Meet the queens of the first Canada's Drag Race
Credit: Michelle Turingan/Xtra; Francesca Roh/Xtra
Canada’s Drag Race
24 min

Meet the queens of the first-ever ‘Canada’s Drag Race’

These contestants are serving you true north eleganza extravaganza

Canada, it’s time to stop apologizing for your fierceness. It’s time to brace yourself, because this year is about to get sickening.

Last June, Drag Race announced it would have a Canadian franchise (the judges were revealed a couple of months later in September). Now, almost a year later, the time has come to determine who will become Canada’s First Drag Superstar.

Canada’s Drag Race, premiering July 2 on Crave, will see queens from across the country compete for the crown and to win the $100,000 grand prize. In the meantime, we caught up with the contestants to ask them about their drag style, their favourite songs to lip sync to, and what makes Canadian drag stand out.

So prepare to place your bets, Canada. Here’s a closer look at the 12 queens set to make the country—and the world—gag.

1. Juice Boxx

Age: 30

Current city: Toronto, ON

Years doing drag: 5

Instagram: @juiceboxxofficial

Juice Boxx is a perfectionist who wants her drag to be on point. She’s also into fitness and CrossFit. In her younger years, Juice says she was bullied, which she admits affected her growing up. This Toronto-based queen is known to interact with her audience as she sashays on stage and pulls off her signature move: An iconic hair whip.

If you’re from Toronto, you might remember her huge digital Ikea billboard in Dundas Square during Pride 2018.

2. AnaSTARzia

Age: 37

Current city: East York, ON

Years doing drag: 17

Instagram: @anaquway

AnaSTARZia is such a star, she has capitalized the STAR in her own name. STARZY, her nickname, has won 12 pageants so far. Behind this Caribbean pageant queen’s fierce and bold persona is an incredible story of defying the odds. STARZY moved to Canada following a life-altering event in the Bahamas.

STARZY’s drag is inspired by her Caribbean roots and heavily influenced by the American drag pageant scene. She doesn’t currently work permanently in Toronto—she mostly performs and tours the U.S.

3. Kiara

Age: 22

Current city: Montreal, QC

Years doing drag: 2

Instagram: @kiara.qc.ca

Kiara has recently decided not to go back to university and to quit her job to focus on drag full time. She says drag has empowered her to discover self-love and embrace her body after years of struggling low self-esteem.

Kiara is fairly new to the Montreal drag scene and one of the few queens of colour in Quebec. She says she knows that representation is very important and she’s proud to represent her community on the Canada’s Drag Race stage.

4. Lemon

Age: 24

Current city: New York City, NY

Years doing drag: 1

Instagram: @lemongivesyoulife

Lemon is a professionally-trained dancer and is currently based in New York City. In 2018, she was chosen by Drag Race winner Sasha Velour to be one of the models in her New York Fashion Week collaboration with Opening Ceremony.

Lemon is keen to bring what she’s learned south of the border to set a new standard for Canadian drag.

5. Tynomi Banks 

Age: 38

Current city: Toronto, ON

Years doing drag: 13

Instagram: @tynomibanks

Tynomi Banks is well-known in the Toronto drag scene and deems herself “a top queen in the city.” Known as the Dancing Queen of Toronto, she’s fiery and likes to break norms.

Tynomi made history in 2019 as the first Black drag queen to walk the red carpet, be the trophy bearer and host the pre-show of the Canadian Screen Awards. In 2014, during World Pride in Toronto, her mother saw her perform in drag for the first time. Tynomi is of Jamaican descent and she says being on Canada’s Drag Race is extremely important to her.

6. Kyne

Age: 21

Current city: Kitchener, ON

Years doing drag: 2

Instagram: @onlinekyne

Kyne is part of a generation of queens who has developed a following online and not

through the club scene. Her YouTube—which focuses on her love for makeup, costumes, hair and art—has more than 100,000 subscribers.

When Kyne was in high school, her dad died. Before he passed away, he told her “to stay true to yourself.” In Canada’s Drag Race, Kyne wants to destroy preconceived notions about social media drag artists.

7. Priyanka

Age: 28

Current city: Toronto, ON

Years doing drag: 2

Instagram: @thequeenpriyanka

Priyanka is a children’s TV host turned drag superstar. Last year, she left her job to focus on drag. She has a good eye for detail and puts her audience first when she performs. She also edits and produces her own material, from music videos to looks to performances.

Priyanka says she wants to be the first South Asian queen on Drag Race, to represent her culture and inspire people in a way that she couldn’t in her old job.

8. Rita Baga 

Age: 32

Current city: Montreal, QC

Years doing drag: 12

Instagram: @ritabagaz

Rita is very involved in Montreal’s LGBTQ2 community. She is also the most awarded queen in the city, having won “Best Drag Queen of Montreal” four times.

She’s made history as the first drag queen to be a regular panelist on the French TV show Bonsoir, Bonsoir. Rita has also written, directed and toured with her original play, Les Reines de Noël.

9. Ilona Verley

Age: 24

Current city: Vancouver, B.C.

Years doing drag: 5

Instagram: @ilonaverley

Growing up in Skuppah First Nation in B.C., Ilona Verley is a Two-Spirit queen who wants to be an inspiration for the Indigenous community while serving signature and iconic looks.

She says her drag is 100 percent self-sufficient and can confidently style her own hair, do her own makeup, create her own iconic look and get on stage and entertain the crowd. Ilona lived in L.A. for a while and performed drag there prior to moving back to Canada.

10. Scarlett Bobo

Age: 29

Current city: Toronto, ON

Years doing drag: 12

Instagram: @itsscarlettbobo

Scarlett Bobo is a community builder and dedicates her time to empowering people to be their most genuine selves. Scarlett says drag is her safe space and that she wants to be a champion for LGBTQ2 outsiders and inspire children and a new generation of queer kids. In line with her mission, she’s created and produces a local drag competition called Empire’s Ball to talk about community needs and inspire the younger generation of queer youth.

Scarlett says she went to circus school because she was bored. In her time there, she learned how to eat fire, light herself on fire and perform aerial skills.

11. Jimbo

Age: 36

Current City: Victoria, B.C.

Years doing drag: 7

Instagram: @jimbroneybaloney

Jimbo loves to surprise her audience. She is a carefree, expressive, curious, open, fun-loving artist who loves experimenting within the drag art form. She has spent years working in film as a costume, prop and set designer. This experience has given her a great skill set for envisioning and executing concepts and ideas which she hopes to showcase on Canada’s Drag Race.

She has a background in clowning and loves to incorporate elements of that into her drag. She wants to create iconic moments that are funny, glamorous, twisted and weird.

12. BOA

Age: 24

Current City: Toronto, ON

Years doing drag: 5

Instagram: @boathedragqueen

BOA is a goofy queen who can do the splits and cartwheels while serving comedy. Her drag name BOA was her nickname growing up and is an acronym for “Bitch on Arrival.” She is very kooky and prides herself on not having a particular style; she just tries to be as polished as she can.

In 2015, when she first moved to Toronto, BOA became a victim of a violent hate crime. The city’s LGBTQ2 community rallied behind her, and she says their support helped her recover and heal. BOA is a sober queen and says she wants to win Canada’s Drag Race for the underdogs.

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Can’t get enough of these queens? Get to know them more!