Shea Couleé, a contestant from season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race, cancelled a Feb. 22 show at the Algonquin Commons Theatre because she was denied entry into Canada.
On an Instagram live video on the night of the show, the artist said that she was stopped by airport customs due to the possession of cannabis-infused gummies.
“I was denied entry into Canada today based on the fact simply that I had some cannabis gummies in my checked bag that I had gotten while I was in L.A. from a dispensary,” said Couleé. “I was unaware that gummies were a no-go to allow you into Canada, but I do know that now.”
The show was supposed to be rescheduled for the following Sunday by the Haus of Torres, a drag queen event company, but it was announced on Feb. 23 that the show would not go on.
A small group of fans were all ready for the meet and greet at the Commons at 8 p.m. on the Friday night, but the news broke a half hour before. Some had tears and many were disappointed. Several angry comments appeared on Couleé’s Instagram when she posted about the cancellation.
Devastation washed over a few fans already at the venue, especially those who came in remakes of Couleé’s outfits during RuPaul’s Drag Race, which took them a couple days to produce.
Some of the fans that were at the college when the announcement was made included those who drove hours to be there.
A big fan named Kylee Crosby who had dressed up in one of Couleé’s outfits had her sister bring her to the show and broke into tears when the sudden change to cancellation happened.
“At this point, I really don’t want to [come back] because of the way that all this went down and the fact that we weren’t informed before,” Hayleigh Crosby, the sister of Crosby said to the Times. “We paid for parking, we paid for fuel to come up all the way from Petawawa.”
A student from Sault Ste. Marie was visiting home in Deep River during reading week. She had met up with her friend in Petawawa to come to the show.
“We had our drag show playlist playing on the way here,” said Alex O’Brien, a student from Algoma University.
A few took this opportunity to make the best of their night out while they dressed up in their “drag” makeup and outfits.
“Teary-eyed, but not that bothered because the Lookout is still opened,” a hospitality and tourism student at Algonquin named Marc-Jeremy Lefebvre pointed out to his two friends.
On the following Saturday, Couleé said in another Instagram live video that she could not make the Montreal show leaving fans in that city disappointed. Her flight to re-enter back into Canada got mixed up and her bags were held in Philadelphia.
“I’m really hopeful that we can try to reschedule this as soon as possible,” said the performer. “I just feel so bad to all the fans here in Ottawa and the fans in Montreal for not being able to make my appearances last night and tonight.”