Today, Henrietta Dubét is one of Victoria’s star drag queens; this former Miss Gay Vancouver Island ravishes audiences in multiple shows weekly through her production company The House of Dubét and has a reach of over 3,000 Instagram followers, who are enamoured with her campy, bright and colourful style.
But she recalls how very different (and muted) it was both for her and the scene when she moved to Victoria from the UK in 2007 at age 14.
“There were about seven girls,” she says. “Trans looked like a pretty girl at that time—not really trying to experiment with aesthetics or anything. When I came on the scene, I was really into camp. No one else besides Gouda Gabor—who is also quite campy!—took me seriously for a really long time.”
The Victoria drag scene has since exploded into the colossal celebration it is now and the pandemic didn’t slow down that momentum; in fact, several new queer-friendly venues in town opened, including The Vicious Poodle and Friends of Dorothy, and the Victoria Events Centre (VEC) continued to host several drag shows a month.
On June 27 at 7 pm, The House of Dubét is teaming up with VEC at 1415 Broad Street to unleash all of the pent-up excitement and momentum built through the pandemic with “LOUD and Proud.”This double-feature night, hosted by queer-adjacent comedian Emily Woods, will feature local drag superstars Vivian Vanderpuss and Eddi Licious, accompanied by members of the House of Dubét.
Following the show, a separately ticketed dance party with DJ Vixen Von Flex will keep the rainbow flaming bright until 1 am.
Audiences are asked to come dressed in their brightest clothes in a mono-chromatic theme to create the “sweatiest rainbow in history as we FINALLY celebrate and unleash all of our pent-up PRIDE.”
The beautiful diversity of the local drag community is reflected in the lineup, including a growing group of those who do “Kinging.” These are female artists who dress in masculine drag. Eddi Licious, one of Victoria’s bigger names, will titillate audiences with drag that showcases his background in belly dance and circus tricks.
The VEC has a long history of striving towards inclusivity. It is the only place in town that can offer drag performers a full stage, professional lighting and a space big enough to take their performance to the next level, outlining larger visions and themes. They presently drag with regular evenings, including past pre-pandemic shows with JIMBO (Canada’s Drag Race). The VEC also holds gender neutral washrooms.
“The VEC has always been this incredible hub that’s a very queer-friendly space. Everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves there,” says Dubét.
Due to the pandemic, the last two years of Pride have been celebrated as online events. Dubét says one positive outcome of this is that it made it more accessible for people, and many Pride events will continue to offer this service in addition to in-person events.
But, of course, there is a lot of excitement to see sweaty bodies on a dance floor.
“There’s a lot of pent-up energy that people are ready to release. I’d say post-pandemic pride means reclaiming the space that we’ve lost,” say Dubét. “I’m really stoked to see it.”
Tickets $20 for drag show (includes entry to dance party) $15 for dance-party access only. Visit: