Rob Katzman has a knack for publicity. There was the time nearly a decade ago when the Windsor, Ont.-area strip club owner had to deny rumours he was poised to open a sex club for swingers, called Sin, which Windsor’s then-mayor said he’d oppose. Or this past January when, after a 10-year hiatus, he brought dwarf tossing back to the city, saying the four-foot-eight man he hired for the event “loves it.” Now he’s launched a marketing campaign promoting the free tuition and other incentives he’s offering Canadian women willing to strip at his clubs. Barry Maroon, his right-hand man, says Katzman Enterprises will pay up to $1,700 per semester to dancers maintaining a B average in their studies, and will also provide loans to women relocating to Windsor. “We’re in the strip club business, OK, but we try to stay above the rest,” says Maroon.
The plan, which Katzman first adopted years ago, is back in the spotlight because of the federal government’s recent move to ban temporary work visas for foreign women dancing in Canada—a move that’s sure to produce a shortage of performers. The feds say they’re protecting these women from human traffickers. But Tim Lambrinos, executive director of the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada, disagrees. “It’s political brownie points for the ultra-conservative fundamentalist base,” he says of the government’s new policy. “They don’t like dancers—why don’t they just come out and say so?”
Over the next months some 800 foreign dancers will be forced to return home, including 35 women dancing for Katzman. The coming scarcity has forced clubs and the Adult Entertainment Association to get innovative. The latter recently dropped the idea of recruiting at high-school job fairs. Graduates, however, need only apply to Katzman.