Zoé Duhaime revealed that she was the person behind @BCPoliPortraits, a popular political cartoon account on Twitter that kept politicians guessing. (File Contributed)

Vancouver Island intern revealed to be mysterious legislative doodler

Non-partisan intern Zoé Duhaime came forward as the illustrator behind popular Twitter account

The mysterious illustrator behind a popular political cartoon account on Twitter has revealed herself to be B.C. Legislature intern Zoé Duhaime.

Duhaime, who was Victoria’s Youth Poet Laureate in 2015, became more involved with the legislature this year when she did several readings celebrating women in politics. She was then offered a position as a non-partisan intern, where her main role was preparing speeches.

“During my breaks I started sketching the people around me, and when I came back from work one day my colleague said ‘oh, I have an idea for you!’” Duhaime said. They set up a Twitter account called @BCPoliPortraits, and soon the sketches got popular.

ALSO READ: B.C. politicians framed by anonymous sticky-note doodler

Duhaime said that she’d never really used Twitter before, and was surprised when people took notice.

“I never expected that cabinet members would respond to my crummy little drawings,” she laughed. “I don’t think I understood how close B.C. politicians are to Twitter.”

Duhaime drew portraits of politicians and media personnel (and would sometimes send them birthday greetings!), and also drew quick sketches alluding to events happening during meetings.

“I’ve actually really enjoyed it,” she said. “And I’ve been exploring the history of political cartoons, which I’ve never done before.”

Duhaime said one of her favourite parts of the account was listening to people talk to her about it, not knowing she was the doodler.

“It’s pretty cool walking the halls of legislature and have people discussing your project in front of you,” she said. “People I admire would guess wildly wrong, or pretend to be me.”

While it was all for fun, Duhaime later made an interesting personal realization: her father, who passed away in 2016, had conducted his own parliamentary pranks when he was an intern under the Mulroney office in Ottawa by writing a book exploring “the funny and great things” happening in parliament at the time.

“I guess it’s a tip of my hat to my dad,” she said. “It’s a delight to know that we crossed paths – I knew he wrote the book, but I didn’t know he did it during downtime on his internship.”

Now that the legislative sessions have wrapped up for the summer – and internship programs have come to an end – Duhaime thought it would be a good time to reveal her identity.

“It’s definitely not the same joke as being anonymous,” she said. “But now I have people asking me for portraits, so that’s fun.”

Duhaime isn’t sure she’ll keep up the doodles in the future, but she hasn’t dropped the idea entirely. She plans on moving to Montreal in the summer to work on a novel, but said that Quebec offers many more people to doodle, including federal politicians in relatively close proximity.

“I thought it might be fun to draw people in the House of Commons,” she said, “So you never know.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Ucluelet’s Edge to Edge runners charge first heat wave of summer

Race director challenges Bear Mountains’ claim as ‘Canada’s Hardest 10k’

Communities show support as search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

VIDEO: Catalina awes crowd at Long Beach Airport

Historic aircraft flew over Bamfield, Tofino and Ucluelet.

Communities show support as search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Timely tide attracts another pod of orcas to Victoria

The pod left the harbour about 30 minutes later

Most Read