Press release:

The Great Orbax (IAM) and Sweet Pepper Klopek’s (IAM) traveling show ‘Monsters of Schlock‘ is being banned by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

We arrived at Better than Fred’s in Grande Prairie AB looking forward to a great show booked several months in advance to a sold out venue. The liquor commissioner calls the venue at 4:30 on Friday night (the night of the show), and points out this law.

section: board policies

page 47 of 65

1.41.1. Entertainment that has the potential to be considered bizarre, grotesque or offensive must be referred to the Board for approval before being provided. This includes entertainment involving live animals, excluding magical acts.

And then refuses to grant permission for tonight’s show. The bar was threatened with a minimum $10,000 fine and possible loss of liquor license if the inspectors deem it to be grotesque by their standards. This show had been advertised through print, web, and radio ads for close to a month at a cost of thousands to the venue, costs which cannot be recouped.

Our show has performed across Canada to thousands of satisfied viewers, is performed by professionals, performed for people between the ages of 8 and 80, and is now deemed to be too grotesque and offensive to be seen by the people of Northern Alberta.

So apparently in Alberta if you are an adult and have purchased a ticket to see a professional magic stunt show with viewer discretion advised, the liquor board will decide whether or not you should be allowed to see it.

Thanks in advance for your support against this type of censorship!

This entry was posted in ModBlog and tagged by Shannon Larratt. Bookmark the permalink.

About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.


  1. that is fucked up as fuck. it seems that censorship in america is more and more popular lately.

  2. complaints about this can be sent to the Grande Prairie Liquor Board

    10020 – 124 Ave. Grande Prairie, AB T8V 5L7
    (780) 832-3000

    they’ve also threatened several other bars with pulling their liquor license if they allow us to perform.

  3. Yeah, the Alberta Liquor and gaming commission can be pretty ridiculous.
    Our suspension team was invited to do a very much-publicized (radio and print) in a local venue with a stage to perform on that also happened to serve liquor.
    We even had our local health inspector come out and approve the location and our supplies for what we would be doing.
    The first time we were shut down it was because there was a provision in the act that said “There will be no insertion or extraction of any object in or out of the body” (or something along those lines) Which I take to be in reference to a stripper putting a banana in her vagina.
    The second time we were doing a public performance we were shut down for a different reason as we were suspending someone who wasn’t a professional performer and the act states something along the lines of “No one is allowed to be humiliated or embarrassed for public entertainment”…
    (I don’t know how hypnotists are allowed to work then…)
    Anyway, I’ll be writing letters to the editor of the major Edmonton newspapers on the matter. I didn’t know about Orbax and his crew being banned! Ridiculous seeing that it all boils down to vague statements… And that they’ve had very well-recieved shows here in the past!

  4. time to get on the phone and start phoning the commission Alberta.
    this cock should be pushed out. i’m sure that the whole of the province doesn’t agree with this guys conservative attitude.

    we should post his info,
    then you can all go throw bags of flaming dog shit on his doorstep!

    fuck him!

  5. this looks like it would be a really cool show to see. hopefully getting the show banned will at least get the whole thing some extra publicity. who doesnt want to see a show that has been banned for being “bizarre, grotesque or offensive”?

  6. Thats absolute SHIT… I thoroughly enjoyed the Winnipeg show, along with many others.. fuck cowtown anyhow.. guess that means a second winnipeg show????

  7. What a load of shit. I’ve had a blast every time I’ve seen their show, and I know dozens of others who have as well.
    I know I’ll do my part to bury those liquor board pricks under a mountain of angry letters.

  8. Being the fact that Im from Calgary alberta….Im am appalled by how this was handled…….I’ve seen the show and it is awesome entertainment for adults and the like…..I have logged a complaint!

  9. ps Chud…..”Cowtown” had nothing to do with the fact that the show was banned, it was grand prairie!

  10. ditto to #13. if it is, i’ll give them my non-canadian two cents for sure. this is rediculous.

    Shannon- i was writing an email to you about my own issue last night and for some reason i didn’t send it but how perfect that censorship came up in modblog today! i wanted to let you know that my cable provider (CAS Cable in west virginia) blocked my access to due to “pornography.” wTf??? i was furious. it was completely blocked for 3 days and now i can axcess it agian, so apparently pornography–even though mod blog is so not porno, it’s art appreciation–is ok sometimes, but not all the time.

  11. Well, I know for a fact Sweet Pepper exposes his naked buttock in the show. A bizarre and grotesque buttock!!

    All Albertans need to go to the Grande Prairie Liquor Board offices and take a top tank dump in the bathrooms.

  12. unbelievable. i live in edmonton, alberta and had the chance to see orbax when he was here this time last year at new city. the show was awesome, and fun was had by all.

    welcome to nazi alberta, where censorship is apparently in it’s prime.

  13. I’m from Calgary, I thought Cowtown only referred to Calgary and not all of Alberta? Maybe it’s just b/c I don’t travel outside of Calgary enough, or it may a different regional definition?

    But I’m also shocked about this.

