Investigators have charged four youths in connection to the release of a foul-smelling substance at a drag event hosted at the historic Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod, Alta.
RCMP say the youths have each been charged with one count of mischief under $5,000. They cannot be named due to the restrictions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Police said their investigation found that last Saturday four people threw fisher and marten lure oil in the town's 112-year-old theatre, "causing a very foul smell."
The incident occurred during a performance of Drag Out the Love — a show organizers said was created out of a need to host a safe space for LGBTQ people and allies in Fort Macleod, a town located about 170 kilometres south of Calgary.
The Empress Theatre closed after it was damaged while hosting a drag show last Saturday. (Justin Pennell/CBC)
Investigators are still seeking information regarding a second incident they say was targeted at Pride events in the community later that same Saturday. That's when RCMP say they were notified of five male suspects burning a Pride flag in Centennial Park.
"The Alberta RCMP takes any crimes directed against a specific group very seriously, urges the public to report any potential hate incidents, and responds to all such reports," police said in a statement.
They say reporting hate incidents allows them to provide anyone needing support services to receive the help. They say it may also assist with related investigations and document repeat behaviours.
"Reporting also sends an important message that these acts will not be tolerated in our communities," RCMP said.