Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jul 15 2015, Page 2

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - July 15, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE A2 CrownMazda. ca Summer Drive M{ zd{’ s Event ZOO}- ZOO} STANDARD ON ALL 2015 AND 2016 MODELS. 3- YEAR NEW VEHICLE UNLIMITED MILEAGE WARRANTY 3- YEAR ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE UNLIMITED MILEAGE 5- YEAR POWERTRAIN UNLIMITED MILEAGE WARRANTY 7- YEAR ANTI- PERFORATION UNLIMITED MILEAGE WARRANTY * CANADA’S BEST UNLIMITED MILEAGE WARRANTY MAZDA GET APPROVED! CrownCredit. ca 204- 275- 4438 Call toll free 1- 877- 346- 8082 BANKS ARE READY ALL 2015 M{ zd{ 3 and 2016 M{ zd{ CX- 3 BIG CASH DISCOUNTS LOW PRICE POWER HOUSE WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU GET STARTED IN YOUR NEW MAZDA! Dealer Permit # 2808 And don’t forget... CALL TODAY! 204- 885- 2623 A’S TO CHOOSE FROM OVER 75 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 1355 Mountain Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 3B6 Privacy policy and questions www. winnipegfreepress. com/ privacy. html CIRCULATION INQUIRIES MISSING OR INCOMPLETE PAPER? 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COM READER SERVICE / GENERAL INQUIRIES 204- 697- 7000 ¥ Arts & Life C 1 Business B 6 Canada / world B 4 Classified D 8 Comics C 6 Diversions C 7 Editorials A 6 Horoscope C 4 Jumble D 8 Miss Lonelyhearts C 4 Movies C 2 Sports D 1 TV C 4 Weather C 8 . OBITUARIES D 6 Lottery numbers were not available at press time due to a change in policy by Western Canada Lottery Corp. to extend lotto- ticket sales by 90 minutes. INSIDE LOTTERIES A 2 WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015 winnipegfreepress. com T HE Lyric Theatre in Swift Current, Sask., has an issue with Rosie Bitts’ bits. Well, bit, more accurately. The Victoria, B. C.- based burlesque performer — who is bringing her show, Stories of Love and Passion , to the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival this week — was kicked offstage Friday night after doing a minuteslong opening set that criticized the Saskatchewan government. First, some background: in 2014, Saskatchewan lifted its longtime ban on striptease in licensed establishments. Total nudity would still be a nono, but performers could wear pasties. A little more than a year later, in April of this year, Saskatchewan made stripping in bars illegal again. Premier Brad Wall said the government made “ a mistake” in 2014 and cited concerns about human trafficking. Many critics of the law — including dancers — say the decision has less to do with exploitation than it does to do with conservative moralizing. There is one loophole in the legislation: striptease entertainment is legal in Saskatchewan if it’s for a once- a- year charity event in a “ limited special- use facility.” Not unlike the women of Instagram who are brilliantly Photoshopping men’s acceptable nipples over their own unacceptable nipples to highlight the hypocrisy of that social media network’s photo- sharing polices, Bitts’ piece — which was recorded — questioned the Saskatchewan government’s ban on the female nipple, as well as what the law says about men and their ability to control themselves. It was a gentle ribbing, honestly, but a nervous woman from the Lyric Theatre quickly pulled the plug. The woman is hard to hear on the recording but, after thanking Rosie for her dance and asking if she had another, she said something like, “ We have support from different areas, and I didn’t realize we’d be doing this tonight.” One of those supporters is Saskatchewan Lotteries, which the woman thanked after promptly moving on to the raffle. It took Bitts a second to wrap her mind around what was happening: her piece on censorship was being censored. “ I was shocked. I was absolutely shocked,” Bitts tells me over coffee Tuesday morning. Bitts’s show had gone over well with the audiences during its run at Swift Current’s Chaunauqua Theatre Festival, though one performance was protested by a pastor who was eventually taken away by police. When she was tapped to be an opener for a different show Friday night, she figured some topical, regional humour would be appropriate. Evidently, she was mistaken. Bitts wasn’t the only one who was shocked. The audience, too, couldn’t believe what was happening. “ People afterwards said they thought I had actually set it up because it was such a great illustration of censorship,” Bitts says. “ This law has just been changed; I was standing there in my pasties and G- string — which I was allowed to perform in but not allowed to strip down to. The rules are just that ridiculous, and I’m apparently not allowed to talk about it. I was just allowed to do another one of my lovely little dances.” And that’s one of the most galling things about Friday night’s incident: Bitts was essentially told to shut up and dance. “ That killed me,” she says. “ Let us just sexualize you, but we don’t want to actually hear from you.” As a burlesque performer, Bitts is all too used to having constraints placed on her body via rules that are as blurry as they are varied. “ I understand that as women in Canada, we actually don’t have agency over our bodies 100 per cent,” she says. “ But to have my words limited? I didn’t think that existed here.” Bitts was simply doing what all good artists do: she was using her art to challenge the status quo; to ask why things are the way they are. What she was saying wasn’t even particularly incendiary and has been echoed elsewhere. For body parts society insists are “ private,” female breasts — nipple inclusive — are sure are up for public debate a lot. When women’s bodies, and what we can and cannot do with them, become a matter of government policy, we should absolutely be asking questions. For Bitts, this is bigger than striptease laws in Saskatchewan. This is about Canadian women having agency over their own bodies. All Canadian women. As a Canadian woman and an artist, Bitts should be able to express her concerns and criticisms without fear of censorship or reprisal. “ The arts is where we are freely able to express what we, as a people, are thinking about,” she says. “ When we shut down the art and censor what can be said there, we’re in a really scary place in Canada. It seems like a little thing, me getting kicked offstage, but it’s not.” She’s right — it’s not. And it’s a scary place, indeed. jen. zoratti@ freepress. mb. ca JEN ZORATTI Burlesque dancer can’t even speak out in Saskatchewan TV journalist Sheila North Wilson is running to become grand chief of the northern chiefs organization in Manitoba. North Wilson confirmed the election bid for the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Tuesday, saying she has taken a leave of absence from CTV Winnipeg for the race. An award- winning journalist, North Wilson, 43, admits she has no direct political experience but has spent several years, first with CBC- TV, then as director of communications with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, reporting on the same indigenous files she would handle as a grand chief. “ I’ve been approached to run for different things, boards and offices, before, but it never felt right timingwise until now. The difference now is my kids are well on their way to having their own lives... I’ve been able to pursue my dream of broadcasting. Now I feel I have to give back to my community.” North Wilson is from Bunibonibee Cree Nation in Oxford House, located 575 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg. North Wilson’s two children are Trisha, 25, and Sonny, 23. Her husband Robert Wilson is Winnipeg Christian rapper Fresh I. E. Supporters say North Wilson was lobbied by several northern chiefs, including Sapotaweyak Cree leader Nelson Genaille. North is the second candidate to declare, after Tyler Duncan, 19, a youth leader from Norway House, launched his bid a month ago. CTV journalist joins race to be next grand chief Covering up the TRUTH JOHN WOODS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Rosie Bitts, who is performing at the fringe festival in Winnipeg, got a nasty surprise recently when she tried to speak her mind in Saskatchewan. A_ 02_ Jul- 15- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A 2 7/ 14/ 15 7: 37: 53 PM

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