Meet the Stars of Vancouver’s Drag Scene

Our robust homegrown drag scene is made up of a close-knit cohort of larger-than-life characters.

May 7, 2019

By Stacey McLachlan / Photo: Adam Blasberg

With an estimated 60 drag performers currently slaying on the reg in Vancouver, our robust homegrown drag scene is made up of a close-knit cohort of larger-than-life characters who portray a rich spectrum of identities, from hyper-queen to non-binary clown, and produce shows every night of the week. 

From left to right, PM, Carlotta Gurl, Continental Breakfast, Rich Elle, Alma Bitches, Mina Mercury, Maiden China and Rogue. (Photographed on location at Mary’s On Davie)

Pictured left to right:

“I grew up doing ballet and did it for 17 years. Through that time, I noticed issues surrounding male and female gender roles, and in wanting to be cast on the other side. I found that this drag character was my way of rebelling against the classicality of that. In the finale for Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar—which I ended up winning—I did my final number en pointe, painted completely silver.”—PM, @pmforagoodtime, performer for 2.5 years

Appearing at the Late Night Snack One-Year Anniversary Party on May 10 and RuPaul’s Drag Race Finale Party on May 30.

“If you look at history, drag queens are pioneers. We’re the ones that led the revolution in Stonewall. We’re the loudest, we’re the most out there, most in your face. Don’t mess with us or we’ll take you down, honey: these high heels are used for dancing and other things, if you know what I mean.”—Carlotta Gurl, @carlottagurl, performer for 15+ years

Appearing at Absolutely Drag-u-lous, Saturday nights at the Junction; Werk It Wednesdays at the Junction; and Bingo For Life, Wednesday nights at Mary’s On Davie.

“I remember watching drag artists when even I didn’t understand my sexuality and gender, and they were the ones who clarified how I wanted to live. They showed me all of the possibilities of gender and where that expression can lie. It is on a spectrum, and we get to dance on it.”—Continental Breakfast, @withcontinentalbreakfast, performer for two years

Appearing at the Late Night Snack One-Year Anniversary Party on May 10 and RuPaul’s Drag Race Finale Party on May 30.

“I think people would be surprised by the diversity in Vancouver’s drag scene: the types of performers, the types of drag people do. There’s classic drag, with cis men impersonating women. There are drag kings. I’m a hyper-queen: a cis woman doing a hyper-feminized version of drag…but hyper-queens can also be femme-presenting, trans, non-binary performers, and we also have drag “things” who don’t identify as anything; they just do drag.”—Rich Elle, @phaserssettostun, performer for three years

Appearing at the Late Night Snack One-Year Anniversary Party on May 10.

“It’s not really a character for me. For some people, it is. When I first started, I had these grandiose ideas of catchphrases, and as I got busier when I started to drag professionally, I just didn’t have time for that. I’m not a method actor at all: what you see is what you get. Sometimes I get in trouble for saying something real on the microphone because it’s just me reflecting what I see.”—Alma Bitches, @alma_bitches, Emprex 48 of the Dogwood Monarchist Society, performer for nine years

Appearing at The Return of the Shequel!, the first Sunday each month at the Junction; Sanctuary Sundays at the Pumpjack, Werk It Wednesdays at the Junction; and RuPaul’s Drag Race Finale Party on May 30.

“Drag provides an outlet for doing the things we love to do. A lot of people think you want to be a girl, but it’s not about that. It’s about art, about theatre, about makeup. Girls come up and say, “I wish I could do makeup like that,” and I’m like, “Ummm… it’ll take you three hours.”Mina Mercury, @vanityboi, performer for 10+ years

Appearing at Bingo Night at Chicha’s, every Thursday.

“‘Maiden China’ is a name that popped into my head one day, way before I started doing drag, and I pocketed it. I think it came from the fact I was not made in China. I’m second generation, but even in 2019 I still get that ‘Where are you from?’ question, and I say, ‘I’m from Langley,” and they say, ‘No, where are you really from?’ It’s just a play on words and a stab back that I wasn’t actually born there, and I’m owning that part of my identity.”—Maiden China, @queenmaidenchina, performer for 2.5 years

Appearing at RuPaul’s Drag Race Finale Party on May 30.

“You can’t be a successful drag artist without being somewhat…I’m trying to find another word for ‘conceited.’ It’s a business you’re creating, surrounding you as a figure, and you’re putting your art or performance on yourself, and you stare in a mirror for two to three hours at yourself doing makeup, and then there’s the self-promotion, which I fucking love.”—Rogue, @itsjustrogue, performer for 2.5 years 

Want more drag? Check these regular dates out, too:

Sundays

Legends Cabaret! at the Junction

Mondays

Monday’s Most Wanted at 1181

Wednesdays

Brat Pack at the Junction

Fridays

Late Night Snack at Save on Meats (every second Friday)

Saturdays

Bye Felicia! at The Biltmore (every second Saturday)


More from our “Modern Family” series:

Meet the Funny Folks of Vancouver’s Little Mountain Gallery

Meet Vancouver’s Competitive Karaokers

Meet the Makers of Parker Street Studios

Meet Vancouver’s Daschund Race Contenders


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