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

Ucluelet mayor thanks team at last meeting

Dianne St. Jacques is not running for re-election this month.

PHOTOS: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Most Read