Salacious! Book Launch & Party!

Please join me and Rolyn Chambers this Thursday for a SALACIOUS double-fisted book launch. Rolyn is releasing his first book, The Boy Who Brought Down A Bathhouse, a collection of stories about the infamous St. Marc’s Spa.

RAID: Operation Soap was the play I produced last year with co-conspirator David Bateman. Operation Soap was the police code name for a highly organized simultaneous raid on four Toronto bathhouses and the catalyst for one of the most significant turning points in LGBT history.

I would be honoured if you could make it out to our book launch and celebrate with us! Performance legend Keith Cole will be in the house to recreate a short moment from the play and he’ll be accompanied by the super talented Stewart Borden on piano. I promise this will be a book launch launch you won’t soon forget!

As aspecial bonus, if you come dressed in just a towel I’ll give you a copy of the play for FREE!

SALACIOUS! Double Book Launch
& Art Party
Glad Day Bookshop
499 Church Street, TORONTO
Thursday November 23, 2017

The Boy Who Brought Down A Bathhouse
Rolyn Chambers

RAID: Operation Soap
Raymond Helkio with David Bateman


Come See Us At The AGO, Wednesday at 7pm

PLEASE to join us at the AGO this Wednesday at 7pm for a legendary performance by KEITH COLE, featuring gay porn star Ryan Russell, drag sensation Maria Delmonte with cinematic landscaping by queer filmmaker Raymond Helkio. This commissioned work is part of TORONTO: Tributes + Tributaries which explores the work of Canadian artists active between 1971-1989 through modern day performance art.

Wednesday, October 26, 7pm (FREE)
Saturday, October 29, 2 pm (Free with gallery admission)
#HashTagGallery Slut
Art Gallery of Ontario

Tributes + Tributaries featured artists also include Michael Snow, Barbara Astman, Andy Fabo, John Greyson, Johanna Householder, Robin Collyer, Robert Houle, Carol Conde, Carl Beveridge, June Clarke, Ato Seitu and Lillian Allen.

Keith Cole #HashTagGallery Slut
Maria Delmonte #HashTagGallery Slut


RAID: Operation Soap to premier at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre during Pride week!

RAID Poster

It’s been 35 year’s since the Metropolitan Toronto Police simultaneously raided 4 bathhouses, arresting over 300 men in grotesque display of power intended to humiliate the men they found. These raids were the catalyst for one of the most significant turning points in Canadian LGBT history.

Dubbed Operation Soap by police the raids sparked outrage among the LGBT community and the next day over 3,000 protesters took to the street in a protest/march that has grown into what we now know as Toronto Pride month.

Please join me for this epic performance part of Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Queer Pride programming, we’ll give you plenty of reasons to fall in love with theatre all over again, I hope to see you there! Ray xox


Closet Case: New Web Series Premiering on theBUZZ

From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village we take you on an uncensored journey into the closets and behind the alter egos of our communities most beloved queers. Welcome to Closet Case.

From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village join us as we go behind the alter egos and into the closets of our communities most beloved queers. Thursdays on theBuzz.

Episode 1: Inside D’yan Forest, an 81 year old internationally recognized cabaret singer, actress and stand-up comedian. This ‘bisexual Betty White’ has been dazzling audiences for more then seven decades with her one-woman extravaganza and slight-of-mouth comedy.


Bawdy House Texts launches World AIDS Day, NYC

December 1st, 2015 | Bawdy House Texts launches across New York City. This unapologetic outdoor art installation is a potent reminder of the most significant historical turning points in queer history. Never forget, never again. Curated and designed by Raymond Helkio.

