Find your alternative Valentine at East Van's People's Prom

The People's Prom has been a popular Valentine's Day alternative since 2001. The event is open to everyone while raising money for social justice issues.

'Radical, community-oriented, cross-dressing affair' and fundraiser has been going strong for 18 years

The People's Prom started back in 2001 when a group of activists wanted to fund a trip. (Sheng Ho/ provided)

If you're not one for fancy restaurants and flowers on Valentine's Day, there might be an event for you in East Vancouver.

The People's Prom is an inclusive V-day alternative that doubles as a social justice fundraiser.

"It's the radical, community-oriented, big dress-wearing, cross-dressing affair that you never got to experience in high school," said organizer, Cara Fisher.

"All people welcome, all outfits, big or small. It's a chance to dance and celebrate and do something different on Valentine's, whether you're single or a couple or looking to meet somebody."

The People's Prom is an inclusive space that works to promote consent and safety at their event. (Sheng Ho/ provided)

The prom started back in 2001 when a group of activists had a party in order to raise money to travel to Quebec.

Fisher says she attended that year and has been involved ever since.

Dress to express

When it comes to attire, pretty much anything goes, Fisher says.

"We like to create an evening where self-expression is encouraged," she said.

"We've seen some people come in fishnets and corsets and suits and ties."

One thing that is not welcome is any form of inappropriate behaviour or harassment.

The organizers have worked hard over the years to create an environment that supports respect and consent, "empowering people to say no or have that conversation ... just create a group of people hosting an event together that is inclusive and positive," Fisher says.

This year, all of the proceeds will be donated to groups working locally to challenge rape culture and sexual misconduct. 

"It's an East Van tradition ... It's a project of love that we all really care about and it's such a fun time."

The event takes place at the Ukranian Orthodox Hall in Vancouver on Wednesday night. Some tickets are still available at the door.

With files from The Early Edition

The People's Prom has been a substitute to Valentine's Day events in Vancouver since 2001. The event is open to everyone while raising money for social justice issues. 6:07