Alternate Names

Oliv Howe




Oliv grew up on a farm near Fredericton, NB, escaping to Montreal at the age of 10, where she would eventually become part of a close-knit queer community.  She did drag for the first time at the age of 14 in New York and eventually became a fixture in Vancouver’s queer and drag scenes. In 1981, she was elected the 10th Empress of Vancouver by the Dogwood Monarchist Society, which led to her leading Canada’s first official pride parade. She is a living legend in Vancouver's Queer, Trans, and drag scenes and bore witness to the queer-rights movement in the 1980s, the AIDS crisis and its devastating impact, as well as subsequent struggles in the community against homonormativity and the flattening of Queer experiences. Oliv is the subject of the 2022 feature length documentary The Empress of Vancouver. 

Adapted from Calgary Herald, 2022

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