The Victoria chapter of an international drag and LGBTQ activism organization is presenting a Nanaimo drag queen with its highest honour.
On March 7, Victoria’s Queen City Sisterhood – The Order of the Moist Brollie, a fully professed house of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, will bestow “sainthood” upon Nanaimo drag queen Rick Meyers, a.k.a. Vicki Smudge.
The ceremony will take place at a drag show and gala entitled Icons 2020 at the Nanaimo Golf Club. The event will feature Meyers, his past drag partner Conni Smudge and Sister Qleo Sutra of the Queen City Sisterhood, as well as other local and Island performers. Meyers said it’s been “maybe a decade” since he last performed with Conni Smudge. The event will also be a fundraiser for the Queen City Sisterhood’s advocacy efforts.
“This is like a lifetime achievement award or recognition. Vicki has been working in the community 30-something years, probably, and so far hasn’t really been recognized…” said Sutra, who splits her time between Nanaimo and Victoria and nominated Meyers for the award. “I would consider her an icon in Nanaimo and that’s why we chose that theme and why we’re recognizing her. I think it’s fair to say that the pride society might not be here if it wasn’t for her.”
Sutra said Meyers will receive a comb that can be worn as a crown, and as a “saint” he can now be referred to as “the divine” Vicki Smudge. Since forming in 2016, the Queen City Sisterhood has granted sainthood to three individual performers and one performance group.
Meyers said the award is “pretty great,” but he never set out to be recognized.
“I did it because the community needed it and I thought I was probably the only one to step up and get the work done,” Meyers said. “Whether it was 20 years ago putting on a dress and going to the Queen’s Hotel or whether it was making sure that we had a parade and the crosswalk painted.”
He said it will be meaningful to get to share the ceremony with those in attendance. He said it’s the faces in the crowds that have motivated him to get onstage over the years.
“The reason I do shows is because of the audience. It’s more about the audience than it is about me,” Meyers said. “Sometimes I’m on my way to a show and I go, ‘Oh, God, why do I do this? I’ve got so many other things to do.’ And then I get there and I see the people and I go, ‘Oh yeah, I remember now.’”
WHAT’S ON … Icons 2020 comes to the Nanaimo Golf Club, 2800 Highland Ave., on Saturday, March 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30, available online.