Toronto drag queen Michelle DuBarry receives provincial award

Pop Goes The News — The Queen’s representative in Ontario will, for the first time, present an award to a drag queen.

Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell will give Toronto drag icon Michelle DuBarry a 2016 Ontario Senior Achievement Award during a ceremony Monday morning at — where else — Queen’s Park.

DuBarry, the glamorous alter ego of 84-year-old Russell Allread, is one of several seniors receiving the award, which honours individuals for their contributions to the community, including the arts and community service.

The full list of this year’s winners will be announced during a ceremony at 11 a.m. that will be live streamed.

Nominations from members of the public are reviewed by an independent selection committee appointed by the Minister Responsible for Seniors.

DuBarry made headlines a year ago this month when she was named the world’s oldest performing drag queen by Guinness World Records.

The title was challenged and, this summer, Guinness awarded the distinction to 85-year-old Darcelle XV of Portland, Oregon.

DuBarry is not the first member of the LGBT community to receive an Ontario Senior Achievement Award. Among last year’s recipients was the aptly-named Dick Moore, an LGBT seniors advocate from Port Colborne.