(Brooke Lynn Hytes/Instagram)

Sports isn’t the only arena in which Canadians excelled last year.

Carrying the maple leaf flag on the world stage alongside the Toronto Raptors and tennis phenom Bianca Andreescu stands (or rather death drops) none other than RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Brooke Lynn Hytes.

Toronto-born Brock Hayhoe, best known by stage name Brooke Lynn Hytes, took the entertainment scene by storm last year after becoming the first Canadian contestant on the latest season of the Emmy-winning American show, RuPaul’s Drag Race…

…and finishing second!

See also: Multiple RuPaul’s Drag Race all-stars are performing in Victoria this month

“I always say, ‘second is the Canadian first’,” Hytes jokes, in an exclusive interview with Victoria Buzz.

“But honestly, my Canadian fans were so supportive of my journey on the show. I couldn’t have been happier with the response.”

She was dubbed the ‘Queen of the North’ by RuPaul fans in Canada after the end of season 11 – a title she says she hopes to live up to.

“To be able to represent my country and all the amazing Canadian Queens on a platform that was always unattainable to us made me so proud.”

Like all other contestants we’ve spoken to, Hytes says life has been a whirlwind after RuPaul, with non stop performances and shows at venues around the world.

“The show definitely changed me. I am a perfectionist, so when I see myself on TV, I go through every detail of my looks and performances with a fine toothed comb and make little changes here and there to make sure that I am always elevating myself at every opportunity,” she adds.

Hytes has been performing as a drag queen for the past 8 years in cities across North America and in South Africa.

When asked about the drag scene in Canada, she points out how difficult it is for performers to succeed in the Great White North, given the scarcity of major cities and venues that host shows.

Fortunately, Victoria has quickly become a stop on the road for major drag artists like Hytes, and other RuPaul stars including Farrah Moan, Vanessa ‘Vanjie’ Mateo, Bob the Drag Queen, and BenDeLaCreme.

See also: Behind the Scenes w/ RuPaul alumna Farrah Moan and local Victoria drag queens

Brooke Lynn Hytes herself first stepped foot in the capital city back in April 2019 at a performance in the Capital Ballroom.

Now, she will be joining season 10 contestant Monét X Change and Drag Race UK contestant Crystal for a star-studded drag show at Victoria’s Royal Theatre this week, on Thursday January 23rd.

“I feed off the energy of the crowd, so if the audience is as excited as the last time I was
in Victoria, we’re gonna have a lot of fun,” Hytes says.

She and the other headliners will be joined on stage by local artists Henrietta Dubet, Lola Maneata, Persi Flage, Shelita Cox, and Vivian Vanderpuss – along with drag kings and queens from Vancouver.

When asked about her advice for up and coming drag artists in Canada, Brooke Lynn Hytes shared the following nugget:

“Hustle! Take every gig you can. The hardest part about starting out is figuring out who you are as a performer. Watch makeup tutorials, look to more seasoned queens for advice, watch pageants, anything you can do to give yourself the best skill set to be polished and professional.”

With just a few days left til these icons take the stage, tickets are getting more and more scarce by the minute.

Have you grabbed yours?

It’s Just Drag: Victoria w/ Brooke Lynn Hytes & Monet X Change

  • When: Thursday, January 23rd
  • Where: The Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
  • Admission: Tickets start at $30. Click here to purchase.