Thursday, February 12, 2015

To read the latest about the Vancouver Sisters and our Official 5th Anniversary party just click here!

Thank you

February Elevations!

Sister Tora Wholes, proud momma Sister Petunia Encarnata,
and Reverend Mother Alma Bitches with Sister Lois Price on her knees
as per usual.

 Congratulations to Sister Lois Price on her successful elevation to Fully Professed Member at last night's General Business Meeting!  A full house was on hand to witness Lois' vows and to welcome her to her new role.  Lois' Novice Project was our recent grocery bagging escapade at "Your Independent Grocer" back in December and was a huge success! The entire Abbey is very excited to have Sister Lois Price as a Full Member for life.  
Sister Lois and Sister Petunia
Lois was not the only member elevating last night; Aspirant Anthony and Aspirant Eileen also took the next steps in their journey with the Sisters as they both successfully elevated to Postulant!! Congratulations to both of you on your success! The Abbey also welcomed Aspirant Nettie to the group!! We're getting bigger everyday!

The post elevation crowd :) Congrats to Lois, Anthony, and Eileen!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

UNVEILED: The official 5th Anniversary Party!

With less than 2 weeks until what I know will be the most magical night thus far in our little Abbey's life; I thought it was time to officially announce who will be on hand to celebrate with the Sisters and all of you!  These queens have shown nothing but support to the Sisters during our time in Vancouver!  They have given their time, performed with us and accepted us wholeheartedly into the fold.  For that we always be forever grateful.


photo by Graham Spence Photography
"Developing a character named Conni Smudge has been a twenty year journey and one that has taken her around the Globe.

She has performed in some of the most unlikely of places. From Biker Bars to the Grand Theatres of Europe, Mz Smudge has done them all.

Her wit, charm and approachable nature has afforded her the honour of being a highly sought after event host and spokesperson.  With an uncanny ability to break through barriers and draw the audience in, an evening with Conni is unlike anything ever experienced.

Based out of Vancouver British Columbia, Mz Smudge has been the face of several events and charities, including the North American OutGames, Qmunity, The City of Vancouver, and the Q Hall of Fame Canada to name just a few.

Mz Smudge has regular appearances on television as a reporter for OutLook TV and has appeared on the set of movies including The L Word, Backstrom, and Girls Guide to Dating.

She is known as The Unstoppable Conni Smudge and her busy schedule and the high demand for her services are proof that she truly is The Unstoppable Lady."

photo by Graham Spence Photography
Second to none! IT'S CARLOTTA GURL!!

Carlotta Gurl hails from Eastern Canada and has been amazing audiences in Vancouver with her incredible and awesome female impersonations of some of the world's brightest and best performers!

Carlotta currently hosts and performs in one of Vancouver's most popular and critically acclaimed cabaret-style show "Absolutly Dragulous" at the Junction Pub, located on Davie Street.

"Absolutly Dragulous" will be celebrating its 4th Anniversary Saturday February 21st at the Junction with a host of performers all bringing something extra special to help "the Gurl" celebrate!

Be Carlotta's Facebook friend and she'll tell you "Where it's at!" click here to friend Carlotta

Last but definitely not least (depends who you ask)! JEM aka #THANKSJEM aka LADY JEM

photo by Chase Porter
"If Martha Stewart and Judge Judy had a love child and she was adopted by Jerrica Benton #ThanksJem would be it!! This Lady says it like it is and serves up a mean apple pie.

She performs, hosts, models and bitches her way into the hearts of everyone who encounters her!#ThanksJem's experience has taken her on an American tour starring as Sporty Spice in a a Spice Gurls: Drag Shadow Cast, on TV as a finalist in Canada's Next Drag Superstar, and starring in her one woman homemade drag show Cool Moms where Jem gets to live out her over the top ideas. Like baking a pie on stage or performing live via Skype as she drives around the block!

A truly outrageous performer who always has more to give. Love her or hate her #thanksjem is homemaking her straight to the top!"

Check out the details of the only Drag Show on Commercial Drive right here!!

