Category Storytelling

Union Summer Stories: Sandy Duperval—

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“Union Summer introduced all sorts of communities to Pride,” explained the Montreal-born Sandy Duperval, who recently brought her unique combination of live DJing and singing to the Union Summer stage. “It was a new opportunity to reach out to people who don’t usually know about the event.”

The opening week of Union Summer transformed Front Street into a vibrant celebration in honour of Toronto’s first-ever Pride month. This included a daily afternoon performance from Duperval, who was joined onstage by a variety of Toronto’s LGBTQ performers, such as bubbly dance pack DLM, and local Eurodance hero Simone Denny of the now defunct Love Inc.

“Getting to see, Denny, getting to know her for a half minute –– it was really amazing.”


“Being around such a legend, it’s so incredible,” Duperval said. “I was a bit intimidated.” Love Inc.’s 1998 single holds particular meaning for Duperval, who associates the internationally acclaimed tune with her coming out period in the late 90’s. “Getting to see Denny, getting to know her for a half minute –– it was really amazing.”

Union Summer was not Duperval’s first brush with a music icon. Aside from opening for esteemed musical acts like Lil Jon and Ruby Rose, she was trained by Cissy Houston, Whitney Houston’s equally gifted mother. The two of them met when Duperval was only 13-years-old and performing at various churches across the United States and Canada. “If there’s one thing that she taught me it’s discipline, discipline, discipline,” Duperval reflected. “No matter what you do, be consistent, practice, and be the best you can be.”

“No matter what you do, be consistent, practice, and be the best you can be.”


Duperval’s dedication to her craft keeps her busy. In August, she’ll be heading back to Montreal (she now lives in Toronto) where she is headlining the very first Canada Pride week. Before that, she’ll be dropping a new single, “Addicted” and launching a new monthly radio show, The Freedom Sessions.

Despite her jam-packed schedule, Duperval insists that she maintains a well-balanced diet. When she’s not at Union Summer’s food market, that is.

“I’m a big Burger’s Priest fan,” Duperval sighed. “I don’t really eat burgers and I try to keep a good diet. But, seriously, I couldn’t help myself. I think I went three times at Union Summer.”

Check out a sneak preview of Duperval’s newest song, “Addicted” below!

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