Bawdy House Texts


Well Hung: The Party

We’ve taken over the third floor space at Glad Day Bookshop, the world’s oldest queer bookstore, to bring you an epic collaboration of artist work including Brad Fraser‘s triptych Cock Therapy, Blue Nude by David Bateman plus legendary photos by Raymond Helkio. Even if you don’t want to buy any art you should come out to our party this Saturday because you’ll get to submerge yourself in free performance and video art all night long starting with the world premiere of Paul Bellini‘s new short film Prison Tattoo, What’s It Like? by David Bateman + a midnight performance of Hamlet In A Hot Tub’s End of The World Tour. Featured artists include Brock Hessel (Hamlet) and Amy J. Lester (Ophelia) with additional spoken words by S. MacDonald, proceeds from this event to benefit the Hamlet In A Hot Tub Production Fund (so we can put on more free shows) and Glad Day Bookshop.

Saturday July 25, 10PM
Glad Day Bookshop
598a Yonge Street, Toronto

ray Photo of David Bateman in front of Brad Fraser’s triptych Cock Therapy at Glad Day Bookshop by Raymond Helkio, 2015 (Toronto)


KM Hunter Foundation Artist Awards

Every year the KM Hunter Foundation awards six grants of $8000.00 to artists in the areas of Visual Art, Dance, Theatre, Literature, Film and Video and Music. Recipients are recommended for this award by the Ontario Arts Council juries who put names forward from their own individual juries. Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio // KM Hunter Foundation Logo // 2015 Awards Invitation (below)

Hunter invite 2015

Death Of A Bathhouse to screen at Queer City Cinema International Queer Film Festival

MAY 21-23, 2015

Directed by Raymond Helkio and Rolyn Chambers
Combining footage from the final days of St. Marc’s Spa with interviews from Toronto artists Sky Gilbert, Keith Cole, Brad Fraser, Drasko Bogdanovic & Shane MacKinnon, Death Of A Bathhouse explores the art culture and ultimate demise of one of Toronto’s longest running bathhouses. SCREENING DATES AND TICKETS

DOABH Poster

WorldPride Human Rights Post Conference Report

I started volunteering with the WorldPride Human Rights Conference in 2012 when all we knew was we wanted to put on a human rights conference in conjunction with Pride Toronto and the UofT’s Mark S. Bonham Centre For Sexual Diversity Studies. Over the next few years I got to work with an international queer community of activists and I learnt so much about galvanizing our community but the real lessons came when I started listening to the stories and following some of the activists. I got to friend and meet people like Frank Mugisha who started the first Pride parade in Uganda just a few years ago. People like Frank inspire me to continue my work in Canada and are a stark reminder that we have a long way to go – but together.

There is nothing like solidarity to propel a movement forward, thank you Doug Kerr, Brenda Cossman and Kyle Kirkup for an awesome experience. Download the PDF with media links and video, graphic design, website and video Raymond Helkio.

We’re turning Buddies in Bad Times Theatre into a sultry bathhouse for the #RhubarbFestival


You read that correctly, as part of the 36TH Annual Rhubarb Festival we’re transforming Buddies in Bad Times Theatre into a bathhouse that Hamlet would be proud of!


This faggy-feminist production of Hamlet In A Hot Tub combines live theatre, video and drag into the first contemporary queer Shakespearean tale with a happy ending.

We receive a modest budget from Buddies in Bad Times Theatre but for this installation we’d like to beef up our lighting, staging and costumes so that this show is spectacular and truly twisted!

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents the
36TH Rhubarb Festival (February 11-22, 2015)
Transgressions in Performance
Hamlet In A Hot Tub
February 18-19 at 8:00pm, February 20-21 at 7:00pm

Adapted by Brock Hessel + David Bateman
featuring Paul Bellini, Donnarama and Amy J. Lester
Directed by Raymond Helkio

Evening passes $20 through the Box Office 416-875-8555

Festival Director Mel Hague, Associate Festival Director Cole Alvis
Festival Sponsor TD Bank Group, Media Sponsor NOW Magazine


In Your Pocket: Come Together 25 Queer Artists Come Together Creating Short Videos On Smart Phones

IN YOUR POCKET explores the immediacy and intimacy offered by smartphone technology. Curated by RT Collective in association with Inside Out film festival featuring work by: Drew Lint, Tera Mallette, Tawiah Ben-Eben M’Carthy, Drew Danielle Belsky, Vika Kirchenbauer, Brendan Healy, Alejandro Santiago, Drasko Bogdanovic, Mikiki Mikiki, Raymond Helkio, Amy Pearl, Apathy Club, Coral Short, Sam Godfrey, Andil Gosine, Manolo Lugo, Grey Muldoon, Claro Cosco, Philip Edward Villeneuve, Sofonda Cox, and others. Curated by Marcin Wisniewski and Chris Dupuis.

