Sylvan Lake turns down Quiet Initiative

Anti-boat noise group asked for $2,000

Sylvan Lake town council will not lend its voice to a quiet enjoyment initiative.

Earlier this week, council unanimously turned down a $2,000 grant request from the Sylvan Lake Quiet Enjoyment Initiative to help fund and promote its message.

The initiative is a committee of the Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society and aims to draw attention to what is seen as an increasingly noisy lake.

Large boats without adequate noise mufflers, as well as the use of powerful music systems, have been identified as the leading causes of the din. An education and awareness program was created and pamphlets handed out to boaters.

Besides a grant, the initiative also requested that council approve a resolution supporting the anti-noise effort, provide town staff support and add a council or staff person to the committee. Those requests were also turned down.

A report to council says that few complaints have been received from visitors or residents about boating noise.

“As we are a leading recreational lake and tourism destination in Alberta, some degree of noise is expected to accompany lake usage and the tourism industry,” says the report.

“Council must also consider that supporting this (Quiet Enjoyment Initiative) might be seen as discouraging tourism.”

Town communications officer Joanne Gaudet said the town has various initiatives promoting Sylvan Lake that have been developed after getting input and support from the public. Boating noise has not arisen as an issue with the public.

“I guess our brand has always been fun, and exciting and charming,” she said. “We have that kind of waterfront energy down there and I don’t think we want to put out messaging that hurts that brand identity.

“We have an approach that we want to maintain, and it’s different than theirs.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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