Placards and posters were not loud enough protest tools for the VanDolls on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
The burlesque troupe takes to the Rio Theatre stage Saturday in Pipe THIS!, their first political foray using satire and striptease to bring up environmental and political issues surrounding the proposed project.
“The Enbridge Pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen, its a question of when and how bad not if,” said VanDolls producer Shannon Waters.
“We’re hoping that it will bring out the people that are drawn to the issue but didn’t know how to participate. And it will also put on a fun and entertaining face.”
Waters said while the idea has been in the making for six months, the group was not unanimous on the performance with some girls feeling nervous that the event was too political for their glitzy routines to tackle.
“Burlesque is not your typical platform for protest and committing all nine of us was difficult,” she said. “We all stand in the same area politically but there were different levels of feelings towards this issue.”
But now that there are other performers involved in the 15 pipeline-themed acts, Waters said everyone is having a fantastic experience and hopes their success will get more people talking about the proposed project.
“When people think of activism, they think people are angry but it doesn’t have to be our show is not,” she said.
After selling out previous VanDolls shows, Waters hopes to do the same for Pipe THIS! and raise more than $10,000 to go towards local groups West Coast Environmental Law and The Dogwood Initiative.
Tickets will be available at the Rio Theatre door for a minimum donation of $20. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. More information is availbe on the PipeTHIS! facebook page.