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

Local beekeeper wants residents to use pesticides more responsibly

Paula Masyk has kept bees for a little over two months, and has had two pesticide events since then

Sizzling season starts with Summer Fest celebrations in Chemainus

Rotary Club event features plenty of food, entertainment and a parade

Memorial Midget C Hockey Tournament supports Puska

Ladysmith man in need of a kidney transplant receiving abundant financial contributions

Poppy funds blossom at Chemainus Health Care Centre

Cowichan Legion Branch 53 makes a valuable contribution

Ladysmith Hill Dash and Running of the Balls return to High street

Ever year Ladysmith residents run High street to support the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read