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Fines issued after 'sex-positive' parties held at West Vancouver mansion

Despite complaints, no criminal activity was found at the ‘swingers private’ events in Horseshoe Bay, but several bylaws were breached.

While thousands of ferry passengers and tourists visit Horseshoe Bay each year, rarely are they wearing pasties and leather harnesses. But for a few weeks at the end of this summer, that all changed.

On Aug. 26, party-goers clad in fetish attire began appearing by the busload to attend a soirée at a home in the Gleneagles neighbourhood, just outside of Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, organized by a promoter of “sex-positive and alternative fetish events.”

In response to the party, neighbours contacted police and local government, complaining of “sexual activities, drug use, underage consumption, liquor sales, traffic obstructions [and] noise concerns,” according to a statement from the District of West Vancouver.

“Some noted that tickets had been sold to the event, and that there were shuttles coming and going, and that there were also security on site,” said district spokesperson Carrie Gadsby.

As a result, joint meetings were held with West Vancouver police, municipal engineers and the fire department to address the issue. Complaints were also addressed in person on Sept. 15, Gadsby said.

The district learned that the property at 6220 Summit Ave. had been rented for a six-week period, with tenancy ending on Sept. 30. The property management company told officials that it had been “misled” as to the nature of the rental, and had contacted the residential tenancy branch to end the tenancy, Gadsby said.

With subsequent events scheduled for each Saturday after the initial party, the district took actions to mitigate any potential disruptions.

No basis or evidence of illegal activity, district says

West Vancouver police were in attendance, with two officers stationed in the area during one of the events, and conducting patrols nearby. “Follow up investigations determined no basis or evidence of illegal/criminal activity or liquor sales,” Gadsby said.

The fire department also patrolled the area to ensure there were no fire concerns or traffic obstructions. “Local traffic only” signs were placed in the area to deter vehicle traffic, Gadsby added.

As no business licence was secured and the parties contravened municipal zoning, four tickets were issued for each of the four events (ending Sept. 9) for a total of $3,800.

There was constant communication with the party promoter to ensure that concerns were mitigated and that he was aware that these events were in contravention of bylaws and they would be enforced, Gadsby said.

A representative from Plur Productions, the Vancouver-based company that ran the parties, declined to comment when contacted by the North Shore News.

The events were advertised as sex positive and sexual in nature – a swingers private club event, Gadsby said.

“This was not the focus of the investigation, as the Supreme Court case R v Labaye, [2005] 3 S.C.R. 728, 2005 SCC 80 found that swinging and consensual group sex is not illegal,” she wrote in the statement. “The focus was on the impact to the neighbourhood and the contraventions of the bylaws, which were enforced accordingly.”

Correction: An earlier version stated the parties were held in Horseshoe Bay, whereas the address is in the adjacent Gleneagles neighbourhood.

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