  14. Wow, so adults consenting to see something knowing full well what will be in it must be told what they can and can’t see like small children? Bloody stupid.

  15. I’m glad I’m moving out of Calgary and back to Ontario. What bullshit this is.

  16. Thank goodness for the liquor commissioner! I’d hate to have my morals undermined whilst i’m getting drunk :)

  17. Im a often viewer of modblog but not an often commenter but the shit pisses me off we should make a petition abou making shows like this legal because i mean like come on you have the choice to see it right? Unlike the news an shit they just pop up with the murders an shit the shit that will really make you sick

    if there is a petition somewere email me a link <—- Yes its real and i really do want to know about a petition like this we need to fight this discrimination moders/moded and ones that are “not normal” are still people too ya know?

    We are diffrent so that means some of our if not all of our entertainment is diffrent from “normal people”

  18. that’s alberta for you. maybe orbax just needs to start billing himself as a magic act to get around that dumb law. he’s pretty magical, i think.

  19. I will be sending those ignorant Albertans an irate postcard from London, where the grotesque is the beautiful.

  20. Just because the board dislike it doesn’t mean other folk who would enjoy can’t see it! I hate all this political correctness, if thats what it is.

    People should have the freedom to enjoy what they want, and not to have other people deem what is right or wrong or entertainment or not.

    Oh to live in a perfect world!

  21. Albertans have always been the uptight dickwads of Canada. Somewhat like The South for Americans, except that Albertans aren’t quite so obsessed with executing as many people as possible.

    Send the Monsters to Vancouver! We could always use a few more freaks.

  22. Man, just when you think Ontario’s AGC was the most anal commission around, Alberta steals our goddamn thunder.

    It seems more like a case of fundamentalist conservatives just doing what they do best: Nothing of use to the rest of the country.

  23. I am so sorry to hear about this. This makes me sick. The censorship makes me sick. I’ll never understand it. I’m sorry this happened. I’ve seen this happen to too many good performers. Mostly bands. One in paticular by the name of Rockbitch. It cost them so much money getting shows cancelle dat the last minute that they stopped touring and eventually ended the band Rockbitch. But luckily they reformed under a different name.

    I wish you the best and hope this does not become a regular situation. I wish you the best.

  24. Wow, I used to live in Grand Prairie, I would have got tickets for that if I were still there. Funny how the LC have a problem with Orbax but no problem at all with the Coke and E that get sold at most of the bars in that city, oh and the highly offencive and degrading to women strip club “Showgirls”…… although when I lived up there it was fairly common to see cops confinscate drugs from people, then drive a block or two awat to sell it…… Wait what about all the crackheads on the street in Grand Prairie? I found them highly offencive and grotesque, why not ban them from public exposure.

    That city isn’t too mod friendly anyways. While they have 3 or 4 pretty decent piercing and tattoo shops that do good quality work (like Inkubus or Raz’s)jewelry selection is pretty small, I couldn’t find jewelry larger than 00gauge.

    Sorry for my rant, just had to give my .02 since I used to live there.

  25. I live in northern Alberta (although not Grande Prairie). This totally doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Lame.

  26. What a shame. This show sounds awesome! Next time you’re in Toronto, I will definitely make the effort to be there.

  27. Firstly – Fucking hell! I thought I was the only one who remembered Rockbitch! Saw them twice :D

    Secondly – until readin this, all I knew about Alberta was that they find Tyrannosaur fossils there. I learned this when I was like 5 years old and a complete dinosaur geek. T-Rex skeletons are a pretty fucking awesome claim to fame.

    Now I know two things about Alberta:

    1 – awesome dino fossils.
    2 – full of officious, beurocratic cunts.


  28. I don’t understand why we even have such laws regarding the availability of liquor. It would seem the sole purpose is to provide a platform from which the government can still serve out censorship. They use these laws all the time to stop strip clubs from opening and various types of shows from existing, and from what I think, it’s against people’s rights. Why should the government be able to tell us whether we can or can’t get naked in front of other people where liquor is served? Why should they be able to make laws regarding what kinds of performances can appear where liquor is served? I don’t get it at all other than to assume these are laws that are still on the books from decades ago, and something needs to be done to remove them.

  29. It’s the curse of doing an act that is “on the edge”. Can’t be toooo upset when the act you’ve worked for years to make unseemly actually is unseemly to somebody.

    Which isn’t to say that this shouldn’t be fought and disputed. Bullshit fucking censorship. Who are they trying to protect???

  30. since we’re probably all a LOT more likely to actually follow through on these letters of complaint if we can do so online, (hey, I’m realistic…) then I would suggest going to the following address and filling in the form there, if you would not have been so inclined to do so otherwise. (like if it involved stamps & envelopes & whatnot)

  31. seriously. fuck all of you alberta haters.

    i’ve lived all over alberta. and i love my province. just because we have some dumb hicks running our liquor board, and have some dumb hicks running our government doesn’t mean alberta is the festering hell of canada.

    so seriously. calm down.

  32. 46

    Alberta is the prolapsed rectum of Canada.
    Calgary, Grande Prairie, Balsac, etc. etc. etc are all the lesions and polyps infecting it.

