1. Ottawans dance a red death at goth celebration by Caresse Lay (Photo courtesy of Mira Ravenheart)

    Along a quiet part of Kent Street a man dressed head-to-toe in shiny black patent leather and a black mask heads toward the Montgomery Legion. His heavy, knee-high platform boots carried him up the stairs to the second floor where, suddenly, his outfit seemed tame.

    Boas, beads, lace, spikes, feathers, and chains adorned the get-ups of just about everyone there. Techno music played in the background while about 50 masked attendees danced, drank, and mingled.

    The Red Death Masquerade, named for Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, was put on Jan. 27 to bring together Ottawa locals who identify themselves as goths.

    “We were just trying to make sure that goths had more of a face and a place in Ottawa,” said Kelly Taylor, an organizer for the event. “It seems that it’s so very, very underground, so we wanted to try to explain what the culture is like.”

    Taylor is also an administrative member of Ottawa Goth Syndicate, the group that organized the masquerade.

    The event was the first of its kind for Ottawa Goth Syndicate, a goth-enthusiast group that started in 2007. Taylor says a lot of their work focuses on reaching people who might be interested in goth culture while teaching people why goth stereotypes are inaccurate.