Kelowna drag queen wins unpaid $1,100 for cocktail lounge shows

$1,100 for unpaid shows

The B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal has ordered a Kelowna cocktail lounge to pay a local drag performer $1,100 in unpaid entertainment fees.

Tribunal member Sarah Orr said in her Aug. 25 decision that Tyson Cook — who performs as Freida Whales — provided drag entertainment services for FoD Cocktail Lounge Kelowna Inc., earning $150 per night for hosting FoD’s karaoke nights. FoD does business as Friends of Dorothy Lounge, located on Lawrence Avenue in downtown Kelowna.

In the summer of 2022, FoD agreed to pay an additional $100 per night for hosting Canada’s Drag Race viewing parties before regularly scheduled karaoke nights, according to the decision. But Cook said FoD failed to pay the additional $100 fee for all but one of the viewing parties they hosted.

Cook said FoD also failed to pay their regular karaoke night hosting fees on two of these occasions. Cook claimed $1,100 for the unpaid drag services.

FoD says it never agreed to pay Cook an additional fee for the viewing parties, and that it didn't owe the performer anything.

Orr said it was undisputed that the drag performer suggested to FoD’s manager, identified in the decision as KL, that they could host Canada’s Drag Race viewing parties before FoD’s regularly scheduled karaoke nights.

“KL agreed, and Mr. Cook hosted a total of 9 viewing parties followed by karaoke nights between July 14 and September 8, 2022,” Orr said.

Cook said KL verbally agreed to pay an additional $100 per night for hosting the viewing parties.

In support of their position, Cook submitted a June 17, 2022, text exchange with KL in which Cook asked if they would be paid more for the viewing parties. KL responded, “Of course I’d pay you extra,” according to Orr.

Orr said she preferred Cook’s version of events and ordered the drag performer receive $1,100 in unpaid fees.

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