Above: 📷 Diana Pearson

By columnist Diana Pearson

The Sugar N’ Spice Holiday Burlesque and Drag show was held December 16, 2016, at the Harbour City Theatre on Victoria Rd. in Nanaimo.

It was a charming evening, full of fun, inclusive, sexy, and expressive performances. Debut performances by Justina Winters and Lana Del Raymond, performances by Clara Fox, Betty Krueger, SirReal, Manna Quinn, Adam Lambourghini, Synder Starr, and—all the way from Alberta—award-winning drag superstar, TIARA Manila.

The host for the evening, Gareth Boyce, was warm and charismatic, and kept the show running smoothly. He entertained the enthusiastic crowd with snippets of acapella Christmas carols, when a few kinks in technology slowed the momentum. He was a fantastic MC and even stripped down to his boxers as the night went on, in the joyful spirit of burlesque.

The debut performance by Justina Winters was an upbeat lip sync and dance of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”. Lana Del Raymond stole the stage, too, with an acoustic rendition of Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”.

My personal favourite performance was by burlesque performer Betty Krueger, who stole the night with a lusty, soulful dance number, where she enacted a love/hate relationship with a cupcake set to Adele’s down tempo cover of “Love Song”. The performance culminated in Betty succumbing to the cupcake, spreading its vibrant blue icing across her chest with convincing passion.

It was my first time attending a burlesque and drag show, and it was neat to see such a rich variety of performers. Manna Quinn, Adam Lambourghini, and SirReal were particularly intriguing in their drag king attire, with dance moves and lip syncing that made me want to paint my face with stubble and get up on stage too.

Part of the proceeds of the event went to the Harbour City Rainbow Community Services Association (RCSA), a community group that aims to support the LGBTQ community, as well as HIV-positive individuals living in the Nanaimo area.

Keep an eye out for details of their upcoming Valentine’s Day themed show this February.


One of Diana’s passions is to encourage sex-positivity and open, shameless conversations about sex and sexuality through her column, “Dirtyin’ The Nav.” Her future path includes completing a Masters in Gender Studies and Social Justice, and teaching pleasure-based sex education. She is a non-fiction writer and a musician. As a copy editor, she revels in making The Nav look pretty.  

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