Youth behind Parksville’s downtown arts market have more than proven to the community that they are a welcome addition to the local culture.
So, it makes little sense that they be condemned for the actions of a few people who flew in the face of the whole purpose behind the youth-run venue for creativity in the city. It’s an outlet for young people, away from the influence — including adults.
Let the reason for the curtailing of music and art events at the YAM (Young Arts Market) in the former second hand store location at Jensen Street and the Alberni Highway, be for reasons of zoning and permitting — not for the presence of drunk or high individuals at a recent music concert.
For months, the City of Parksville tacitly allowed the YAM to hold such events — even though they weren’t technically allowed under their permit to operate a gallery of sorts. It seems the youth proved they could, for the most part, handle themselves. No better or worse than adults do.
Then the worst possible thing happened. No, not that intoxicated people showed up at a dance and had to be removed by police (who were invited to the event). It was Facebook that sunk this ship. Someone who attended the event posted their views of the event and what happened and a parent saw it and complained. Because Facebook is the best interpretation of all situations.
Forced to act on the complaint, the city bylaw office had no choice but to respond. One might compare it to getting Al Capone on tax evasion.
Fair enough. The law is the law. But the members of YAM and their patrons have shown they are, overall, not a disruptive element in our community. They have held many successful events and it would be a shame for it to suddenly end.
Eventually, this youth group will move to a location where they can hold such events. They have earned our support. Don’t let the bad apples spoil the bunch.