March 17, 2017 10:03 pm

City of Kelowna changes tune on busker fine

Michael Elliott's $500 fine has been reduced to a warning.

Global Okanagan
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A $500 fine for busking allegedly against a City of Kelowna bylaw has been reduced to a warning.

Michael Elliott was playing guitar and singing on Bernard Avenue Saturday when a bylaw officer wrote the ticket.

Even a Kelowna city councilor was outraged by the hefty fine.

“It was embarrassing. From the outside perspective, somebody getting a fine for $500 for playing some music isn’t really the brand I want for the City of Kelowna,” Ryan Donn said.

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READ MORE: Busker busted and fined $500

But a day after the story ran on Global Okanagan, the City sent media a statement saying the noise violation ticket was downgraded to a warning.

“We always try for a cooperative approach and use a ticket as a last resort,” Kelowna’s Divisional Director of Corporate and Protective Services, said in the press release. “The bylaw officer tried to approach initially, but was unable to negotiate a solution in the moment with the performer and decided to issue the ticket.”

Busking permits are issued by the City and include information about approved sound levels.

Elliott refused to show his permit to the bylaw officer.

The City said the bylaw officer was responding to, “a complaint from an occupant of a building where the musician was performing.”

Mayne said Elliott was issued warnings last summer and the day before receiving the $500 ticket.

When it comes to the City changing its tune on the ticket, Mayne said they wanted to make another attempt to find a cooperative solution.

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