A tribute to cancer survivors and victims is keeping some neighbours awake.
The City of Vernon received complaints about after-hours noise coming from the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life June 8 and 9 in Polson Park.
“This is the third year that we have received multiple complaints,” said Patti Bridal, the city’s corporate services manager, in a memo to council.
The event sees people walk around the park oval all night, and when they are not doing that, there are other activities to keep them entertained.
The city says the last complaint was received at 12:30 a.m.
“Currently, we consider that if a park usage permit has been issued and is still valid (the permit has not expired or has no time limit), that the use and any noise associated with it is allowed,” said Bridal.
“Although bylaw enforcement may still attend and ask that noise levels be reduced, this created conflict between the user, bylaw officers and the complainant.”
Rally organizers have been approached about trying to reduce noise levels by 11 p.m. However, Bridal admits the city doesn’t want to be heavy-handed.
“It becomes difficult to police or control, especially given the fundraising and opportunities for healing that this sort of event allows,” she said.
This year’s Vernon Relay for Life attracted more than 328 participants and it raised $90,000 for cancer research and care.
Relay for Life organizers say they worked directly with the parks department and bylaw officers to ensure they followed all noise bylaws communicated to them.
“We were not notified of any noise complaints during this year’s event and have not been made aware of any complaints in previous years,” said Sarb Tatla-Low, co-ordinator of community giving for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Tatla-Low saus the purpose of Relay For Life is to bring a community together to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost and fight back against cancer.
“It’s important for us to put on an event that is engaging and inspirational while also minimizing impact on surrounding residents and we certainly would make changes if that community had expressed concerns about noise,” she said.
“We hope all Vernon residents take the opportunity to experience Relay For Life and join us in 2014 as their community fights back against cancer.”