No busting the Kelowna buskers: Play on, city says | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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No busting the Kelowna buskers: Play on, city says

Image Credit: Contributed


KELOWNA - Maybe he just doesn’t like the piano.

A young man playing the piano in Stuart Park was asked to move along on Canada Day after a security guard hired by the city to patrol the area came along and spotted a small towel the man had laid out.

A passerby who snapped some pictures said the man was playing well and people were showing their appreciation by throwing down some coins. That is, until the security guard showed up.

Renata Mills, executive director of Festivals Kelowna which administers the Pianos in the Park program as well as the Kelowna Buskers program, says she will be contacting the security company to clear up what she says is a misunderstanding because busking is not actually illegal in Kelowna.

“He was not breaking a bylaw to my understanding, unless there is more to this, like if the person was bothersome and disturbing the peace. Bylaw doesn’t actually define busking. It’s more about blocking a path or sidewalk. There is a bylaw that talks about requesting money within so many feet of a bank or a liquor store.”

Mills said the Pianos in the Park program has been a roaring sucess with the only complaints about it coming from the piano by The Sails which has an apartment across the street.

“Someone decided it would be a good idea to play at full volume at three a.m. and they weren’t very good.”

Since then, the security company that patrols the park has been locking down that particular piano at night.

While Festivals Kelowna does maintain “busking zones” for musicians licensed under the Kelowna Buskers program, Mills says she sees no problem with an unlicensed musician being tipped for their performance.

“If someone puts out a hat and they are fabulous and they are not bothering anybody, then play on,” she adds.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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