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Mixed reviews after tunes are turned off at some Vancouver gyms, pools

Last Updated Oct 4, 2018 at 8:22 am PDT

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Summary

Many people have told staff they're fine working out in silence, says Park Board director of recreation

'We've had some people asking if we can consider turning it back on,' says Donnie Rosa with the Park Board

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s been just over two months since staff with the Vancouver Park Board decided too many people were complaining about the background music at more than a dozen of its facilities — so, the board killed the tunes altogether.

However, not everyone is happy about it.

Donnie Rosa, director of recreation for the board, admits they have had some complaints of people wanting the music turned back on, adding they don’t like working out to the sound of clanking gym equipment or other people’s conversations.

Rosa adds enough people have told staff they’re fine with working out in silence. So, for now, the decision stands.

“[We’ve] had some calls in, asking ‘Why?’ We’ve had some people asking if we can consider turning it back on but relative to the complaints and the arguments and fights we had before we turned it off — it doesn’t compare.”

The board initially made the decision because it claimed too many people were fighting and arguing over not only the style of music that was playing or the volume.

“I’ve also had a handful of calls thanking me because a) they had a hearing issue and now they can use the facility or b) it was just too disruptive in terms of the different types of music and the arguments.”

RELATED: Vancouver Park Board turning off tunes at some fitness centres, pools

She adds the decision to keep the music off isn’t written in stone. But they need and are asking for is feedback.

“We could have different times — no music times and all that — but the problem is at no one time are there people in the facility that all agree on the same music at the same time or the same quiet at the same time. You just can’t keep everyone happy that way, so we went with access and inclusion. That’s our solution. Absolutely, community engagement is imperative. There are always lessons we learn through every process.”

Rosa says she has been able to ease people’s anger about the situation by simply explaining why the board has chosen to do this. “Quite often, when I was able to speak to people and explain it, they had a much better understanding and a much better tolerance for it.”

She adds if you don’t like working out in silence, you can bring your own headphones.

The Park Board turned off the music as of August 1.