Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kill an Artist + Constant Harassment = Motivation ====> Freedom

Since I purchased this property four and a half years ago.... it has not been without its difficulties. Never did I anticipate that turning my home into an art gallery would be so difficult. Years of constant harassment from unknown individuals calling Bylaw, calling the City of Ottawa, calling the Police, calling the media, calling everyone to shut me down.

Early this week I finally had a blue sky. Sunshine... Great News.

Let me tell the story....

In the last several years I have applied many times for Special Occasion Permits (SOP) .. no problems.

But last month I went to the LCBO for an SOP. I applied three times.... Declined... all three applications refused. FUCK ME.

I was pretty stressed. How could I have an Art Opening and not be allowed to give out a glass of wine without the fear of breaking the law and getting massive fines. How could I rent out my space for a wedding, party, event with out there being alcohol. This was a nightmare for me.

Late Sunday night I emailed my MPP Yasir Naqvi. First thing I called Andrew Milton at the local Police Department. I called The Licensing & Registration Branch of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario... head office in Toronto, and I called one of the head liquor inspectors over to my home for talk and tea.

Andrew Roundtree (liquor inspector) came to my home. I offered him tea. I also offered him a beer. Just to smile. We talked for an hour. He was very kind. Good guy. He took two pages of notes. I expressed my vision, my wishes, the parties, the kegs, posters... everything. No limits. Everything on the table.

A week later... 8:02 am. Monday morning. I get a phone call from the head supervision in Toronto of the Licensing & Registration Branch of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. I have call display... So I was very nervous. To be honest I was shitting my pants.

Before I picked up the phone... I thought... am I going to have to hire a lawyer... how many months will this bullshit drag out....

So I took a deep breath. I answered the phone. "Hello, Good Morning!"

Well to cut to the bottom line result... Freedom. My HOME is My HOME. = My RULES. I do not even need a permit. I am allowed to invite anyone and everyone. I do not even have to go to the LCBO to even apply for a permit. I can host weddings... open bar. I can have massive art openings, invite the world to celebrate. Total Freedom. As long as I do not sell the beer. No cash bar. Freedom.

You cannot imagine just how much this excites me. I have been in a state if euphoria for days.

As long as I keep the party inside my home or in my backyard. And I respect the local Bylaw. I am good to FUCKING PARTY.

Over the past years
I have been contacted by:
- Bylaw (many times)
- Health inspectors
- Electrical Safety authority inspectors
- Building Services
- Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (Property Taxes)
- Canada Revenue Agency. Two officers came to my home to do a field trip. As part of their comprehensive audit.
- Head office of the LCBO in Toronto
- Liquor Inspectors
- Local police officers (two under cover officers).
I do not believe this is simply bad luck. But rather I have a red target on my back. Dealing with all these above bodies has resulted and continues to result in a great deal of time, stress, and expense.
It has taken years to finally get the correct information from the Liquor Inspectors, Bylaw, and the rest of the above list. But finally ... Freedom.


1 comment:

Comeau said...

Sometimes it takes time to build our place under the sun; places are limited. But with patience and determination, this place seems to appear like something that always was and it lasts forever. Good job, Patrick. Congratulations!