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Montreal Is Getting Its First Drag Convention In 2023, Inspired By RuPaul's DragCon

It will put Quebec's style of drag centre stage.

​Drag Queen Michel Dorion. Right: The poster for 'Rendez-vous de la Drag.'

Drag Queen Michel Dorion. Right: The poster for 'Rendez-vous de la Drag.'

Montreal's talented drag scene is about to get a major boost. A brand-new Rendez-Vous de la Drag convention — the first of its kind in Canada — is slated for May 27-28, 2023, in the city.

The inclusive event will feature dozens of drag artists performing, meeting fans and celebrating queer culture. Both days will be full of shows, workshops and panel discussions that focus on topics like the art of makeup, costumes and wigs.

"All forms of drag will be represented at the event. Whether it's impersonators, drag kings, drag queens, women performing as drag queens, trans people doing drag, they'll all be there! Also, the different styles of drag (clownish, serious, underground, weirder, etc.) will all be represented," a spokesperson for the event told MTL Blog.

Taking inspiration from RuPaul's DragCon, the annual celebration of drag culture that started in L.A. and has since spread worldwide, Rendez-Vous de la Drag will put the Quebec style of drag centre stage.

"Quebec drag culture is much less based on the 'hard to approach' star dynamic, which is more present in the United States, probably due to the difference in audience size," said the spokesperson, adding that Quebec drag shows "stand out for their truth and authenticity" and are "less guided by the camera."

"Quebec drag artists are accustomed to and appreciate interaction with the public, and it is even very common to see them going to meet them after their performances, whether in bars or other venues."

In the U.S., fans usually have to buy a ticket specifically to formally meet with drag artists. While that option may still exist at Rendez-Vous de la Drag, the spokesperson said the focus will be on more natural encounters between the public and local stars.

"I want to create a space where the public and the artists can meet in person and take the time to get to know each other better," said event organizer Michel Dorion in a press release.

"I want to place the audience experience at the heart of the event," Dorion said. "The goal is to give everyone the chance to learn more about this diverse art style."

Dorion is a veteran drag queen and longtime Céline Dion impersonator who performs at (and co-owns) Bar Le Cocktail in the Village — a hub for drag shows and screenings of RuPaul's Drag Race episodes. He recently founded Productions MIDOR, which claims to be the first drag artist management agency in Quebec.

If you're looking to attend Rendez-Vous de la Drag, artist registration and ticket sales for the public will open soon.

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