Tuff council reels concert back an hour to let locals sleep

A summertime concert in Tofino will end an hour earlier than scheduled after Tofino’s municipal council raised concern over disrupting sleeping locals.

The Pacific Rim Arts Society will hold a free concert on Tofino’s village green on July 4 as part of the 26th annual Pacific Rim Summer Festival.

During last week’s regular meeting, council reviewed a recommendation from staff to allow the society to hold the concert from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Coun. Cathy Thicke raised concern over approving a request that goes against

Tofino’s 10 p.m. noise control bylaw and, noting the 5 p.m. start time, questioned whether eight hours was necessary.

“I could sort of see stretching it until 11 but I don’t understand to midnight,” she said.

Coun. Dorothy Baert asked if council could make resolutions that go against district bylaws.

District CAO Bob MacPherson responded that council could override the noise bylaw.

“The wording in the bylaw isn’t perfect in this case so it is a bit of a grey area,” he said. “We’re bringing this forward interpreting the bylaw that council does have the authority to do this.”

Coun. Garth Cameron expressed frustration

at his fellow councillors’ hesitance to approve the recommendation and let the concert play until midnight.

“Come on people really? Let’s just push this through, recommend it, have it, see how it goes,” he said. “Next year, if council wishes to change the time do it then but, come on, buck it up and just pass this.”

He said the concert was the sort of thing council was elected to endorse.

“I remember when we got elected, and I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, talking about expanding shoulder seasons for our tourists, bringing tourists in to enjoy Tofino, ‘enjoy your stay tell your friends come back,'” he said. “When they have parties at Wickaninnish Island that keep me awake because the music comes across I don’t whine or complain because it’s just where we are.”

Thicke responded the concert was not taking place during the shoulder season but rather in the middle of summer.

“People still have to get up and go to work and I personally can’t vote against the bylaw,” she said.

Mayor Josie Osborne suggested allowing the concert to run until 11 p.m. rather than midnight and council unanimously agreed.

reporter@westerlynews.ca