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

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Police seek owner of sailboat beached in Oak Bay

Residents reminded to steer clear of the vessel

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Whisky society commits to charity donation in wake of whisky raids

Refund of Victoria Whiskey Festival tickets won’t impact charity beneficiaries

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Most Read