Sunday, December 20, 2015

Strippers Get Naked for Charity and The Byrd Pub Flouts Tradition

By Annie Temple

Few things go together as well as strippers and beer. Add some holiday cheer in the gift-giving spirit of the season and it's guaranteed to be a night to remember. Wouldn't you agree?

That's why I'm attending The Byrd's annual Stripathon Fundraiser for the Surrey Christmas Bureau on Sunday, December 27th from 3 p.m. till midnight. The event will feature 15 striptease artists getting naked galore and a raffle for a trip to Las Vegas.

Last year, over seven thousand dollars was raised. This year staff and entertainers hope to beat that total.

Mia Rosa, Sky, Shea Gunns, Victoria Fox, Harlem, Jayda Rose, Jenny Lee, Kate Hudson, Audrey Lovecraft, and Tiffany Lux are just a few of the sexy performers who will donate live, nude shows this Sunday exposing how generous our lovely local strippers really are.

In addition to enjoying high quality performances, guests can purchase shoulder massages by donation, participate in games, win prizes and swag, and more.

The Byrd Pub has been an historic landmark in Surrey for over forty years. Although he's not sure exactly when the pub started offering exotic entertainment, Byrd Manager Paul Gluska tells me the Flamingo Hotel opened in 1952.

A quick Internet search led me to only one historical reference to the Flamingo Hotel attributed to the 1980's.

“In other cultural news, a dwarf-tossing contest at the Flamingo Hotel in Surrey's Whalley neighborhood made headlines.” (Brief History of Greater Vancouver, Chuck Davis)

Despite, or perhaps because of, sordid events over the years such as the one above, the club has become known affectionately as “The Dirty Byrd.” Rather than deny it, The Byrd has embraced it's reputation for depravity by advising visitors to their Facebook page to “Stay Dirty Surrey.”

Recently, Gluska instituted big changes in how the club operates, as well as introducing theme nights and fun new drinks. “We are trying new things and revisiting some old ones,” he says.

By far, the biggest change is how dancers are now contracted by the club. Traditionally booked through agencies with a rotating line-up of performers each week, The Byrd now features “House Girls” - a consistent set of performers hired on a long term basis.


The House Girls


Victoria Fox

Jayda Rose

Jenny Lee

Mia Rosa

Harlem

Sky


Gluska cited several reasons for his decision to switch to a house girl format in addition to receiving poor service from the agency previously supplying the talent.

“We looked at the amount of money that was being spent on commissions by both the club and the girls, at how many girls said if they only could they would just work for us, and at how if we reinvested the commissions that only the house paid; I could add an extra full time dancer, as well as add about 25 shows a week, and give seven girls full time steady employment. Most of the other clubs have a very high repetition rate as it is. So we decided to cut the middle man, invest the savings into the entertainment, and develop our business on this model.”

Gluska added, “We do not deduct any commission from the girls who work here. They get paid in full each week.”

Despite rumours that the building is slated for demolition, Gluska assured me development at Whalley's most famous corner will not happen for at least another ten years. Although I am happy to hear that the Byrd's demise is not imminent, I am also sad to think of the club closing in ten years. Like all the dancers in the Lower Mainland, I've created many memories in this club. It is like a second home for strippers and regulars alike.

Which is precisely why Sunday's stripathon is destined to be a great time. We are family at the club and we're coming together for a great cause. Join us if you're in the mood to have fun.

In the meantime, I will enjoy “All Request Wednesdays,” and look forward to coming theme nights in January, such as “Naughty Schoolgirls,” “Lingerie Night,” and “Paint Night.” (The January Calendar will be published on the website the last week of December.)

The Byrd will also play host to many events in 2016 including pole dance contests, amateur events, a show and shine, and more.

“If anyone is bored with the chain establishments that all look, smell, and taste the same,” Gluska says, “I encourage them to come out and mingle with real people in a real bar where the music is loud, the drinks are wet, and the girls...well, let's just say they are nothing like the girls in the office.”

(I would add that The Byrd boasts a loyal female clientele. So don't be shy, Ladies.)

To stay in the know about upcoming promotions, keep an eye on The Dirty Byrd's webpage and Facebook page. You never know when you might need a beer and massage while you watch a sexy woman undress before your eyes.

I recommend at minimum a weekly field trip for your mental and social well-being. ;)


About the Author

Annie Temple has 17 years experience as a striptease artist and over 15 years as a sex worker rights activist, but she's been a rebel all her life. In 2000, she founded NakedTruth.ca to support other entertainers by reducing isolation, educating about health and safety, sharing information about gigs, challenging stereotypes, teaching etiquette to customers, and organizing in-person events for charity and to promote ethical businesses in the industry. Annie is a mom of three, a lover of writing and dancing. Currently she continues to run NakedTruth.ca and recently she embarked on spreading her messages on YouTube as Anarchist Stripper-Mom!   

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