The Turret, Resurrected!

"The Turret is Back in Business!" say organizers of "Sweet Release: Disco at The Turret."

As part of the 125th anniversary celebration of 1588 Barrington Street, two events will focus on Halifax's first community-owned gay club, The Turret.

Local artist and Khyber member Emily Davidson approached the NSCAD Queer Collective with the desire to re-create the historic Turret in the Khyber for the 125th members show, which runs March 8th- 29th. 

"We immediately agreed to help with the project because we are interested in creating safe spaces for queer individuals, as well as opening up inter-generational queer dialogues," said Beck Gilmer-Osborne of the Collective, "Re-creating the Turret seemed like a perfect fit."

"The Turret was a space for artistic and personal exploration as well as the meeting place for the gay Alliance for Equality," continued Gilmer-Osborne. "We want to re-activate the political and cultural space that was once the Turret and keep that part of Halifax queer history alive. We are in the process of painting the Turret back to its original colors and re-painting Rand Gaynor's infamous mural and incorporating the lesbian feminist graffiti."

We are using photographs, first-hand accounts of the space, and other archival material to revive the Turret's spirit. It's going to take a lot of paint and dedication, but with the help of the Halifax community we feel confident that the grand re-opening will be a memorable event."

On March 23, the NSCAD Queer Collective will host the Grand re-opening of the Turret for “Sweet Release Disco”.  DJ FEEL REAL and DJ Tiger Tank (Kelly Zwicker and Ian Phillips) will be spinning music Disco on March 23.  The event will be followed by the Resurrection Cabaret on the 27th. 

"We believe the Turret revival is symbolic of our generations' desire to learn, remember, and appreciate an integral piece of Halifax's queer history," says Genevieve Flavelle, also from the Collective, "as well as a desire to create safe queer spaces and opportunities for community building. This project is a celebration of the Turret and all the people who made it thrive, and an opportunity for our generation to honor its spirit and continue to fight for a strong and united queer community."

"The re-created Turret will be a safe space for queer bodies, queer desires and those who love them," say the organizers. "In 2013, we still feel that queer spaces are crucial for fostering healthy communities and activating political conversations. The NSCAD Queer Collective wishes to keep the spirit of the Turret alive and well."

The Sweet Release Disco is a 19+ event and the cover is $5. Doors open at 10pm.  For the The Turret Resurrection Cabaret on March 27th, organizers are seeking all varieties of queer performances: drag, poetry reading, singing and dancing, music, acrobatics, and more. You can sign up in person at the Khyber (sign-up sheet located in the Ballroom), or online at

You can read the Halifax Rainbow Encyclopedia's entry about The Turret here and check the many pages that refer to it here.

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