Ring In the New Year like a Queen with Vancouver’s Gender-Blending Drag Royalty

By Kendell Yan

New Years Eve is a night of jubilation, promising fresh prospects, new resolutions, and spirited enthusiasm about the year ahead, to which many of us in the city put on our best threads and head out for a night of high ticket cover and hi-balls. One way to keep your promises promising is by ringing in the new year with Vancouver’s premiere drag kings/queens/things! Cover is low, entertainment value is high, and the gender blenders of Vancouver are sure to keep your night dragging onwards and your year starting on the upwards!

The following list is in chronological order, where possible:

Legends with Jaylene Tyme and special guests
Where: XY Night Club, 1216 Bute St.
When: Show starts at 8pm.
Why: Vancouver’s Las Vegas revue style show of celebrity impersonations run by The city’s best, Empress XXXV Jaylene Tyme. Come early and grab a seat because Jaylene and her guests are going to knock you off your feet with their glamour and show-stopping charisma.

Man Up: New Year’s Eve
Where: The Cobalt, 917 Main St.
When: First set starts at 10pm, second set starts at 11:15pm.
Why: East Van’s 100-show-old, all inclusive, gender-bent spectacle hosted by Pony Boy and their crew of gender misfits including Penn Fields and Magik is sure to get you in the mood for festivities. If you fancy beer, Queers and Beers is hosted at the Cobalt beforehand and features a myriad of craft brews in a queer and friendly environment. Safety is a priority at Man Up, with on-site sober volunteers to assist in case of any trouble, so come with your mind at ease to party safe.

Sanctuary with Alma Bitches and special guests
Where: 1181, 1181 Davie St.
When: Show starts at 11pm.
Why: The patron saint of Davie Street, Alma Bitches, is saving souls at 1181 every Sunday with special guests and a theme suited to their performance style. Come ready for a lip sync that will lift you to heaven, and maybe even a fiery political sermon or two.

The Shequel
Where: XY Night Club, 1216 Bute St.
When: First set at 1am, second at 230am.
Why: Keep your NYE going well into the morning with a second helping of Alma Bitches and her lengthy second Sunday show. The Shequel is a “tip spot” which means all performers are working for tips only, so show some love for a variety of talent the city hast to offer and open your wallets for their weekend hustle!

Kendell Yan is a queer, second-generation POC who navigates the hyphen of mixed ethnicity LGBTQ2+ living in Vancouver. Kendell has a penchant for drag Queens and Kings that borders on obsession, and he favours events that encourage free expression, inclusivity, and love in all flavours.

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