All of these ladies are dear to the Vancouver Sisters and we are delighted to have them be a part of our 5th Anniversary! Doors at 7pm. Performances begin around 8pm.

UNVEILED: Be there!
RSVP on Facebook for more info here

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"An Aspirant's tale."

Hello everyone, this is Sister Alma! Here is our newest Postulant (Diversity Rains) recounting his experiences shortly before and after his association with the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  

"As I approached my last birthday, I found myself focusing on wanting to re-invent myself upon entering the next decade of my life.  Well, actually it was not focusing on re-inventing myself, but more a desire to get closer to being my true myself.

I thought, 'what better way to do so than to stand forward and become an aspirant of the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.'

I figured out the how, the when, and I thought I figured out the where, of what to do to make this happen.  After looking the Sisters up online I decided that at the Sister’s next business meeting, I would declare my intentions.

Finally, the second Wednesday of the month arrives.  I get off work and hustle to get to the meeting, driving a fair distance into some unknown terrain in the heart of Vancouver, using my trusty google maps to get me there.  Initially, all went well and I found some reasonable parking and it looked like everything was going to plan.  

I thought to myself, "Please google maps lead me to the meeting."  

Well, indeed it did.  Goggle maps led me, and led me, and led me, and every where it led me, I could not find the meeting! I would think I was there, but it would just be an apartment building, and not the meeting.  

After a few attempts and failures I asked a passerby, "where is Qmunity?"  

"About ten blocks that way," they responded.  

I found my way to Bute and Davie.  I looked to the left!  I looked to the right!  I could not find it!

Then I looked to the left and up the street a bit—and behold, a Qmunity sign above the door—the Qmunity library. 

There at last, but an hour late and the door was locked.

Obviously, my aspirancy was not meant to happen at that meeting, so I went around the corner, and gratified myself with sushi, and began to call to find out if the meeting had changed location.

I spoke to Sr Petunia Encarnata, who unfortunately was in Portland and told her of my plight and woes.  

"Not to worry," Petunia told me.  I could become an aspirant at the next business meeting, but in the meantime spread as much joy as possible.

Well the next meeting was a month away.  Can you imagine how much joy you can spread around in a month?  Well, I didn’t at the time.  Lo and behold I found myself engaged in occasions where I had no choice but to spread joy—at work, at play, at events, with people, with animals, and all of creation.  Wow, what an eyeopener.  I was even beginning to feel more filled with joy.

I love to take and share pictures and I found myself determined to be in places such as the “Cool Mom’s” show with Jem ThanksJem and spend some time with the Sisters who were attending and performing in the show.  While talking to Alma, Tora, and Pebbles I learned more about what the Sisters' mission is and I also discovered the joy others find in the pictures I take—and that makes me feel good.

Finally, after another month was over I made it to the Business Meeting well in advance and declared that I was an Aspirant.  It felt good to receive my Aspirant name tag from Sister Petunia.  Let the period of being an Aspirant begin.  This was a commitment to attend two Business Meetings in a row and to join with the Sisters for events they would be attending.

"Oh My God," I thought, "how will I ever be able to work all these things into my already busy work and personal schedule?"  The world is made of good intentions and good intentions can make anything possible.

I began to learn to be myself and attend personal events by my choice, to request days off work to attend events with the Sisters, and to relax and enjoy life.  At work, I suddenly felt more like a member of the team to make things happen and my goal was to spread joy, to acknowledge the contributions of others, and to smile.  You know what? It works and it is a lot less effort than to hold back.

I am leaning that inclusion is a big part of what the Sisters do and I think I like it.

I am also learning that making a difference, is just that, making a difference whether it be small or grandiose!  Sure, grandiose can be great, but often small is much more rewarding!  I have learned this by observing the Sisters in action.

I have been playing Santa Claus at work for the last three weekends.  The look of joy I see on the children’s faces, and often the parent’s faces as well, is the same look of joy I see on the faces of people at groups and events where the Sisters spread joy. I think I can become accustomed to seeing that look constantly.

I look forward to what the next month before the next Business Meeting at which I will hopefully accepted as a Postulant.  I look forward to accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative and releasing joy everywhere.

