The young and eligible searched for love at the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s Monster Mixer last Wednesday evening. The event, attended by 65 singles, centred on a unique dating approach, ditching the tired format and awkward setting of traditional speed dating.
Mixer attendees played a game of bingo dating, in which participants chat with other singles in three-minute intervals about books, cars, celebrities, and food, among other topics listed on dater bingo cards. Following each three-minute conversation, participants indicate on their bingo card if they’re interested in getting to know their conversation partner in the future. If two singles note a mutual interest in each other, Bindi Dates, the matchmaking service administrating the event, contacts both singles a few days later to inform them.
Bindi Dates, an offshoot of mybindi.com, is a South-Asian matchmaking service, and one of the first matchmaking services in Canada. “The whole idea of tonight is not to find your soulmate, but to see if there’s a spark,” said Syerah Virani, the editor-in-chief and CEO.
The evening was hosted by Jus Reign, a popular YouTube vlogger known for his satirical comedy skits on East Indian culture. Reign, toting a bow and arrow and dressed in red-feathered cupid wings, provided much-needed comedic relief for jittery daters while lending his matchmaking skills to singles attending the mixer.
“There is one gentleman right now who doesn’t have a partner,” said Reign in regards to one unpaired event participant. “I am going around and forcefully pairing him up.”
Although speed dating is normally associated with intense awkwardness and discomfort, the event provided a relaxing way for singles to meet in an artistic and casual environment; the current AGM exhibition, F’d Up!, provided a unique backdrop and a point of conversation for attendees.
Tina Chu, the gallery’s engagement officer and one of the organizers of the event, described the benefits of hosting a mixer in a gallery. “There [are] a lot of commonalities—love and art are both so abstract. I’m just hoping [they] will inform one another and that it will create an interesting dynamic,” said Chu in an interview with the Medium.