In Your Pocket Screenings
Monday May 26 + Tuesday May 27
Videofag (PWYC at the door)

Saturday May 31

Join Trinity Square Video for this special panel discussion (including Raymond Helkio and Amy Pearl from The Reading Salon) on the nature of collaboration.
Image below from Kijiji Connections, The Reading Salon.


An Evening With The Impostors (Official Movie Trailer)

For more than a decade, Mirvish Productions operated La Cage theatre in downtown Toronto. As the resident performers at La Cage, The Impostors have earned rave reviews. But it’s the shows final number that gets them the standing ovations. And tonight The Impostors are getting ready to bring their high-glam drag spectacle to the small town of Port Hope, Ontario. The Impostors are ready, but is Port Hope?

Inside Out LGBT Film Festival (Toronto)
MAY 31, 2014
12:45 PM

WorldPride Human Rights Conference 2014

RISE UP! Calling all Toronto queer artists, activists, and superstars! We’re making a promotional video for The WorldPride Human Rights Conference 2014 and you can be a part of it! Tell us what global LGBT human rights mean to you and be part of history! Drop us an email or look for us at Toronto LGBT venues from throughout the summer.944116_668668309814125_1109524813_n

More WPHRC videos here.

My Sex Is Genderless previews May 27 + June 2 at Videofag


My Sex Is Genderless | Videofag | Monday May 27 + June 2 2013 7PM
An intriguing and personal exploration of the immediacy and intimacy offered by the smart phone technology. Based around the ambiguous phrase “What’s Your Sex?”, the screening will present new works by Toronto based artists Julian Calleros, Kiley May, and Mark Pariselli and The Reading Salon. Presented by Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, Videofag, and Trinity Square Video.

Death Of A Bathhouse at the 23rd Annual Inside Out LGBT Film and Video Festival selection

Combining footage from the final days of St. Marc’s Spa with interviews from Toronto artists Sky Gilbert, Keith Cole, Brad Fraser, Drasko Bogdanovic & Shane MacKinnon, we explore the art culture and ultimate demise of one of Toronto’s longest running bathhouses. Worldwide preview screening Thursday May 30 at 9:30pm | TIFF Bell Lightbox as part of the 23rd annual Inside Out LGBT Film & Video Festival. More info at: The Reading Salon.







Henry Comes Knocking Gets Thumbs Up From AAN!

In an article titled Henry Comes Knocking: Video discloses absurdity of Court’s HIV non-disclosure rulings AIDS ACTION NOW gives a big thumbs up to The Reading Salon‘s efforts with this work. The criminalization of people living with HIV (or any illness) is an epically wrong way to manage a public health concern and is a slippery slope into the archaic world of disease management by law enforcement. Thanks AAN for adding your voices into the mix! Watch the video below.

The Reading Salon

Watch past shows here
The Reading Salon is an experimental moving art event that gives voice to the printed word. Every month Toronto artists come together at a TBA location to celebrate the spoken word. One hour later we go live with a 15 minute curated performance of the work. In our first installation From The Book of Butter is from the desk of Amy Pearl, better known as MISS Butter for her hip-hop, free-style rap and spoken word performances from New York to her hometown Toronto. Please join us for a live 15 minute broadcast starting at 8PM on Tuesday August 21st, 2012. This months show can be heard on Blog Talk Radio is be hosted by Raymond Helkio. To chat live during the show listen online at Blog Talk Radio or you just just listen to The Reading Salon at 8PM on the player below. See you at the salon!