The rumours, if there were any (No one told us!), are true: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is coming to Canada.
Thousands of Canadians rejoiced on June 27 as Crave officially announced the upcoming debut of “Drag Race Canada,” the first-ever Canadian adaptation of the Emmy award-winning show.
On Tuesday, the show officially opened up casting for anyone who will be 19 or older by September 1, 2019. Queens are encouraged to apply through the Crave online portal sooner than later, so they can have enough time to complete later rounds of casting procedures.
The application asks for a combination of three non-drag photos, five drag photos, and 60- to 90-second introduction video, during which hopefuls should whip up a signature look and talk about their drag.
In other words: if you want the chance to win a small cash prize (sarcasm) of $100,000 (not sarcasm), and to have a shot at being Canada’s first drag superstar, then do not wait.
The 10-episode first season will go to production in Ontario in the fall.
Watch: Tynomi Banks, Canadian drag queen extraordinaire, on how to succeed in the drag world. Story continues below.
“RuPaul’s Drag Race,” of course, is the massive television franchise where contestants, all drag queens, compete against each other in a series of competitions and mini challenges in order to be crowned “America’s Next Drag Superstar” (said $100,000 cash prize and lifetime supply of cosmetics don’t hurt, either).
In a very campy, distinctly “Drag Race” fashion, the show promises “some Canadian bacon,” a “healthy serving of Canadian maple shade,” and, of course, the crowning of “Canada’s first drag superstar.”
Until now, the North was content to watch the various iterations of the show — All Stars, The Switch, Drag Race Thailand — but it never got a taste of a Canadian queen until Brooke Lynn Hytes, the drag-ballerina hybrid, twirled her way into second place during season 11, making her the first Canadian to be on the show.
Canadians were not able to compete on the American show unless they had a U.S. work visa — the Canadian offshoot marks an opportunity to spotlight the country’s oft-neglected drag entertainment scene in a way that’s never been done before.
“The panel and judges will be from the Great White North, representing Canada’s very best,” RuPaul said in a statement. “This new franchise has my whole-hearted blessing. Good luck … and don’t puck it up!”
There’s still no word on who will be hosting the show, but that will be announced at a later date.
With the release of a Canadian “Drag Race “will also come a “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK,” which has been rumoured to be in the works since April 2014 (That was when Jonathan Ross said the show would be hosted by Jodie Harsh instead of RuPaul. We also know Michelle Visage will appear as a judge).
For your consideration — and fuelled by our excitement for “Drag Race Canada” — here are some of Canada’s most interesting, entertaining and jaw-dropping queens.
Courtney Conquers (Toronto)
Not only can Courtney Conquers do everything — and school you in gender theory with a Master’s degree from Carleton University — but they’re also one half of Drag Coven, a two-member group that travels the world to document their favourite drag artists
Tynomi Banks (Toronto)
Tynomi Banks is a fixture in Toronto’s drag circuit, and you can often catch her flitting between gay bars in the city with a fierceness that earns her, every night, the full gravity of her name (a portmanteau of Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, because why not).
Rose Butch (Vancouver)
Neither a drag “queen” nor “king,” Rose Butch refers to themself as a “drag thing” — a gender bending artist whose style is the perfect imagining of what drag can be.
Quanah Style (Toronto)
Quanah Style is a Cree drag queen from Vancouver whose fearless path — and outspoken candor — is blazing a trail for other transgender artists like her.
Verona Verushka (Montreal)
Verona’s artistic talent, the things she can do to her face, is even trippier than it is to look at an M.C. Escher drawing. If you’re into queens who push — no, shirk — the boundaries of makeup, Verusha will blow your mind.
Jada Hudson (Toronto)
Jada Hudson is no stranger to the drag world. Over the last eight years, the Barbadian queen has performed in almost every gay bar you can think of, earning her a loyal fanbase that calls themselves “The Hudson Dollz.”
CORRECTION - July 2, 2019: A previous version stated that U.S. citizenship was required to compete in “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” A U.S. work visa is required. Additionally, an image of Quanah Style was updated.
UPDATE - July 9, 2019: This post has been updated with details on how to apply to become a contestant.