The FolQ Fund hosted it's first concert in St. John's this weekend. From left to right, Julie Vogt, Glenn Nuotio and Than Brown. (Heather Barrett/CBC News)
When Glenn Nuotio and his spouse Niall O'Dea got married this past summer, they didn't need a toaster, or any gifts for themselves.
Instead, they started a fund dedicated to queer artists with the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society and asked wedding guests to donate.
"We decided to turn our 25th anniversary into a wedding event this past summer," said Nuotio. "We wanted to queer our wedding a little bit and do something for other queers in the community and start this folk arts fund."
As their wedding date coincided with the opening night of the annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival in St. John's, Nuotio thought it would be fun to partner with the Folk Arts Society for the idea.
"I was thrilled," says Julie Vogt, the executive director of the Folk Arts Society.
From there, the FolQ — pronounced "folk" — Fund was born.
The first event sponsored by the fund happened Saturday at the LSPU Hall in St. John's. 'Local FolQ' was a concert featuring performers like Adrian House, Maria Cherwick and Zay Nova.
Zay Nova, pictured here, was among the perfumers at the FolQ Fund's inaugural concert. (Lukas Wall/CBC)
Another one of the performers at the concert was Than Brown, who also works as the creative director of the Folk Arts Society.
"It's a good time, people can come see a show, have a drink, meet some friends, and support a really cool cause," said Brown.
"This is the first event of what I hope will be many and to embrace the queer community even more into our folds of folk music and arts," said Voght. "We want this to continue forever more and just be a part of us."
Voght said $3,485 was donated on the night of Nuotio's wedding, with the fund now sitting at over $7,000.
For songwriter Nuotio, the fund represents an especially personal cause.
"It's important to find avenues for the queer community to find each other and to be on stage," Nuotio said.
"You are mostly working in straight environments and bar environments, and not that you have to shift or mask yourself, but you're not able to really perform. Often you're the only one in the room really, or the only one on the roster. It's time to change."
The FolQ Fund has Nuotio feeling optimistic about the future.
"What we do with it from here is going to be really fun to discover," said Nuotio.