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.


Just Posted

Two puppies snatched from East Sooke home

Anyone with information asked to contact Sooke RCMP

Saanich teen helps save three people from the Gorge

53-year-old male who was submerged is expected to recover

Moving Trans History Forward conference aimed at more than LGBTQ community

UVic’s Aaron Devor: “We’re all here to learn from each other”

Large fire destroys home on McClure Street in Victoria

Fire crews dispatched to the 1100-block shortly before noon Monday

Driver puts brand new truck into friend’s house

No one hurt, house damaged in Tillicum area

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Comox Valley Valley lotto ticket worth $2 million

Someone who purchased a lottery ticket in the Comox Valley was chanelling… Continue reading

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

Man dies in crash on Island Highway

Man thrown from his vehicle, alcohol believed to be a factor in accident near Parksville

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

Most Read