It's now legal for female burlesque performers to expose their breasts at shows, according to a new ruling from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) on Monday.
After a six year challenge from performers in the province, the AGLC changed their stance surrounding the exposure of female breasts after a decision redefining "nude entertainment" that came down from the regulator yesterday.
"It has been brought to AGLC's attention by members of the burlesque community that the nude entertainment policy, as it stood before, may not be aligned with the Canadian Human Rights Act," said spokesperson AGLC Tatjana Laskovic, according to CBC News. "The AGLC has looked into this, and the result is the policy that applies equally to males and females.
Before this ruling, performers who showed even a side boob weren't allowed to be part of regular performances, as they be considered nude entertainment. By revealing one's breasts prior to the ruling, a burlesque performer would effectively be lumped into the same category as strippers and could not interact with customers or staff at the establishment.
According to one of burlesque performers, the previous ban on boobs during shows actually drew the cops out on a number of occasions.
"It sparked some media attention, which subsequently led to some aggression on both sides—us fighting the definition and the AGLC responding by visiting venues, by making themselves known, by telling us they did not want to change the policy, that the policy was essentially iron-clad—which frightened us a little bit," Arielle Rombough, an Alberta burlesque performer, told CBC.
"There were visits that involved police officers and AGLC representatives and fire marshals, and that got us all a little edgy."
New regulations now define nude entertainment as any performance where a performer's genitals are exposed.
According to the AGLC, regulations are effective immediately. Enjoy, Albertans.
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