Oh, I am also beginning to realize that I can take joy in myself in the sense that if I am enjoying myself, I can share that joy with others without worry."

- Postulant Diversity Rains

“Joy, more joy, always joy”

Sister Alma would like to thank Postulant Diversity Rains for submitting his story for the blog. The Vancouver Abbey is nothing without its new members as they remind us of how simple yet sublime our work can be.  

XO Sister Alma

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just another amazing week in the YVR Sisterhood!

Well friends and supporters, the Vancouver Abbey has had a busy week!  From newspaper cover stories and elevations, to bar ministry and Power point presentations; what didn't we do this week?!

First up, on Wednesday XTRA featured the Vancouver Sisters as their cover feature to mark the 5th Anniversary of Sisters being active in Vancouver.  The article was written by Grace Cameron with photos by Belle Ancell Photography. Read the article here!
Sister Merry Q Contrary, photo by Belle Ancell.

Wednesday evening at the Sister's General Business meeting we had two elevations and bared witness to the rising of Novice Sister Festivus (Fes-tee-vus) Illuminata and Postulant Diversity Rains. A full house was on hand to be a part of the ceremony! What a large group!!

Almost everyone.
Revered Mother Alma Bitches and Mistress of Novices Petunia Encarnata

On Friday afternoon, Sister Sweet Cherribum gave a presentation about the Sisters to the attendees of the LOUD Foundation!  After a brief history of the Sisters around the world and a recap of the Vancouver Abbey's history Sister Sweet presented a $1,000 cheque to be put towards a Scholarship fund in Memoriam of Jim Deva; one of the Abbey's Saints who recently passed.  This must have been a huge moment for Sister Sweet as she has been a recipient of a LOUD Scholarship in the past and has been quoted saying, "receiving the scholarship helped to change her life."

Sister Sweet Cherribum with Carl Meadows from the Foundation of Hope.

Sister Sweet with members of the LOUD Foundation.

Novice Sister Lois Price and Novice Sister Festivus Illuminata.

Friday night, wasting no time at all, Novice Sister Festivus Illuminata and Postulant Diversity Rains went our for some bar ministry with Sister Petunia and Novice Sister Lois Price and Aspirant Anthony!  From the sounds of it, the new members had an amazing time and transformative experience being out in face.  
Aspirant Anthony.

Postulant Diversity Rains and Novice Sister Lois Price.

The Girls giving XTRA some love!  

This weekend marked the beginning of a new program for the Vancouver Abbey.  While in the past we have always done our best to prepare our new members for life as a Fully Professed member (FPM) of the Sisters, the current FPMs felt we could do better.  With our Abbey members growing like weeds and new members showing up almost every month we decided to take a more direct approach and offer classes focusing on what we believe to be the most important things we want budding nuns to take with them on their journeys. In response to our need, Sister Petunia has created an official schedule of monthly seminars (Novice Teas) taught by FPMs to enhance the experience of newer members (and seasoned ones as well).  

Saturday afternoon, hosted by Sister Petunia, the majority of our membership got together and spoke about "Conflict Resolution."  The discussion was led by our own Paladin Bamm Bamm who throughout his professional life has obtained vast experience facilitating on this very topic. Sometimes, like bio-families, members of our Abbey have disagreements and it is crucial for the survival of our group to handle matters respectfully and with care.  Future workshops aim to focus on the following: event planning, make-up training, self-defence, and assertiveness to name a few.

As well as hosting a great workshop, Sister Petunia also led the group in creating some "magic fairy dust" made from various special ingredients gifted to the Abbey from our Grandmother Sister Merry Peter.  After its creation, the dust was collected into vials and distributed between the members for future blessings! Watch out Vancouver, the Sisters are now armed with magic glitter!   

Again, the Vancouver Sisters can't thank you enough for all of your support over the past five years and we can't wait to celebrate with you at our Official Anniversary Event on Tuesday, February 24th at the Junction on Davie!  More details to come on that!

Sister Alma Bitches
Reverend Mother
Abbey of the Long Cedar Canoe Society