BY JEREMY WARREN, THE STARPHOENIX MARCH 27, 2012
A night of nude entertainment in Saskatoon next month will protest the provincial government’s ban on mixing strippers and alcohol.
The variety show protest, which will double as a fundraiser for upcoming Consentfest and Slutwalk events, will feature strippers and burlesque dancers at Positive Passions on April 14. Alcohol will not be served, so the event won’t break Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority’s (SLGA) law that prohibits nudity and stripteases where booze is sold, organizers say.
SLGA is invited to the “Naked if I Want” event, but inspectors will have to buy a ticket like everyone else because the event is a dry one, said organizer Devin Ens.
“It will be a positive and lively event,” he said. “I actually don’t know anyone who supports this law. What’s wrong with being naked?”
Sandy Buckner, who’s stage name is Stevie Blunder, is organizing the event with Ens and said there is demand here for nude entertainment, especially as Saskatchewan attracts people from other provinces where there is no prohibition on stripping. Strippers themselves aren’t banned, anyway, she said.
“People think there are no strippers here because there are no strip clubs,” Buckner said, pointing to the event’s ability to bring in local strippers to dance. “It’s safer for girls to belong to a club with security and staff.”
The ban, also known as Section 63 in the Alcohol Control Regulations, came under scrutiny this month when an SLGA inspector visited Saskatoon’s Odeon Events Centre while it hosted a breast cancer research fundraiser featuring the erotic male dance group Chippendales. SLGA is investigating the event for possible violations, which could lead to fines or licence suspension. The provincial government suggested last week it had no plans to change Section 63.
Ens doesn’t see the SLGA’s ban on mixing strippers and booze as a left-wing or right-wing issue. The prohibition restricts personal liberties, Ens said. Bar owners want the law scrapped, so too do the patrons and the men and women who want to strip, he added.
“This is about being able to make your own choice about sex and sexuality,” he said. “Paternalism is not feminism. If you want to protect a woman’s rights, you have to respect a woman’s rights … Neither of us drink so we have no stake in this. It’s just an irrational law.”
Event tickets for the 18 plus event, which cost $10, go on sale at Positive Passions this week.