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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Ottawa-Gatineau > Culture, Dining, Sports & Recreation

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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2008, 2:25 PM
jchamoun79 jchamoun79 is offline
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Citizen: "Bluesfest at risk of being turned down, councillor warns"

*Sigh* Even before I read this article, I just knew it was referring to Diane Holmes. Who else but Holmes and the joyless, small-minded NIMBYs she represents would try to ruin everything for everyone?

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Bluesfest at risk of being turned down, councillor warns
Holmes tells residents how to complain, plans to gather data about noise every night

Chris Cobb
The Ottawa Citizen
Saturday, July 05, 2008
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/...4-451444df0226

Bluesfest could be forced to turn its volume down.

City Councillor Diane Holmes says that "noise" from the internationally renowned event could result in the festival's special noise exemption being revoked by council. She has also written to residents explaining how they can use official channels to complain about Bluesfest and will be gathering neighbourhood noise data every night of the festival.

Along with other special events such as the Air Show and Tulip Festival, Bluesfest has a city exemption that allows noise at the source of any potential complaint to reach 65 decibels. The regular noise limit is 55 decibels.

Ms. Holmes, councillor for Somerset, personally approves the Bluesfest exemption each year because the festival is in her ward.

"The noise is unacceptable to quite a few people," she said yesterday. "I've talked to other people who don't necessarily phone in, but what they're all saying is that it's not music that comes to them, it's the music of several bands merged as noise. Their windows are shaking. These residents are saying that the limit is too high and that the noise bylaw provides for too much noise."

About 25,000 people attended the first night of Bluesfest on Thursday and city hall received 26 complaints. Most were in the immediate vicinity of the Canadian War Museum festival site, but two came from the Glebe area. Bylaw officers dispatched to homes to measure noise levels found only two cases in which the 65 decibel limit was exceeded -- one 65.3, the other 65.9. Other measurements were significantly below the allowed limit.

Ms. Holmes agreed that the two cases where the limit was exceeded were minor, but that suggests the limit that might be too high, she said.

"I've received many complaints over many years about the blues festival wherever they have been located," she said. "They are the only festival I get any complaints about. It is a noisier festival. I never get complaints about the jazz festival."

Bluesfest artistic director Mark Monahan says the issue is whether the festival is following the rules.

"Why is there a noise bylaw exemption?" he said. "It's to allow special events to exist in a reasonable way with the community. I'm not sure why we should be singled out, and as far as I'm concerned, as long as we abide by the guidelines we are operating in a responsible fashion. The issue is not whether we get the exemption, but whether we are adhering to rules."

It is a "very sensitive subject," he added.

"I understand that when special events like this happen they have to co-exist with people who live in the community year round," he said. "But a better approach to this is to look at how other major festivals operate. The Bluesfest has become an international attraction and it's not really fair to compare it to a neighbourhood street party. How do the Montreal Jazz Festival, the New Orleans or Austin City Limits festivals operate? That's the model, but Councillor Holmes doesn't see it that way."

Any forced decibel reduction is bound to affect the festival, he said.

"We're operating on the basis of what the festival-goer wants to hear," he said. "Our aim is to please the customer. It's the motivation of any special event. But we tell the bands there is a noise bylaw and that they should be with in the agreed sound level."

Mr. Monahan said he has already received many e-mails praising Bluesfest.

"I even got a message from a guy who was sitting on his balcony two miles away saying how much he was enjoying listening to the music," he said.

Ms. Holmes, who insists she has nothing personal against Bluesfest, said she might also suggest that council hire a expert to advise the city on how best to deal with the noise.

"Maybe it would be worth the city hiring a noise specialist," she said, "to see whether directional changes of speakers -- pointing the speakers down to try and control the sound that travels up."

Ms. Holmes will be visit neighbourhoods in her ward tonight with bylaw inspectors to hear for herself.

Mr. Monahan said he prefers to use the word "music" to "noise" and added that it's important to keep the impact of Bluesfest in perspective.

"We have to look at what this festival means to the city," he said.
© The Ottawa Citizen 2008
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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2008, 5:51 PM
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Jamaican-Phoenix Jamaican-Phoenix is offline
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I'm hopefully going to see Primus and Snoop at Bluesfest, providing I can get myself a day pass...
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2008, 6:26 PM
c_speed3108 c_speed3108 is offline
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Why can't the headline say something like:

Councillor Holmes at risk of being turned down.

