City Watchdog – More trust needed to include our youth

Walking up to the little warehouse, you would be hard pressed to find any evidence of the hundred or so punks gathered inside

Walking up to the little warehouse in the heart of Rock Bay, you would be hard pressed to find any evidence of the hundred or so punks gathered inside the industrial space-turned concert venue. Where was the noise, the underage drinking, directionless vandalism, and A Clockwork Orange-style youth gangs fighting brutal turf wars in the parking lot — all the things that common sense tells us are sure to accompany any attempt at an all-ages show here in the City of Gardens.

Lacking any visible reason why this activity should be acceptable only on the outskirts of town, I turned to the show’s organizer for an explanation. Along with problems of cost, Heather Furneaux cited public perception as the driving force behind the scarcity of venues willing to book all-ages shows.

“I think most of the organizers are on board with making events safe, there just needs to be a little bit more trust,” she says.

The problem of perception isn’t new to promoters like Furneaux and Tyler Pantella. As one community centre explained in reponse to Pantella’s attempt to convince the organization to open its doors: “The problem with all-ages shows is that they are generally geared to underage kids who, in our experience, abuse the rule of law, mistreat the venue, and annoy the neighbours with the activities that go on in the parking lot and park that is not monitored by security.”

Despite further attempts to convince the community centre’s board of directors, Pantella was left with little hope of using the space.

“All ages shows are a great social/community event for kids to enjoy, they contribute to the community arts, and yet so many community centres are not receptive to the idea… [Talking to the board] I felt like I was defending an activity that, to them, was a nuisance.”

The City of Flowers is a myth, a retirement community of tea houses and horsedrawn carriages glimpsed only in the photos we churn out to lure money from places like California and Toronto. Punks, freaks, losers and artists make this city worth living in, and to deny the next generation the space to express itself and continue to explore our culture is to sacrifice the best parts of the Capital. M

Just Posted

REVIEW: Anna doesn’t quite know what it wants to be

Monday film reviewer Robert Moyes not impressed with the latest Russian femme fatale flick

Life ain’t a drag for RuPaul stars

Victoria to play host to two of Drag Race reality show’s biggest personalities

BEHIND BARS: Learning about the versatility and nuanced flavours of sake

Discover new flavours with sake sommelier Anton Ihl at E:Né Raw Food and Sake Bar

Speaking out: Pride in the Word a major part of Pride Week

Billeh Nickerson returns to host an all-new group of writers for popular literary event

TESS ON TOUR: Festivals and attractions make it Vibrant Vancouver

Monday columnist Tess Van Straaten crosses the water to check out what’s hot in the big city

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Many food options at the Gorge Canada Day Picnic

A multitude of food trucks on hand, but pancake breakfast among the most popular choices

Feed your hunger for Canucks hockey in Victoria this September

NHL team to host camp at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, exhibition vs. Calgary set for Sept. 16

Taylor Swift’s new music video features Ellen, Ryan Reynolds, RuPaul and more

Cast of Queer Eye and Katy Perry make appearances too on “You Need to Calm Down” video

COLUMN: Revisiting a decade ago as Victoria celebrates 20 years of Ska

4 million tourists visit Greater Victoria each year and there’s a reason we remain despite them

Rick Mercer-led comedy team in for second Just for Laughs show at UVic

Comedy company will stage two shows Nov. 16 at Farquhar Auditorium

Most Read