With bold wigs and faces full of makeup, drag queens strutted to city hall in Calgary on Wednesday with one message: vote in Alberta’s election.
Drag performers cast ballots in advance polls to encourage people to exercise their democratic rights and remind them of the chance to vote early.
New election rules allow Albertans to vote at any polling station in the province regardless of their home riding during advance polls.
Vanta Blaque, a.k.a. Sam Brown, co-organized the first-ever event and wants everyone to vote, no matter where they sit on the political spectrum.
“Drag is so much more than just lip-syncing and twirling around on TV — and those are very important aspects of the art, but there’s so much more and it is fundamentally a political movement and activism,” Blaque added.
“There’s been so much improvement, but even in our lifetime, people have been straight-up murdered for being who they are.
“It’s really incredible that today we can be here in the middle of downtown in full drag doing this.”
As long as voters have two pieces of identification from the authorized list, they can vote while in full drag.
Blaque said their display motivates people to vote in a fun, creative, accessible way.
“As amazingly far as we have come, as members of the queer community and as young people, there’s still so much more that can and needs to be done.”
Early voting runs April 9 to 13.
Election day is April 16.