The camps, which are taxpayer-funded by provincial, federal, and local governments, aim to groom children into becoming drag performers. The event website claims that "drag is for everyone" and encourages parents to consider how they dress at home versus work. All children will be given a "drag makeup starter kit."
"Do you enjoy expressing yourself through clothing, makeup and performance? Do you have an alter ego that is just waiting to hit the stage?" the website reads. "Our new two week senior Drag Camp might be just your cup of tea, honey! Led by some of Vancouver’s established and emerging drag artists, you’ll learn how to access your inner confidence, show your true colours, and maybe even let out that inner diva! Join some of Vancouver’s most amazing drag artists and learn how drag can brighten up your life!"
"You might be wondering, is drag for kids? Drag is for everyone! Parents, ask yourself, what’s the difference between what you wear at home versus what you wear at work? You’re doing drag honey, you just don’t know it," the website adds.
According to Government of Canada grant data, Carousel Theatre received almost $281,000 in federal funding since 2018. The theatre also lists several prominent organizations as supporters. However, drag queen events involving children have become a hotly debated issue in Canada and other countries, with some supporting them and others opposing them.
Calgary's City Council recently passed a bylaw that prohibits "specific protests" within 100 metres of city-operated or designated facilities such as libraries. These protests often involve drag performers reading to children. The bylaw is intended to limit the protests but does not impact the theatre's drag camps.
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