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Legal action to be taken against Slocan Valley rave organizers

The RDCK has voted to pursue lawsuits after the raves drew noise complaints
The Regional District of Central Kootenay plans to sue land owners in the Slocan Valley after two summer raves drew noise complaints. Photo: Wendy Wei/Pexels

by John Boivin

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice

The owners of Slocan Valley properties where two raves were held this summer may find themselves facing a judge for having the events take place.

The RDCK board of directors approved moving forward with legal action against the owners at the in-camera portion of the board’s August meeting.

The Labour of Love and High Frequency raves were held over two separate weekends in July near the community of Winlaw. While many locals defended the events on social media, RDCK officials also received numerous complaints about music that could be heard a kilometre away all night long, prompting an investigation under the area’s noise bylaw.

“Bylaw enforcement within the RDCK is complaint driven,” said RDCK’s bylaw enforcement officer, Jordan Dupuis. “In this circumstance, due to the significant number of complainants and the severity of the alleged bylaw infractions, Bylaw Enforcement recommended prosecution via the Offence Act.”

Rave organizers received $200 fines after last year’s raves, but bylaw officials admit that’s not much more than the cost of doing business for some events. The fines for this long-form prosecution, the next stage of enforcement, are correspondingly higher. According to the bylaw, organizers could face fines up to $1,500, plus legal costs – and ignoring the judge’s ruling could have the offender facing criminal charges for contempt of court.

The case could go before a judge anytime in the next six months to a year, depending on court and lawyer’s schedules, Dupuis says.