The Empress of Vancouver

Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 8:00 pmYukon Theatre

The Empress of Vancouver is a cinematic and intimate collision of drag, queer history, and performance art, a musical and genre bending irreverent documentary that follows trans icon Oliv Howe as she prepares for the 40th anniversary of her coronation.

Oliv Howe always looks absolutely fabulous. After all, she is the 10th Empress of the Vancouver Dogwood Monarchist Society, a crown bestowed on her back in 1981. In Oliv’s story of self-actualization — relayed with wit and the compassion that comes from a lifetime of resilience — we are transported back to Vancouver’s drag subculture back in the before times, and to the deep-seated ignorance, suspicion and homophobia faced by the queer community as a whole (even within that community, cross dressers were considered freaks by some), and the pivotal moment in civic politics that opened the door to change. This is fascinating social history, but it’s also a celebration of lives lived out loud and proud.


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