Donn: Proposed busker bylaw not needed

Michael Elliott

The City of Kelowna wants to have rules and regulations to enforce buskers.

The proposal will come to council on Monday, in a series of updates to the Good Neighbour Bylaw, that mostly focus on panhandling.

The regulations would allow bylaw to only allow buskers who are registered with a permit from Festivals Kelowna.

They'd also be limited to performing in roughly a dozen "busk stops" around tow

That crackdown caught the eye of Councillor Ryan Donn, who's also a local musician.

He says he doesn't see the need to add more regulation.

"Essentially it's going to add a lot more regulation to buskers in town. And I'm just concerned because - where's the problem? Have I had any complaints about too many buskers in Kelowna? Too many Steven Tylers playing piano?"

Donn was referring to July, 2015, when Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler drew a crowd by playing a couple bars of "Dream On" on a public piano at the waterfront.

He says he's not sure what's prompting this.

"Where's the problem? Why do we need to add a bylaw to add more regulation? We talk about a vibrant downtown, and animated urban spaces, that's everything we've talked about, we talk about at council all the time," he said.

"Where's the issue? That's probably my question: Is there a problem? I asked the last (meeting). and (city staff) said 'well, no.'"

Last year, local busker Michael Elliott was given a $500 ticket for playing on Bernard, in an area that wasn't a marked busker zone.

After the controversy became public, the city rescinded the fine.