Last issue, we had a news brief (scroll down) by Danny Kresnyak about the Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Commission cracking down on a burlesque show called Bare Essentials that had been running since the fall of 2010 at the Gaslight Saloon.

Today on the Scarth Street Mall, five dancers from the Bare Essentials troupe were circulating a petition asking that Alcohol Control Regulation 63 (1) which prohibits exotic dancing from occuring in a licensed facility like a bar or night club be changed.

We’ll have more in our July 14 issue, but in an interview Jessica, one of the performers, said “What we’re doing now isn’t even stripping, it’s burlesque. We’ve modified the show to [conform] with SLGA regulations, and are carrying on with it.”

The goal of the petition, she added, is to pressure SLGA to review regulation 63 which pretty much makes Saskatchewan the only jurisdiction in Canada where striptease and other forms of nude entertainment like wet clothing contests are illegal in licensed premises.

“I’m a dancer, with training in jazz, tap and hip hop, and to me what I do is art,” says Jessica. “Yes, it’s a little more risque, but it’s still an art. And I think it’s ridiculous to restrict things like dancing but to allow something like UFC where people are pummeling each other. Where’s the restriction on something like that?

“I’ve danced in Alberta and I’ve danced in B.C.,” says Jessica. “There, it’s so relaxed. If people don’t want to be there, they don’t go. Nobody’s forcing anyone to go into a strip club. They’re making the choice to go in, unlike in Saskatchewan, where [the SLGA] says ‘No, you’re not going to be allowed to have a drink in your hand because we don’t think you can control yourself.'”

An on-line version of the petition can be accessed here.