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

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: New air carrier sought for Qualicum Beach Airport

Island Express Air ends operation due to pandemic

Parksville rider to join alumni for modified Tour de Rock

Roberts pleased to again be involved in Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer event

Qualicum Beach roundabout project would cost nearly $2M

Town to apply for funds to cover $1.79M of the total

Protesters in Parksville demand change to current B.C. forest practices

Approximately 50 people march along Island Highway

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 skill loss will hurt global economic output for rest of century: survey

About one in seven Canadian students satisfied with transition toward online learning

Woodgrove Centre posts plans to make masks and temperature checks mandatory

Nanaimo mall advises in letter to customers that rules will come into effect Monday, Sept. 21

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Motor home burns up at north Nanaimo intersection

No one hurt in incident Friday morning at old Island Highway, Rutherford Road and Mostar Road

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting garbage bins out early

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as concerns about bears increase

Most Read