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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2008, 7:55 PM
clynnog clynnog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchamoun79 View Post
Ms. Holmes will be visit neighbourhoods in her ward tonight with bylaw inspectors to hear for herself.
Wow, Diane Holmes sure knows how to have a good time on a Saturday night in downtown Ottawa....visiting neighbourhoods with by-law officers.
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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchamoun79 View Post

About 25,000 people attended the first night of Bluesfest on Thursday and city hall received 26 complaints. Most were in the immediate vicinity of the Canadian War Museum festival site, but two came from the Glebe area. Bylaw officers dispatched to homes to measure noise levels found only two cases in which the 65 decibel limit was exceeded -- one 65.3, the other 65.9. Other measurements were significantly below the allowed limit.
All the way to the Glebe!? I'm sure the Queensway would mask the sound from Bluesfest making its way over.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 2:13 AM
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Joyless. One of many adjectives to describe Diana Holmes ...
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 2:13 AM
movebyleap movebyleap is offline
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Just out of curiosity - at what time do most Bluesfest concerts end? I guess I could understand if the noise went on until 3 am but something tells me that's not the case!!
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  #8  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 2:26 AM
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From what I've seen of the schedule the last acts begin at either 9pm or 9:30pm, so it shouldn't run later than midnight.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 2:47 AM
Kitchissippi Kitchissippi is offline
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During WestFest, the limit of the noise exemption was until 11 pm. I imagine it is similar for BluesFest. I heard all the WestFest concerts loud and clear from my house. I doubt there were any complaints from residents. We're a tolerant bunch you know, except when it comes to a couple of extra storeys on some buildings
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 3:12 AM
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Last year a woman wrote in to the newspaper about our Blues Festival keeping her away during the day, because she is a nurse and had to work at night, and she suggested that they move it to a far away place in the country.

Two days later, a rebuttal from someone living in the same area wrote in saying she should be moved to a far away place in the country.

If you live downtown, you have to except noises when cultural events go on.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 2:05 PM
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Last night after dinner we walked over to the Astrolabe with the kids and you could hear a little bit of Bluesfest as a distant sound, you definitely couldn't tell the songs, and this is over open clear water. It was 10 pm. As soon as we came back to the Spider Park as my daughter calls it, you couldn't hear a thing anymore.

So, I'm wondering if these two Glebites weren't in the top floor of some condo by the canal and actually trying really hard to be disturbed by something, anything, that would bring Diane Holmes to their door on a Saturday night...
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 2:20 PM
clynnog clynnog is offline
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Originally Posted by Mille Sabords View Post
bring Diane Holmes to their door on a Saturday night...
Now there is a scary thought.

Do they have similar problems in Montreal during their blues/jazz/reggae festival...or are the residential areas far enough away.

IMO, if Ottawa were to have an open air Supertramp festival, then there wouldn't be any complaints....man o man what is it about Supertramp that Ottawa goes so crazy about.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 3:51 PM
jitterbug jitterbug is offline
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Diane Holmes can "investigate" all she wants, it won't change anything at Bluesfest. While common sense is not very common at city hall, this is one time when 26 whiners plus one Diane Holmes won't ruin the party for the estimated 300,000 people expected to attend the festival.

The two complaints from the Glebe must've been from the same killjoys who've been complaining about noise from the Ex every year.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 3:53 PM
c_speed3108 c_speed3108 is offline
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The simple solution to these complaints is to inform those complaining that the noise issue will addressed within 14 days.....


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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 4:03 PM
Acajack Acajack is offline
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Originally Posted by clynnog View Post
Now there is a scary thought.

Do they have similar problems in Montreal during their blues/jazz/reggae festival...or are the residential areas far enough away.
Tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands of people) live right downtown in Montreal where all of the action is, and there are complaints there as well (given that there seems to be an outdoor festival of some kind pretty much every weekend there during the summer).

But I don't think anyone there would give serious thought to killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

Bluesfest is wonderful for Ottawa but the noise and disruption that takes place in downtown Ottawa during a typical summer (Bluesfest, Canada Day plus a few other things) pales in comparison to downtown Montreal and all of the crowds, people, etc. that you see there during the warm weather.

In Montreal, complainers are usually quickly given the brush-off: "You're living in the heart of the city, man! If you want peace and quiet all of the time, move the 'burbs or the country and leave downtown to the true citadins!"

Last edited by Acajack; Jul 8, 2008 at 5:23 PM. Reason: typo
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Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 4:07 PM
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I went to Bluesfest yesterday, and it kicked ass.

Me and a large group of friends saw Infected Mushroom, Snoop Dogg, Primus, and The Wailers.

These NIMBY's/complainants are nothing more than killjoys who can't accept that Ottawa isn't a small town anymore.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 4:27 PM
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The location isn't exactly in someone's backyard.. it's an open field for chrissakes.

Won't someone think of the poor groundhogs and Canada geese that are displaced from their eating/shitting grounds?
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  #18  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 5:17 PM
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Stuff like this is where Ottawa got the reputation as the town that fun forgot. It's a city. There is going to be noise. Get over it.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 8:32 PM
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Hopefully she can get the NCC to turn down the Canada Day fireworks. Those things just ruined my Tuesday evening...
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  #20  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2008, 9:08 PM
clynnog clynnog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aesthetic View Post
Joyless. One of many adjectives to describe Diana Holmes ...
She strikes me as the type of person who feels that government (of any level) must be involved in everybody's lives 24/7. Her intrusive interfering permeates many things going on at 110 Laurier.
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