeatherSIR 2009 Master Tony Palazzo on stage about his personal journey as a leatherman in the last 30 years. This rare opportunity was video taped by both CCLSb co-producer Dan Falkenham and me:
What could this new CCLSb contest be without bringing an old favourite from ECLSb’s infamy, International slave 1995 Tom Stice as the charismatic, no-holds-barred host? With no one being spared from Tom’s antics – from contestants to judges to event volunteers to audience participants – Tom continued the tradition of levity and laughter that always made this a fun contest to attend.
During the contest, people who contributed above and beyond to the community were recognized with the following awards:
- – the 2014 Community Builder Award went to boy Darcy for his dedicated volunteer service at Rough House and LeatherSIR/Leatherboy events.
- – the Boy’s Spirit Award, which was created in memory of Eastern Canada Leatherboy 2005 Andrew MacDonald went to Mr. Leatherman Toronto 2014 Farrell Collier in recognition of his outstanding commitment to leather life and the leather community.
- – the Tom Stice Award (yes, Tom brought back the award he named after himself) was presented to Steamworks.
For the contest part, Sir James and boy gary each had to achieve a 70% in their scores in order to win their respective titles, so they had to work it in all the phases, including:
Leather Image & Speech
(NOTE: Videos forthcoming)
Judging Sir James and boy gary for the Central Canada LeatherSIR/Leatherboy contests were the following people:
- – International LeatherSIR 2009 Master Tony Palazzo (who is the permanent head judge for CCLSb)
- – International LeatherSIR 2013 Sir George Saltzman
- – Eastern Canada LeatherSIR 2013 Master R
- – Eastern Canada Leatherboy 2013 Dominic Fournier
- – Eastern Canada Leatherboy 2003 Sebastien Fontaine.
The Community Bootblack contestants, Susy and Henry, also addressed the audience with their speeches before their points from the Changing of the Guard and the private interviews were tallied by Eastern Canada Leatherboy 2011 Iain Bennett, who was Tally Master for both CCLSb and CCB panels.
Judging the Central Canada Community Bootblack contest was the following:
- – International Community Bootblack 2013 Paul William
- – Bootblack Toronto 2005 Ron “cub” Tummon
- – Bootblack Toronto 2007 Eli Campanaro
In the end, Sir James and boy gary each achieved 70% in their scores so they were initiated as the inaugural Central Canada LeatherSIR and Leatherboy. Bootblackgirl Susy joined Sir James and boy gary as the inaugural Central Canada Community Bootblack.
After the contest, a victory party was held during the Spearhead Fantasy Ball at Flash on Church’s Erotico Lounge. And whoever survived the night, they joined the new CCLSb titleholders on Easter Sunday at the Victory Brunch at Churchmouse & Firkin, and then at the final Rough House play party for the season at Club 120 to close out this “holy” (or is it, “hole-y”?) weekend.
WDJJDW at CCLSb/CCB?
Changing of the Guard: “Real Leathermen Wear Pink”?
There’s a phrase that is printed on one of my t-shirts, “Real Men Wear Pink”. I always liked that statement.
If I had to name my outfit for the first event of CCLSb/CCB, it would be “Real Leathermen Wear Pink”. To accent the leather I wore for that event, I infused just a “little” bit of pink into the outfit.
Like the pink laces with black skulls on my Dayton boots that I bought from Toronto’s Kensington Market.
Or the pink crystal heart-shaped Harley Davidson belt buckle I bought at Las Vegas.
Or the pink Tom of Finland t-shirt I got from the Toronto store, Black Market.
Or the safety goggles covered in pink lace and white flower appliqué made by local artist, deni arie.
Or the pink and black feather hair fascinator that Brandon Matheson once commented as something he wanted to put on a bench and whip the shit out of it.
Because “real leathermen” wouldn’t wear those things, right?.
Well, I guess anything is possible 😉
Contest: “Ultra Mode”
When I wore this outfit at the Contest, CCCB Contest Coordinator, boy Alex Dunlop came up to me and said that the back of my outfit reminded him of infamous emcee, Karen “Ultra Domme”.
I guess, the long re-made velvet coat with elaborate bustle and the black-and-white top hat with rabbit patch by Retro G Couture could give that idea. Then, add a pair of flashy black crystal safety glasses by deni arie, a leather bowtie, and a black metal fan would seem like accessories she would do.
What do you think, Miss Karen? Think we could be twins?
Spearhead Fantasy Ball: “Throwback Leather-day”
The Spearhead Fantasy Ball is a special event close to my heart; it was my first leather event I attended after winning a free ticket to it back in February 2009.
Back then, I didn’t have the leather wardrobe I had now. All I had was a pair of leather shorts and a pair of leather Gates of Hell cock rings. I used both those items in my 2008 Halloween costume I called “The Gay Dragon”. For the purposes of the 2009 Fantasy Ball, I resurrected “The Gay Dragon” using the above mentioned leather I had available at the time along with a black shirt with a gold sequin dragon, a pair of sunglasses, a pair of dragon fans (which were holstered by my Gates of Hell cock rings), and my winter boots (yes, I didn’t even have leather boots back then).
I met many people there from Toronto’s leather community whom I still know today. I even had my first brush with International LeatherSIR/Leatherboy when I met International LeatherSIR 2008 Sir Raul Mendez. I didn’t know anything about the title or who He was at the time. I just asked if I could take a picture with Him being lassoed by me with a orange and yellow whip I borrowed from someone else. Sir Raul was so nice and accommodating that He allowed me to place my foot on His crotch while doing this pose.
Fast forward five years later to the 2014 Masquerade-themed Spearhead Fantasy Ball, which was the victory party for Central Canada LeatherSIR / Leatherboy / Community Bootblack contests. I resurrected “The Gay Dragon” again, but this time adding more leather. Aside from the leather shorts and the leather Gates-of-Hell to holster my red dragon metal fan, I used a pair of spiky gauntlets from Northbound Leather, my spiky harness I got from MLO’s Leather Swap, a leather mask and bandana, and Dayton boots. Then to add more sparkle on top of the original gold sequin dragon shirt I wore five years ago, I added the deni arie black crystal safety glasses I wore earlier at the contest.
And to keep sort of the tradition of doing funny pictures with titleholders in this contest.
How far I’ve come in five years…
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For more pictures of this event, check out the Leatherati Galleries.