Burlesque dancers ask Prince Charles to Save the Red Light District


The following is a video plea and open letter to Prince Charles on the occasion of his visit to Montreal.  After having exhausted all other means of stopping the destruction of their performance space in the heart of Montreal’s historic Red Light district, burlesque dance troupe the Dead Dolls have turned to the Prince, a man who cares about heritage, with a simple request:  Save the Red Light District and Save the Main:

The original YouTube version of this video was removed by the site, that story is here

To HRH Prince Charles,

We are writing to you today from Montreal with one simple request. As someone who has demonstrated his love for the preservation of history, we are asking for your majesty’s assistance in saving the historic Red Light District on Montreal’s Main from destruction when you visit us on Tuesday.

St-Laurent Boulevard, commonly known as the Main, was the first street to leave the fortifications of what was then the city of Montreal. Over the next few centuries, it welcomed immigrants from all over the world to become the thriving multicultural hub that it is today.  It has even been declared a national heritage site.

Behind its historic facade, numerous independent artists including burlesque dancers, fetish performers and others call the vaudeville thrust stage of the legendary Café Cleopatre home and have done so for several years.

The lower Main, the gateway to the old port is living history and a vibrant artistic community, but it is under threat. A developer wants to evict the artists and residents, demolish the buildings and replace them with a twelve-story office tower under the guise of a Quartier des spectacles (entertainment district).

Despite objections from historians, academics, residents and artists and a ruling against the project from the Montreal public consultation office, the developer and the city plan to go ahead with the project, dubbed the Quadrilatere St-Laurent.

With nowhere else to turn, we are requesting that your majesty bring the issue up with Mayor Gerald Tremblay and any other officials you may encounter on your trip to Montreal or at very least make a public statement in support of the artists and residents and in support of our history.


Our video was removed from YouTube for “sexually inappropriate content.”  Really?  I mean, really?  We’re talking about the same video that’s in this post.


Tuesday night, the riot squad prevented us from delivering our message to Prince Charles in person:

Velma and riot cops

Velma Candyass of the Dead Dolls and riot cops (photo by Domenic Castelli)

You can read media reports of what happened here:

“Prince Chuck misses out on lapdance” by Jamie O’ Meara, Up to the Hour (Hour Magazine)

“Royal welcome” photo by Kate Hutchinson, Montreal Mirror

“Montréal : Å“ufs, tomates et strip-tease pour le Prince Charles” par Yannick Vely, Paris Match

“If the mayor won’t listen, maybe the prince will” by Jason C. McLean, Forget The Box

“please, charlie boy, save montreal’s red-light district” by Andy Riga, Montreal Gazette

“Une foule bigarrée accueille le prince” par Judith Lachapelle, La Presse

We never got to deliver our message to the Prince Charles in person and still haven’t received a response to our letter or video.  He’s in Ottawa until tomorrow.  Hopefully he’ll hear our message before returning to England.

** If you want to help spread the word, please forward, re-post, Facebook, Digg, etc. this post and/or this video to all your friends and lists, especially to people in England.

****You can also contact Prince Charles through his Regeneration Trust:


8 Responses to “Burlesque dancers ask Prince Charles to Save the Red Light District”

  1. lina Says:

    nice work ladies.

  2. Tweets that mention OTL Blog » Blog Archive » Burlesque dancers ask Prince Charles to Save the Red Light District -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jack Ruttan and Jason C. McLean, dead doll dancers. dead doll dancers said: Burlesque dancers ask Prince Charles to Save the Red Light District http://bit.ly/45mDxf via @AddToAny […]

  3. Fetishom Says:

    Beau vidéo bien fait.
    Dommage que ça soit seulement en anglais. A ce que je sache, la rue St-Laurent est traditionnellement francophone.
    Est-ce que vous niez le fait français au Québec ?

  4. Francs tireurs « Leccia Says:

    […] Burlesque dancers ask Prince Charles to save the red light district […]

  5. jc Says:


    Certainement non, en effet, la site du coalition est bilingue et il y a plusieurs sites en francais consacré a ce sujet ainsi que plusieurs artistes et activistes francophone impliqués dans la cause de sauver la Main.

    Le video s’adresse spécifiquement a Prince Charles alors il est en anglais.

  6. Forget The Box » If the Mayor won’t listen, maybe the Prince will Says:

    […]  The Dead Dolls along with their supporters including Optative Theatrical Laboratories have sent an open letter and video plea asking the prince to do something to save Montreal’s Red Light […]

  7. Margaret Says:


    la rue St-Laurent est traditionnellement IMMIGRANT . c’etait fameux pour les grecs, libanais ,juifs ,chinois ,portugais etc etc .
    Ouvrez vos oreils . Les centaines des langues parlez sur cette rue etait une vrai plaisir!

  8. Prince Chuck misses out on lap dance - Up to the Hour Says:

    […] Dead Dolls had planned to pass the Prince an open letter appealing to his bald spot, er, soft spot for heritage preservation, hoping he could pull a royal […]

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