That sounds pretty standard. It is one of the more popular spots in town. Sexual appetites on display at the Burlesque Ball in Montreal. And they like to live out their fantasies. But not just with men eyeballing the dancers. Half the patrons are women. And there are several couples. As surprising as it may seem, in St-Hyacinthe, a small city about 40 minutes east of Montreal, a no-holds-barred strip joint has been adopted by many in the community as a legitimate place to go for entertainment.
This culture can be found in the history of Montreal as a place of sexual emancipation. It can be found in the legal battles over morality that have originated in Quebec. While Le Zipper may be all but mainstream, Quebec has also over the years become synonymous with strip bars. Tourists come from all over for them.
People went to the Supreme Court to defend them. In neighbourhoods across Montreal. In towns across the province. By comparison, Toronto, a city twice the size of Montreal, has just one. Montreal, of course, benefits from a large inflow of tourists from the U. But a lot of girls that work at strip clubs here are native Montrealers, French Canadians. And guess where Grace Kindness, who takes care of this aspect of the business, takes the women? Starting in the s waves of Americans came north, seeking pleasure and escape from Prohibition-era puritanism south of the border.
Quebecers fought for this right all the way to the Supreme Court. In December , in the case that began with a strip bar in Joliette, the court ruled that contact is permissible in private areas as long as it stops short of explicit sexual activity. This rule is often broken, no matter how tight the enforcement. It has to do with the fact that Quebec is a poorer province. People on average earn less money. Quebecers are a simple, festive people and all they have is their passion and beliefs, their spirit of freedom, not something that belongs to them physically.
Dreams that Quebecers have no trouble fulfilling. Yet they now sit in a kind of legal purgatory, approved by the courts on the one hand, yet condemned by the courts on the other. In January the Supreme Court of Canada refused to take on a Quebec appeals court case that upheld the conviction of several dancers, a doorman and a client of the Lavalois Bar Salon in Laval.
In the group was charged with being in a common bawdy house, and the Crown argued that what they were involved in was prostitution. The judgment was supported on appeal. Andrew Chung Quebec Undercovers: