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Vancouver drag, burlesque show hopes to continue pushing community forward

Click to play video: 'Vancouver burlesque group debuting holiday show'
Vancouver burlesque group debuting holiday show
WATCH: A holiday burlesque show at Vancouver's Rio Theatre this Saturday will certainly turn some heads.. Jason Pires reports on the growing number of Vancouver women who are describing the artform as an empowering force – Dec 6, 2023

A head-turning holiday show is set to raise the curtain at Vancouver’s Rio Theatre after months of preparation.

On Saturday, Tits the Season will debut with two shows, where attendees can expect a night of drag and burlesque.

“Come make a holidate with this over-the-top festive extravaganza featuring drag, burlesque, circus, and variety performers from Vancouver and beyond,” organizers said on its event page. “The bow on top of this holiday present is that the show will be headlined by the camp queen Jaymes Mansfield from RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8.”

Vancouver Burlesque Company’s co-director Ariel Helvetica said the show has one clear lesson it would like to platform — burlesque is for everyone.

For Helvetica, the glamour, the glitz and the contagious energy are all empowering.

“There is really a space for everybody to be on stage,” she said. “We have all ages, all bodies … it is just a space for everyone to create whatever magical art they want to put on stage through storytelling.”

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Click to play video: 'Global BC Arts & Culture Scene:  For the Love of Drag'
Global BC Arts & Culture Scene: For the Love of Drag

Helvetica said the burlesque community in Vancouver has been growing, leading to many new students in her classes and many spectators at local shows.

“We are having a lot of new events coming up. It is pretty successful,” she said. “We do need a burlesque club that we could do shows all the time like Montreal or New York.”

The dancers, along with Helvetica, said they hope the show, and the continued work they do, continue to break down barriers in the space. They hope more people decide to try and expand their horizons, and try attending any drag or burlesque show to show support.

Tickets for the show can be purchased on the Rio Theatre’s website. Attendees must be aged 19 and over.

— with files from Darrian Matassa-Fung

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