A local busker was wrongfully kicked out when he was performing downtown.
Blaine Waldbauer is a local violin and fiddle teacher. He is 57-years-old and has been playing since he was seven.
He plays classical violin and old time fiddle music, and he said he likes to stand outside of the library because the people that go there seem to like his style of music.
But when Waldbauer was playing his violin near the sidewalk in front of the library, (about 75 feet away from the doors), around noon on Wed. Oct. 12, he was told to leave by a security guard from Safety Net Security.
A female security guard “just came walking down the street and took a beeline right at me and just told me that I’ve got to get out of there,” Waldbauer said.
“She said ‘I’m the security here and there’s a (busking) bylaw in the City of Campbell River.’”
Waldbauer said he told her there is no busking bylaw and that he would not leave.
Ross Milnthorp, the city’s parks, recreation and culture general manager, confirmed Campbell River currently has no busking bylaw in place.
Waldbauer said the guard called the police.
He continued to play music until police arrived and said the guard tried to stop people from seeing him play his violin.
“She actually stood in front of my case and prevented anybody from approaching me or talking to me,” explained Waldbauer, adding that one women wanted to throw a donation in his case, but the security guard told the woman she couldn’t.
When police showed up and asked Waldbauer to move along, he did, as he said he didn’t want any trouble.
However, he didn’t go down quietly on the issue.
Last Friday he called Safety Net Security and didn’t get much of a response, so he left messages at City Hall hoping for some help.
When the Mirror caught up with Milnthorp on Tuesday afternoon he said he had just received Waldbauer’s message as he was away sick for a few days, and he said the security guard should not have acted in that way.
“He came up against an overzealous security agent, one of our security people downtown,” said Milnthorp. “We’ve called the security company and informed them of the situation and directed them not to do that again.”
Safety Net Security declined comment on the matter.
Waldbauer said he is happy that the city backed him up, and was outside of the library again this past Wednesday playing some old time fiddle music.
A passerby, Melissa Francis, said she goes to the library every Wednesday and often sees Waldbauer playing outside.
His music’s “just beautiful, we look forward to it,” said Francis of her and her young daughter, adding that he’s usually dressed up “like he just came out of a symphony.”