*NOTE: for best effect, please read the following paragraph in a charming english accent*
The night was cold and the sky was dark. As the rains fell and the wind blew, a certain sea foam trailer is where true love grew. Between the commuters, the fixies, the vintage and the new- more than 400 bicyclists proclaimed their love to be true. Beside Drake One Fifty trailer Baroness stood tall, with twinkling lights, Dolly Parton, Elvis and two wheeled matrimony for all. For the remainder of our tale, Westside Studio producer Kirsten White will tell you all, from the origins of trailer Baroness and Nuit Blanche this fall.
Okay you can switch back to your normal voice now.
“The idea of marrying a a bike might seem a little weird to some, but not to me and my Bike Gang. The Deadly Nightshades is an all female arts collective/midnight bike crew who’?s ?raison d?être? is promoting sustainability, feminism, art and more women on bikes. Our mantra is: step 1 matching jackets, step 3: take over the world. This weekend we took over down town Toronto, so thats a start!”
“I have wanted to show off our great love for the bicycle for 2 years but never had the right back drop for it. Last year, Westside Studio’s Matt Barnes photographed the Trailer Park Boys in studio and found a ratty old trailer for part of his set. When he was done I wiggled up to him and asked what was going to happen to the sweet 1966 Dal trailer. He said it was going back to the dump, but he could see the reno twinkle in my eye and gifted it to me and the Nightshades with the promise of a shoot inside it when it was done (whenever you have time Matt she?s all yours).
“We ripped the guts out of her 3 weeks later and slapped on a sweeeeeet shade of sea foam (our gang colour of course). After a 4 month winter sleep on a farm, myself and Big Red (also known as my best friend, partner in crime, and wifey Cat Essiambre) went to get her and begin brain storming for what we wanted this trailer to be. After a very fun planning session we decided a rentable open concept/pop up shop/art making space was what we wanted. The decor? Palm leaves, teak, pineapples and pin stripes OF COURSE!”
“While Cat, a.k.a Big Red and I are the most skilled people in the history of the world we decided that getting a little extra carpentry, electrical and general contracting help from our families in Ottawa was needed. Papa Essiambre, my Uncle Ed and many other friends came out on the long weekend to help us replace EVERYTHING! Walls, frame, floor, electrical, pieces of the metal frame, you name it, it got replaced. DIY till you DIE and we almost did. We got 5 good days of work on the trailer in and finished the rest in July with the help of Andrew Gooding (our personal Deadly Night Shades get?’r?done bud, and secretly the only male DNS member). It was beautiful, it was full of our love for fun, colour, art, and we had named her as well, Trailer Baroness. Now what would we do with her, we couldn?t just camp!”
“Our fav curator in the city Mia Neilson is always up for a good time and a good idea, so Cat and I invited Mia over to check out Baroness and ask what the Drake Hotel was up to for Nuit Blanche 2015? She told us all about the amazing exhibits and we asked nicely, “Can we be apart of it? We?d like to marry people to their bikes, shot gun wedding style, with our trailer as a back drop?.” We were ready to commit to our bikes forever, and we wanted to help other Torontonians too! She said yes and offered us up a great parkette space beside the Drake 150, right in the heart of all the Nuit Blanche action!!
“We spent the next month prepping our vision with bike wheels, spray paint parties, running around the whole city borrowing our friends Christmas lights and of course picking our officiant outfits. Elvis (THANK YOU RICKY), Sister Seafoam, Dolly Parton, Mermaid 1 and Mermaid 2 spent 12 hours setting up our chapel (including getting the trailer up and over an 11inch rock) 8 hours marrying 400 + people to their bikes, 3 hours tearing down AND IT WAS THE BEST DAMN TIME EVER!! This year Oct 3, 2015 myself and my closest friends made our two year in the making idea come to life, and hopefully showed how much we love our bikes! 2 WHEELS 4 LIFE!
“A big thank you to everyone who helped make this a success, especially my wife Cat, and to all those wed on saturday night may you live long and happy lives with your bicycles.
Till the next crazy idea!
Love: Snow White”
Event photos: John Lee, Digital Fabrik