And we’re done … the 10th Bear New Zealand Week has drawn to a close, and what an epic one it’s been.
So many people to thank – first and foremost the group of mates, aka the Bear NZ Cabal, who coordinate the events. You’re all true stars who work tirelessly in front and behind the scenes.
Sponsors Ending HIV NZ, likaADVICE and Two Grooms, and all the companies and individuals who support us and give prizes for raffles.
The venues which have hosted us and the staff who have made everything run as smooth as possible.
Our Bear Drag racers, our Bear Drag Divas, Elibra Fleur and her makeup gang, the comedians at The Classic, Grant and Brian for opening up their home, our incredible DJs, and the 6 brave contestants for Mr Bear NZ.
And most of all, you wonderful people who have come from near and far to support our events. It is so good to see so many returning friends and a host of new faces at our gatherings.
Next up is the Wellington Pride Parade on March 16, we hope to see some of you there. In the meantime it’s a bloody well deserved rest.
Say hi to our 6 contestants for this year’s Mr Bear New Zealand contest!! The winner will represent NZ at Mr Australasia Bear at Southern Hibernation in Melbourne in June, hosted by VicBears Inc.
This year, for the first time, the contestants have nominated a cause or charity that they each will be collecting for on the night. Amazingly, all 6 have picked different causes.
Ali – NZAF: “A super friendly non-judgmental place where I first got tested and will continue to support when I can.”
Phoenix – Hamilton Pride: “Hamilton Pride is a FANTASTIC organisation that not only celebrates but also supports the diversity of Waikato’s Rainbow Community.”
Hamish – Outline: “I’m collecting for Outline because it’s important that people can connect to the LGBTQI+ community wherever they are. It’s a nice way to give back that recognises my own background growing up in rural South Canterbury.”
Matias – Hospice: “Hospice is not a building; it is a philosophy of care. Their goal is to help people make the most of their lives. They care for the whole person, physically and emotionally; their families and friends.”
Taylor (Mr Bears Christchurch) – Rainbow Youth: “This is because of the help to vulnerable LGBT+ youth in New Zealand.”
Matt – Camp Quality: “An organisation that I have volunteered for 12 years that takes children living with cancer on summer camps. There’s not much one can do about the quantity of one’s life, but we can all do something about the quality.”
Mr Bear New Zealand, Friday, Dog’s Bollix, doors open at 8pm, competition starts at 10pm, free entry
Today’s schedule: From 5pm: Bear Drag Race, Cocos Cantina, K Road. Hosted by Paul Heard and Neil Thornton and sponsored by Two Grooms. Get ready for a fiesta of beauties (!) thundering down K Road. And speaking of beauties….
From 7pm: Urge Bear Divas, Caluzzi, K Road. 5 glorious All Stars performers return to the stage for one hell of a night!