Burlesque festival takes the stage in Calgary this weekend

It may be titillating, but according to organizers, it's also empowering.

Organizers say the titillating performances can be a source of empowerment

Ruby Demure talks about what to expect at the Calgary Burlesque Festival. 1:22

It may be titillating, but according to organizers, it can also be empowering. 

The Calgary International Burlesque Festival kicked off on Friday night, with performances that range from satire to sexy. 

James Demers, who runs the Fake Moustache Drag King troupe and performs under the name James Dean, helped organize the festival. He says burlesque is a special art form. 

"The community in burlesque is particularly unique, because burlesque is one of the few art forms that is primarily organized and managed by women, actually. So it's an incredibly feminist, body positive opportunity," he says. 


Anther organizer, Kim Hayes, a.k.a. Katana Mae, agrees and says it was the burlesque community that captured her when she first started performing five years ago.

"A lot of it had to do with trying something new to begin with and then realizing how beautiful and special the community was that kept me going," she says.

Both say the cheeky performance style allows even wallflowers to shed their inhibitions and get up on stage with help. They encourage anyone who's interested to simply approach one of the performers or anyone involved in the festival. 

The festival is on until Oct. 18, with more information at


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