Canada: Clowns protest proposed balloon ban in Vancouver parks - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Clowns protest proposed balloon ban in Vancouver parks

23:41  18 september  2017
23:41  18 september  2017 Source:   vancouversun.com

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Face painter Ilea Wakelin, left, and balloon artist Lauren Preston at a protest against a proposed balloon ban from city parks and community centres, in Vancouver on Sept. Clown artists who turned out for Monday’s rally said they are willing to work with the park board to reach a compromise.

Clowns and lovers of balloons gathered today in John Henry Park to protest the proposed ban off all balloons in Vancouver Parks and Rec centers. Courtesy of

Times are tough for Dilly the Clown.

Not only is he dealing with a demonic clown in movie theatres, he’s also been forced into a fight against a proposed balloon ban in Vancouver parks.

On Monday night, the Vancouver park board will vote on a motion to ban all latex and plastic balloons from city parks and community centres. The park board says the colourful inflatables pose a risk to birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other wildlife that either eat the deflated remains and suffer internal injuries, or die after becoming tangled in balloon strings.

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A proposal to ban balloons from Vancouver 's parks and community centres was popped Monday night, after the city's The proposal had caught the ire of local clowns , and was hit with criticism by other parks board members who said there were bigger problems facing parks and community centres.

Vancouver 's Park Board is voting tonight on whether to ban balloons from the city's green spaces. WATCH: Park Board considers balloon ban . A protest , featuring Dilly the Clown , will be held in John Hendry Park at 11 a.m. If the motion is passed, Mackinnon said he’d like to see signs in parks and

Dilly, also known as Jim Milburn, was among a handful of clowns speaking out against the balloon ban at a rally Monday morning in John Hendry Park at Trout Lake.

“I use balloons as part of my act. I do balloon fireworks, make balloon hats but I don’t do any of the fancy twisting,” he said.

Dilly’s wife Donna, also a clown, is the chief twister and balloon animal expert in the family.

The couple’s clown business will suffer from a balloon ban, Dilly claims.

“We work many rec centres. An outright balloon ban would be a direct hit to our bottom line. That’s our livelihood,” he said.

“We agree with a lot of their issues.  Those helium balloons go up in the air … and they fly off to Never Never Land and the birds get at them on the land and the fish try to eat them thinking they are a worm. We completely agree with banning them.”

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+ The Vancouver Park Board is looking to ban balloons within parks , community centres and any other areas in its jurisdiction. Park Board Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon tabled the motion. LISTEN: CKNW reporter Emily Lazatin speaks to Stuart MacKinnon about the proposed balloon ban .

A colourful group of clowns and other balloon -loving protesters argued against a heavy hand for their light decorations Monday morning. Approximately 10 people rallied at John Hendry Park in advance of a Vancouver Park Board meeting tonight considering a ban on balloons , to say that was a bad idea

Dilly doesn’t work with helium.

“I’ve been clowning since 1984 and we’ve always told kids to pick up the broken pieces. Our balloons are also biodegradable latex — put them in the compost and they degrade at the same rate as an oak leaf. It’s an educational issue,” he said.

“We work in the rec centres and there is not going to be many birds or animals inside rec centres.”

The balloon ban controversy has kept Dilly’s attention away from It, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s creepy clown novel that is breaking box office records. The movie tells the tale of a demonic clown named Pennywise who abducts and murders children in a small Maine town.

Dilly won’t be buying a ticket to see it.

“A certain segment of society is entertained by scary clowns, but not me. We suffer through it and there is nothing we can do about it,” he said. “An awful lot of people are afraid of clowns and I really don’t understand it. We are comedic entertainers trying to put a smile on everyone’s face. It’s quite a task."

With files from Canadian Press

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