Drag Me to Windsor: Celebrating 150 Years of Windsor-Detroit Drag History

Did you know that the first known drag performance in Windsor-Detroit was in 1868?
ACWR celebrated 150+ years of Windsor-Detroit drag from March 5th to March 18th, 2023!

  • Exhibit at ArtSpeak Gallery

    Cole Fortier
    Opening Reception
    West Wall of Exhibit

    Artist Statement:

    The purpose of this exhibit is to showcase the extensive local history of drag and male/female impersonation in the Windsor-Detroit region. The earliest documented show featuring a ‘female-impersonator’ in the region was 155 years ago, in the year 1868. In recent times drag performers have been targeted by certain political and religious groups, leading many people to misconstrue drag as a modern concept and a contemporary counter-culture. It is extremely important in this current climate to celebrate queerness, and to continue to educate future generations about 2s-LGBTQIA+ history.


    Cole Fortier is a local artist and drag queen who curated this exhibit in collaboration with the ACWR and ArtSpeak gallery. Thank you to Walter T. Cassidy (local teacher and historian) for contributions of historical research and artifacts.
    We would like to respectfully acknowledge that the land on which we gather for this exhibit is the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibwe, the Odawa, Huron/Wendat and the Potawatomi Peoples.
  • Limited Edition Tote Bags

    Limited Edition New Voices tote bags featuring the work of Cole Fortier are now available!

    For $20 (+shipping), you can own one of 50 bags corresponding with ACWR’s event, “Drag Me to Windsor”, celebrating 150 years of Windsor-Detroit drag history!

    Free delivery in the Windsor area.

    All funds raised through ACWR tote bag sales go directly towards artist fees for the New Voices program.

    Click here to support the New Voices program by purchasing a tote bag today.

  • In the Press

    Cole Fortier Interview on the Dan Macdonald Show