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Concordian Kiara aims for the ‘superstars’ on Canada’s Drag Race

The former film student quickly became a fixture on Montreal’s exciting scene
June 25, 2020
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By Richard Burnett, BA 88

Canada’s Drag Race Canada’s Drag Race premieres on Crave on July 2. | Photo: Crave / Bell Media

Concordian and drag star Kiara, attendee (film production) 19, is one of 12 finalists on RuPaul’s new show Canada’s Drag Race, which premieres on Crave this July 2.

The contestants are competing to become “Canada’s First Drag Superstar” and win a $100,000 grand prize; the judges are 11th-season RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Brooke Lynn Hytes, actor Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and supermodel Stacey McKenzie.

Kiara — a.k.a. Dimitri Nana-Côté — performs regularly in Montreal’s Gay Village. The former film student, now 21, sat down with us for a candid Q&A.

Why do you love drag?

Kiara: I love drag because it is a big melting pot of all my passions — cinema, music, makeup, fashion. And I love performing onstage.

When was the first time you saw a drag queen?

I discovered drag queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race before I was old enough to go into bars!

In real life, it was the Drag Superstars show at Montréal Pride when I was 17.

How did you get your start?

By watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and doing makeup in my bedroom. I wanted to see what I could do with my face. Then I started dancing in heels...

How did you come up with your drag name?

Kiara — a.k.a. Dimitri Nana-Côté “Concordia helped me think about the bigger picture and develop into the artist that I am.”

Kiara comes from The Lion King II because I’m a Leo and I love lions.

Who are your drag role models?

Of course RuPaul, the queen herself. I also love Shea Couleé. And I adore many Montreal drag queens.

What does your family think of your profession?

When I first told them I wanted to do drag, I told them step by step: “Oh, today I bought a wig,” “today I bought a dress,” or “I bought my first pair of heels.”

I am very fortunate because my mom and stepdad are the most supportive parents, and they come to my shows.

How did you become a contestant on Canada’s Drag Race?

I answered their casting call in 2019, then went through the audition process. I was very motivated and wanted to make drag my full-time job. And it has been amazing!

Is being on a show like Canada’s Drag Race a dream come true?

At first, it was a fantasy. We only had the American version for so long.

When the Canadian option presented itself, it was a dream come true in a way, though I never did drag thinking I would be on this show.

What was it like to record the show?

I loved being on the set because I studied film production at Concordia. I love being behind a camera, but I also love being in front of it. The show environment blended my two passions — film and drag.

How did your studies at Concordia shape you and your career?

I decided not to return to school last autumn because drag was taking up all of my time. But when I was at Concordia, I studied film production and one part of that was learning to pitch ideas.

During the Canada’s Drag Race audition process, what I learnt at Concordia really helped a lot — it helped me sell myself in short video after short video. I was pitching myself.

Concordia helped me think about the bigger picture and develop into the artist that I am.

Good luck on the show, Kiara!

Thank you!

Canada’s Drag Race premieres on Crave on July 2.

The show will also air in the U.K. on BBC Three beginning July 3, and is available in the U.S. and other select territories on WOW Presents Plus.



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