This photo of a woman pecking her pooch is among the shots removed from the Downtown Victoria Business Association's Kiss in the City contest page on Facebook. A group known as The Disruption Collective submitted the photos to protest what they call the criminalization of poverty in the downtown core.

Downtown Victoria kissing contest gets political

DVBA general manager says annual Valentine's Day contest not the right venue for protests

A Valentine’s Day kissing contest meant to promote the downtown core isn’t getting any love from one activist group.

Members of The Disruption Collective, who oppose gentrification of the downtown core, submitted several photos to the Downtown Victoria Business Association’s annual Kiss in the City contest Facebook page this week.

The photos were of people kissing near private property signs, and were intended to draw attention to what the collective calls “the ongoing criminalization of poverty in the city.”

“The kissing contest is a vehicle for the DVBA to promote an exclusive, consumer-oriented image of the downtown area,” Collective member Julie Anne Blackpen wrote in a release.

DVBA general manager Ken Kelly said the photos were removed because one contained offensive content, and they didn’t suit a contest meant to “bring out the fun and excitement on Valentine’s Day.”

“We took our prerogative as the sponsors of this contest to remove all three of the submitted photos,” he said.

The DVBA has several programs that aim to include the street population, including its Clean Team, which has employed about 50 people since 2005, Kelly added.

The Disruption Collective plans to continue to take photographs and submit them to the contest up until the Kiss in the City deadline on Feb. 3.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

 

Just Posted

Saanich police are looking for a man who exposed himself Saturday night

The incident exposure happened at the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street

Readers Theatre returns to Victoria’s Emanu-El

Born at Congregation Emanu-El’s 2013 Arts Festival, Bema Productions is back for its fifth season

Victoria-bound plane slides off icy Edmonton runway

Crew, passengers had to disembark via bridge stairs

VIDEO: Hundreds gather in Victoria as part of global Women’s March for equality

‘End Violence Against Women’ march theme for 2019

Victoria’s oldest pipes to be replaced this year

The pipes along Cook Street were installed in 1891 and are made of bricks

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

2019 Canadian Whisky Awards’ big winners announced

Awards held in conjunction with Victoria Whisky Festival

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Most Read