  33. CumulusHumilus — where did the “dumb hicks” running your government come from? Manitoba? Saskatchewan? Hmm, which province could they have come from… More importantly, who voted for them? Was it the people living in Vancouver? Was it the Toronto vote that swung the election in favor of Stelmach?

    One of the unfortunate aspects of Democracy is that people usually end up with the governments they deserve. At least Americans can point to all their election irregularities and get some plausible deniability. Albertans don’t even have that much (thanks to the excellent job that Elections Canada is doing).

  34. Are they going to be able to do any of their other Alberta shows? I just found out about them through this post and the show looks really amazing =^.^=

  35. just yet another reason for me to hate… well… pretty well all of alberta in general

  36. It’s a bitch that the ban caught you guys. At least there’s many more venues to wreck in the tour ahead!

    Can’t wait to work with you in Van City again!

    Viva Los Monsters of Schlock!

  37. On the bright side, at least they know they are totally badass!!!

    You have to get banned at least once to establish that!!!

  38. I don’t think there is anything angry letters will do to fix it. It’s happened and lets just hope next time they get to do it.

    And like Toser said, you have to be banned at least once to know you’re badass!!

  39. I really see no need for everyone to be so huffy about Albertans. The Edmonton bodmod community is flourishing and full of ethical, safe practitioners. I dare say that many people I know within the Alberta bodmod community are just as, if not more educated, than the rest of the North American scene. Just because some douchebags from the AGLC decide to pull some ancient, archaic rule out of their asses ten minutes to showtime doesn’t mean that we’re all like that – it’s just like saying anybody with a tattoo is in a biker gang. I’m pretty sure we all know that isn’t true.
    Take a step back and see what you’re saying before you say it.

  40. i always wanted one of those new fangled motorcycles but apparently i am too tattooed

  41. I’m huffy at Alberta because of the way they have treated the Lubicon Cree people. Alberta is my least fav of our provs and terrs.

    Off topic, I know.

    I like Albertans though…why not?!

  42. I believe it’s been said before but maybe not…In the grand scheme of things what more could expect from Grande Prairie AB?

    And I’d agree that Sweet Pepper and Orbax are indeed: bizarre, grotesque or offensive….But in a good way, not the way Grande Prairie are making it out to be lol

  43. Just finished posting a complaint to the Liquor Board. Damn, Alberta can be an annoyingly conservative province. I’d also like to say that we’ve come a long way since I moved to Calgary 20 years ago. Or so it seemed.
    However, I’d also like to agree with a few other posts here suggesting that in Orbax’s biz, getting banned is a rite of passage.

  44. They deserve it. I’ve seen the show a bunch of times and NEVER EVER have they used the word NIGGER.

  45. Wow. No way would that law stand up to a constitutional challenge! The use of the words “potential to be considered …” are a violation of our rights, that crap can be misused in an infinite number of ways.

    My response, if I lived in Alberta, would be to officially try to ban Christianity and demand that all churches be shut down immediately, on the grounds that I deem religion offensive. And make a huge public spectacle of it all, just to drive home the point about the unconstitutionality of a law banning something just ‘cuz some arbitrary douche says “I find that offensive”

  46. here is an email i recived from themm


    Thank you for your recent comments to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) regarding the cancellation of performances by The Great Orbax / Monsters of Schlock on April 4, 2008, at Better than Fred’s in Grande Prairie, AB, and on April 5, 2008, at Twister’s in Fairview, AB.

    To clear up any confusion, we want to point out that the licensees (bar owners) in Grande Prairie and Fairview chose to cancel the performances after an AGLC inspector phoned the premises to remind them they did not have the necessary approval from the AGLC. The call from the inspector was not to “ban the show.” If the owners had presented the show without the necessary approval they could have been penalized.

    This was not, as many people are complaining, an arbitrary decision by one inspector. Rather, it is a clearly stated policy from the Licensee’s Handbook, a copy of which is supplied to every licensee in the province and is also posted on the AGLC website.

    Every premises in Alberta that sells or serves liquor must be licensed by the AGLC and must abide by the provincial Gaming and Liquor Act, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, AGLC policies, and all municipal, provincial and federal laws and bylaws.

    Section 1.41.2 of the AGLC Licensee Handbook states (in part):

    Entertainment that has the potential to be considered bizarre, grotesque or offensive must be referred to the Board for approval before being provided.

    It is the responsibility of the licensee to request approval from the AGLC before presenting such a show. Such a request should be made well in advance of the scheduled show date in order to be considered by the AGLC.

    We hope this information gives you a better understanding of what transpired regarding the shows. We appreciate the time and effort you took to contact us about this matter.

    The Licensee Handbook and many other resources can be found on our website:

  47. Definately heading to those above links and giving them feedback on this issue :P
    I heard about this earlier on but didn’t know where to post something where it would be read by the people who could do something about it, so thanks to those who pasted in links ;)

    I loved the show, I don’t see why it should be banned ha :(
    Glad you’re still all good in Van :D

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