According to a persistent rumour, it’s against the law to play a drum in the District of Tofino. As a hand-drum enthusiast i decided to check this out. Turns out it was easy, because all the bylaws that govern us are on the district’s website, tofino.ca. (Click Residents > Bylaws > Regulatory Bylaws).
As it happens, percussion is specifically mentioned, but any musical instruments that disturb anybody’s “peace, quiet, rest, enjoyment, comfort and/or convenience” will bring out the hounds. Sounds like pretty much any complaint can shut you down. Moreover, they can take away your djembe (or your Stradivarius) until you pay the impound fee.
So as it turns out, there isn’t a rabid anti-drum agenda going on in Toff town. (Though, reading between the lines, it’s pretty clear where the origins of this particular bylaw lay. Friggin’ hippies!)
So here’s the pertinent section, right from the horse’s mouth, of Bylaw 702 — Public Property Use Regulation Bylaw, 1995, Section 15, subsection D:
i) No person shall use any percussion or other musical instrument in such a way as to disturb the peace, quiet, rest, enjoyment, comfort and/or convenience of the neighbourhood or persons in which such continuous noise is received.
ii) Where any person plays or uses any percussion or other musical instrument in contravention of provisions of this Section, such percussion or musical instrument may be removed, detained or impounded by the Bylaw Enforcement Officer.
iii) After any such removal, detention or impoundment, the person entitled to the possession of such percussion or musical instrument will be entitled to its release upon payment to the District of an impound fee.
iv) Any percussion or musical instrument not claimed by its owner within thirty (30) days of its impounding shall be advertised and sold by public auction to the highest bidder. All proceeds of such auction shall be applied against any and all outstanding fees penalties, with the balance of the proceeds, if any, shall be held by the District for a period of one year from the date of sale, for the owner. If unclaimed at the end of the year, such sum shall be paid into the General Revenue Account of the District.
Cribbed from a May 2009 post on pacificrimarts.ca.