“You hold it low down, as if you’re giving a nice firm handshake…”

Danny Hamilton, co-owner of the Axe & Grind in downtown Victoria, is explaining how to throw an axe.

Because axe-throwing can be fun, stress-relieving, and on January 15th and 29th, a huge support to people in the sex trade.

“Our core philosophy when we first opened up was to give back to the community” says Hamilton, “so when Peers approached us, we thought ‘well, we’re dealing with the most vulnerable people in society here’ so it just seemed like the perfect candidate to work with [on a fundraiser].”

Established in 1995, Peers Victoria Resources Society supports anyone involved in the sex industry.

“It can be for current sex workers, former sex workers, or those involved in the sex industry, in any capacity,” says Katherine Hogan, a student at the University of Victoria, volunteering to oversee social media for the fundraiser.

“Peers brings together a safer environment for all those involved in the sex industry.”

The Peers Powers Up fundraiser has been organized because Peers has been chosen by HeroWork to receive a radical kitchen renovation. HeroWork organizes and oversees reno projects for non-profits using skilled labourers who volunteer their time and expertise.

And Peers is grateful.

“We’re a small non-profit,” says Peers Executive Director Rachel Phillips, “so we would never be able to take on a project of this kind of scope, and we wouldn’t have the funding to do it anyway.  So HeroWork is going to really help us make sure our building is ready for the next 20 years of service.”

“We need to raise $50,000 towards our contribution for the HeroWork campaign” says Gillie Easdon, organizer of the fundraiser.

Two axe-throwing evenings with appetizers at the Axe & Grind are just one of the events.  There’s also a raffle for a trip for two, and an gala evening of fun and entertainment in April.

“It was really wanting to create [fundraisers] that brought everyone together” Easdon explains.

“There’s a lot of crazy stuff happening in the world. We wanted to start of the year right by channeling some positivity, and a few dollars, to a small non-profit that’s doing things right.”

Learn more about the Peers Powers Up fundraising campaign here.

Veronica Cooper