VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It appears after some people complained, none of us will hear music at Vancouver Park Board operated fitness centres and some indoor pools.
As of Aug. 1, the board confirms it will be turning off the tunes at 15 centres and at least two indoor pools during public swim hours because too many people complained they either didn’t like the choice of music or the level of volume.
“Our mission at the Park Board is to create inclusive and a welcoming environment in all of our facilities,” says the board’s manager of recreation services, Erica McDonald.
She explains this has been an ongoing issue and users in the past at the fitness centres have actually gotten into verbal arguments over the music. So, the board’s solution is to get rid of it completely.
“We’ve received complaints over the last few years and it has just escalated recently with more and more conflicts in the facilities where people are arguing.”
I just found out that @ParkBoard is banning background music at fitness centres + pools because some patrons don’t like style or volume of music. It’s also inconsistent across system b/c each centre is different. So a few complain and now I’ll be working out in awkward silence?
— Lesli Boldt (@LesliBoldt) July 25, 2018
We asked McDonald if there was any other solution they could have come up with. Essentially, the answer was no.
“The problem is where we’re having people in a public environment listening to other choices that don’t suit them. We’ve been getting lots of feedback, complaints from many of them. We’ve had conflicts in terms of staff choice of music,” she says.
You might think fighting about a song playing in the background of a gym is silly — and you’re probably not wrong — but McDonald stresses music is a very personal thing and most people wear their own headphones anyway.
“This happens in a number of different municipalities and they’re faced with similarly having to provide a neutral environment and it’s been successful in other municipalities as well, so we feel this is the right solution for the challenges we’re experiencing here.”
She adds notices have already gone up and staff are telling people the music will be turned off.
McDonald says if they get enough feedback from people who want the music restored, they’ll consider it — but there are no guarantees.
IS IT TOO LOUD? Too quiet? Just right? Well it doesn’t matter anymore because as of Aug 1st 15 fitness centres and two indoor pools operated by the Vancouver Park Board won’t be playing any music at all. @CityNewsVAN @BT_Vancouver @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/zQS6XfHqKc
— Ashley Grace Burr (@AshleyBurr_) July 26, 2018