The topless woman who crashed Monday’s Juno Awards ceremony while Avril Lavigne was presenting is a B.C. environmental activist who has made headlines before for other attention-grabbing demonstrations.
The 37-year-old Vancouver resident, who goes by Ever, was one of two protesters who walked onto the field and disrobed during a Canadian men’s soccer match at BC Place last June.
In August, she also held a topless protest atop the Victoria Visitor Centre.
Speaking to CTV News on the phone Wednesday from an Edmonton hostel, the activist said she uses nudity to ensure her message reaches as many people as possible.
“I am using the cards that are dealt to me and I’m standing up for something I truly believe in – that we need climate action now,” said Ever, who made a court appearance earlier in the day in connection with her Junos stunt.
“People are far more interested in a topless protester than they are in an environmental activist.”
The protester’s body was covered in phrases and slogans when she stepped onto the stage Monday evening, including “Land Back,” “Stop TMX (the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion),” “Save the Greenbelt” and “Stop Logging Old Growth.”
“Those are steps that our government needs to take immediately for us to actually have the dramatic change we need so that our planet is liveable in the next five to 10 years,” Ever said.
“This is a global issue and it is time for people all over the world to step up and do something about the climate crisis. We see fires, we see floods, we see landslides, we see food shortages, and it’s happening everywhere and our governments are just backburner-ing the issue.”
Lavigne was introducing a musical act when the stunt began, and initially ignored Ever – before turning to her and telling her to “Get the f*** off” the stage.
The activist said she was hoping for a better reception from the singer, but believes her reaction still brought more attention to the protest.
“I truly did hope that Avril would be punk rock and girl power, maybe hand me the mic – but to be honest, I don’t think it could have gone better,” Ever said. “She wasn’t polite, but it definitely got people talking.”
Ever is currently with the group On-2-Ottawa, whose members are heading to the nation’s capitol to demand a citizen’s assembly to address climate change. They are calling on the federal government to do so by April 1.
“Our clock is ticking,” Ever said.
Meanwhile, the protester has to face charges in Edmonton. Authorities initially said they were considering a charge of mischief, though Ever said Wednesday that she has been charged with unlawful obstructoin.
Her next court date is scheduled for April 5, days after On-2-Ottawa’s deadline, but Ever said she will be able to appear virtually.