Devotees of Q Nighclub and Lounge have donated over $26,000 to help the only gay, lesbian and trans venue in southern Saskatchewan survive during the pandemic.
“This has been a very important place for the gay, lesbian and trans people in Regina,” said Cory Oxelgren, president of the Gay and Lesbian Community of Regina (GLRC), which operates the Q Nightclub.
“It’s a place where they can go and be safe, and a place where they can be with people like-mind.”
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The business has faced a financial uphill battle after COVID-19 shuttered its doors in March, losing around $8,000 each month it was closed, says Oxelgren.
The GLRC set up a GoFundMe page to offset the expenses, surpassing its goal of $25,000.
Doors have since reopened, but the business is operating at 50 per cent capacity.
“We’re not able to have karaoke and other events that drew more people in,” Oxelgren said. “It’s still a hit or miss, and we’ll still be operating on a shoestring.”
Oxelgren says the donated funds will pay off debt and help rebuild a savings account.
“It will bring us back to where we were prior to the pandemic. We had some plans to do some renovations, and we’ll continue with those,” Oxelgren said.
The GLCR was founded in 1972. The social club was created to offer a safe space for the LGBTQ2 community in order to avoid persecution from the police and the public.
Over the decades, GLCR’s social club has had a number of different homes before finding its current location at 2070 Broad Street.
According to Oxelgren, it started in a small house on Smith Street before moving to a property with boarded-up windows in Regina’s Warehouse District.
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Now the club is located in the heart of downtown with a Pride sign on the front entrance.
“I appreciate everyone who gave some money. I can’t thank them enough in coming forward and helping us out,” Oxelgren said.
“It means a lot to us, and to the people in Regina, and southern Saskatchewan because they need a place to go. It’s the only gay, lesbian, trans bar people can go to in southern Saskatchewan.”
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