Oh, for crying out loud; or, Petition to save the Main Hall
In a typical case of threat-by-bureaucracy, the proprietors of the Mile End Cultural Centre have been forced to cancel all ticketed events at the Main Hall for the rest of the summer because the “salle de réunion” permit the venue has held for the last sixteen years apparently does not allow for “spectacles.”
Yeah, that’s right.
According to their press release, the impetus for the sudden turnaround by the city is a noise complaint from one of the MECC’s neighbours, which may now jeopardise their application for a proper “salle de spectacles” permit. Because you know, if you’re looking for a nice, quiet residential street to live on, then Boulevard St-Laurent is just the place for you.
This isn’t the first time that noise issues have threatened cultural establishments in the north Plateau. Back in 2000, a proposal to turn the old Rialto Theatre into a nightclub was quashed at the last minute because of noise concerns. Meanwhile, in 2006, the borough very nearly evicted the Montreal Fringe Festival because of complaints about noise emanating from its beer tent in Parc des Amériques.
Coincidence? Probably not, as the borough has listed the reduction of street noise as one of the main priorities of its 2007 Budget participatif, which began public consultations in June and is scheduled for final approval in the fall.
Determined to buck the trend, the folks at the MECC have started a petition in support of their application, which you can sign here. For the full scoop, check out the organization’s website or, if you’re feeling networky, you can join their Facebook group. Tell ’em I sent you.