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You’re A Winner Baby! Q&Slay with Canada’s Drag Race 4 Winner: Venus

Hot off her first weekend as Canada’s reigning champion at RuPaul’s DragCon UK, IN Magazine has one last chat with CDR4 winner Venus all about her big win…

By: Bianca Guzzo

Last week a new Queen of Canada was crowned during the season four finale of Canada’s Drag Race. From the moment she stepped in the werk room Vancouver’s own Venus made her own unique mark on the competition. Throughout the season she triumphed as both a fashion queen and a comedy queen, slaying the competition whether she looked like she had just stepped off a Moschino runway or dressed as the Tiger King, doing it all untucked. Her unique style and sense of humor carried her all the way to the finale (you can read the full recap of episode 9, Debut Singles, here). IN Magazine spoke with Venus all about being the first Indigenous queen to win Canada’s Drag Race, what Ru Girl she’d most like to collaborate with, and what she plans to do during her reign.

First off, biggest congratulations on winning the crown. That is so exciting.  How does it feel to be Canada’s next drag superstar?
Oh my god, it feels amazing! (laughs) I mean, it’s everything. This is everything that I’ve ever dreamed of. I feel like today is the first day where I’m actually understanding what’s going on because as soon as I found out I left for London, did DragCon, met all of these beautiful queens, and now I’m sitting here alone in my hotel room finally having a moment to reflect on everything and just understanding that, oh my gosh, I did it! I’m just so incredibly proud.

I watched the video of your reaction to winning. I mean, I was holding back tears. You could tell that there were so many emotions and there was so much support from everybody surrounding you.

 What goes through your head at a moment like that?
Nothing was going through my head. It was a blank space. As soon as I heard the beginning of my name “Venus”, I mean, you saw the video, like I went into a complete state of shock. I think it was just one of those things where it’s like, all of that anxiety because, you know, Aurora and I, we’ve been sitting on this ginormous secret for so long. It was just like, finally getting to expel all of that past anxiety and unknowingness. So it was part relief and part “what is happening right now?” Feeling like my entire world was spinning in the most beautiful way.

Your bestie (The Girlfriend Experience) wasn’t there with you because she was already in London for DragCon, right?
She was already in London. So she was on FaceTime with me. I woke her up at four in the morning. Yeah, there was so much franticness happening, but she was, she was there. She was there.

Last time we talked, you spoke about how important it was for you to be the first indigenous queen in the final four. Now that you’re the first indigenous winner of Canada’s Drag Race, what has it meant to you so far to be this representation?
Oh, I mean…there’s been such an outpouring of love from various like indigenous media outlets and stuff like that. I mean, there’s so many things I guess. Because I was so still in the game already, I didn’t think, you know, what would this be like after? So just seeing people uplift me and, you know, embrace me and love me, it’s my wildest dreams coming true. Like I said when I talked to you earlier, ultimately this isn’t just for me, you know. This is for so many people out there. I think the night before, we saw our Indigenous Queen (Lily Gladstone) win the very first Golden Globe for leading actress in a drama. There’s so many major wins happening for Indigenous people. Obviously we still have a lot of ways to go in so many respects. But I think,  you know, when we see each other win, it’s always going to be a celebration. And now I just want to go all over the country and meet Two Spirit youth and get to talk and just embrace each other. That’s where the magic will lie for sure. 

And you won the crown and then you had to basically hop directly on a plane to London to get to UK DragCon. How was the first weekend as Canada’s reigning queen representing us abroad?
Good! I mean, supposedly I had the longest lineup yesterday for at least an international girl. It was one of those things where it’s like, you get there at nine in the morning and somehow it’s five P.M. and eight hours have passed by, but you’re getting to meet so many people that are just so, so lovely. I mean, the Brits didn’t get the finale until the next day. So it was like Friday night that it aired on the BBC, and then the next day it’s Saturday and that’s the first day of DragCon and they’re like, “we literally just watched this last night and somehow you’re sitting in front of me. Like, this makes no sense.” (laughs) It was the most magical experience, but people were like, “How, how does it feel?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I’m finding out currently!” But getting to meet so many beautiful fans, especially because I’m also half Irish. So I got to meet so many beautiful Irish people and it’s just been so incredible. The top four of us were all here together, so we’ve been having the best time. 

There were so many iconic international queens that were there. Who were you most excited to meet or reconnect with?
Oh my gosh, okay. There were so many girls that I know from social media. Tayce, we’ve been following each other for at least five years, and we knew each other before Drag Race, and then seeing her go on her season, and then me winning, it was so beautiful to finally get to meet in person.Tomara Thomas. I love A’Whora. I love Marina Summers. They also announced the new queens for UK vs the World, so all of that was happening. Getting to see Jimbo! I mean, girl, I could go on. Miss Envy Peru, Crystal Versace, like these, these mugs, these queens, the faces that these girls have, I got to step it up! (laughs). Now I understand, but look, it’s one of those things where it’s like, yes, I’m a drag queen myself and I am the reigning champion, but I’m also a fan. You know what I mean? It’s like, I also like love, love these girls. So getting, getting to see them in the flesh and Michelle Visage. Oh my goodness!

It must be so cool for the queens that are competing now who have been fans and grown up with the show to meet their heroes and then to stand amongst them. If you could collaborate with any Ru Queen from any franchise, who would it be, and what would that collaboration look like?
Okay, Tomara, girl, I feel like both of us in dark hair literally look like sisters. I think we could just do a really cute Paris and Nicole moment. Like I could imagine like UK, Canada, doing like a Simple Life crossover with Venus and Tomara would just be so iconic. She’s unhinged. I love her. 

To celebrate your win, you had a photoshoot in your finale gown on top of a mountain. What inspired you to do that?
I mean, the Queen of the North, honey. That’s who she is. I mean, Brooke Lynn is the Queen of the North. I will not be taking that away from her. I flew to the top of that mountain, and I was trying to find her, but then it turned out it was just me up there (laughs). That was incredible. We literally took a helicopter to a 12,000 year old glacier. That’s some wild indigenous stuff happening right there, like getting to be on the top of this native land and be with people who helped me on this entire journey, like the photographer and my best friends who’ve been assisting me on everything. It was sort of like our last field trip, this is the final hurrah. And there was a moment there where I literally just started crying because I was like, “What are we doing? How did we, how did we get here?” You know what I mean? What an experience!

Last time we talked, you said your biggest goal was walking a runway for Mugler. Have they called you yet?
No! Casey, where are you girl? 

Okay, well, they need to get on that.
We are working on it. I mean, you know, now that this has all transpired, I’m just so excited. I’m going to be weaponizing this title. (laughs) I will tell you that much. I’m like, I am a winner and I will bring great honour to this runway. I’m ready for my close up. 

One final question. In about a year’s time give or take, you’ll be passing your crown on to another Canadian queen. What do you hope to accomplish during your reign?
Oh my gosh. Um, well, yes, the runway for sure! I want to do a solo show. I would love to visit  every continent. I will make it happen, that is a promise whether I’m going there for work or for pleasure, and connecting with as many Two Spirit and Indigiqueers as possible. That is the biggest goal. Anything and everything, if it is an opportunity for me to do so, I will be taking it.

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