John (right) and his dad, James, are well-known accordionists in the Comox Valley. Photo via Facebook

Accordion player banned from playing in Vancouver Island town

Accordions ‘make too much noise’ according to Town official

  • May. 31, 2019 5:00 p.m.

Dave Flawse

Special to The Record

Local accordion player Jon Cunningham has been silenced by the Town of Comox, after being turned down for a busking permit.

“I’ve been playing there for the last couple of years without a licence,” admits Cunningham. “I decided to go get the licence and they turned me down saying I was too loud.”

Town of Comox deputy corporate administrator Shelly Russworm said the busking bylaw is enforced based on the number of noise complaints a musician receives.

Accordion players aren’t allowed to busk in the town of Comox because based on the bylaw they make too much noise, says Russworm. Unacceptable noise in the bylaw is defined as “any noise or sound that disturbs the quiet peace rest or enjoyment comfort or convenience of any person in the vicinity.”

“I don’t understand why there’s so many people complaining,” said Cuningham. “Because from what I’ve been noticing there’s a lot more people like it than hate it.”

Since the Town of Comox won’t give him a licence, Cunningham says he will play in the town and give all his earnings to charity.

He’s been playing accordion for 30 years says he’s not doing it for the money. But busking does “help pay for food or if I need gas to get to work.”

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