Revitalizing Queer Pride: Uplifting Community through Drag with Ian Burns (Rowena Whey)

Episode Overview

“My response to hate is that you are not on the right side of history. What I teach is that everyone deserves to be loved, and everyone deserves equal rights.”

In this episode we speak to Ian Burns, based in Kingston Ontario. Ian is one of Kingston’s premiere drag entertainers, known as Rowena Whey. Since 2016 he has brought his energetic, funny, soulful, and always entertaining performances across Canada. With talents ranging from live singing, dancing, fashion, hosting, makeup, and lip-syncing, he does it all.

Ian’s accolades include being the first drag queen ever pictured on a piece of alcohol sold in the LCBO, with his beer partnership Queen of Wheat with Spearhead Brewing, and being voted “Best Theatre in Kingston” in 2021 and 2022.

Ian is also responsible for multiple large-scale drag productions and events in Kingston, Ontario. His shows have entertained thousands, and enlisted stars from such television shows as Rupaul’s Drag Race, Canada’s Drag Race, and Call Me Mother, plus many local and visiting drag performers.

Ian is actively involved in the Kingston community and with 2SLGBTQIA+ organizations across Canada. He has organized multiple Drag Queen storytime events in Southeastern Ontario, to teach children and families about acceptance and equality. Ian has also spearheaded events for various charities/non-profits including Kingston Pride, Dawn House, Rainbow Railroad, the ISCWR, Trellis HIV & Community Care, and the CCGSD.

This episode is part of the 2023 Startup Canada Podcast Pride Takeover. Today and everyday, we can all do our part to make Canada a better, more inclusive place to start and grow a business.

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