Victoria Public Gardens is Being Disrespected By Commercial Wedding Photographers
Written by The Visionary Folk Photographer.
Daniel J Towsey
I should of written this years ago.
Below you will see a short video and photographs to support what I am about to reveal.
The Victoria Public Gardens is located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The gardens are often known as The Halifax Public Gardens.
These gardens are world class. This property was given to the people of the city of Halifax by Queen Victoria.
You can go to my website at http://danieltowsey.photoshop.com to have a look at how special and beautiful these
The beauty of this place with all its flower gardens, pond, fountains, and gazzebo has always been an attraction for weddings pictures.
So much so, that during the summer months the gardens have been overwhelmed by too many huge wedding parties all at the same time.
These wedding parties and their commercial photographers completely take over and disturb the peace and tranquility of the gardens.
There is a hotel across the street that has the receptions for many of these wedding parties.
So the commercial photographers just have to walk across the street to do their commercial business on public property.
These huge wedding parties come in and block the trails so that the normal visitors to the park are blocked from being able to move freely around the gardens.
When these huge wedding parties block the paths.
They block off access to a large part of the gardens and this always occurs at the main entrance area to the gardens.
So this is a big problem for anyone trying to enter the gardens.
The wedding parties can number up to ten different wedding parties at any one time.
Then when one party finishes its photo shoot at a particular location another wedding party will move in.
These wedding parties will walk around everywhere in the gardens on the grass. and also block all the trails.
Walking on the grass at the Halifax public gardens is never permitted at anytime except in the family area field.
I would now like to make a statement about the private wedding parties.
Those that are done by friends and family and no commercial photographers.
These private wedding parties are always wonderful.
They are quiet and courteous to other people who want to enjoy the gardens.
These small private photo shoots almost never ever walk on the grass.
Or obstruct other people from enjoying the public gardens.
It is only the conceited commercial photographers who come in and think they are special and that they can do what ever they want and disrespect everyone else who wants to have a peaceful quiet pleasant stroll through the wonderful gardens.
While these commercial photographers with all their gear and assistants are in the Gardens and one the grass.
All visitors to the gardens can not see the flower gardens nor can the general public enjoy the gardens.
These commercial photographers are running a business for profit in the public gardens.
Some of them even bring in noisy buskers musicians to accompany their events.
These musicians such as bagpipes destroy the peace and tranquility of the gardens.
No one is ever permitted to operate any money making business in the public gardens.
Local buskers have been told they are never permitted to engage in any money making events in the public gardens.
So why are the commercial photographers with their bus loads of people permitted to come in and do commercial photos shoots?
Why are they being permitted by the gardens staff to do what ever they want?
Today the situation was completely out of control because no where in this huge and very valuable property was there any security or grounds people.
I really wondered, why was it that on a busy Saturday there was no one in authority watching over the public gardens.
For many years the huge number of commercial wedding photo shoots has been destroying the grass on the gardens and interfering with the general publics enjoyment of the public gardens..
When you have fifty to hundred people standing and shifting around on the same piece of grass for up to one hour at time.
They flatten the grass.
Then more commercial wedding photographers well come along all day long day after day and do the same thing in the same areas.
So even if there are no commercial photographers on any one day. The crushing of the grass is still obvious.
Some areas then become just dirt and mud especially on the shores to the large pond.
Today when I entered the public gardens, my access to, and enjoyment of the gardens was obstructed again by one of these huge wedding parties.
They were all over the grass and they were completely blocking the path I needed to go down.
I get around in an electric wheelchair and I could not get through.
These people from this huge wedding party never once moved out of the way for any one from the general public to get through.
So I moved up close to one of the people from this wedding party and mentioned quietly that walking on the grass is not ever permitted.
I also mentioned that the sign at the entrance says that weddings are not permitted in the gardens.
So the sign (see picture) is confusing. It says no weddings permitted in the gardens.. would that not mean all aspects of the wedding?
I, many times in the past have been told by the parks people that wedding photo shoots were no longer permitted in the gardens.
They told me this because I asked them, why is it that all the little signs in the park that said no walking on the grass were removed.
The grounds guy said to me that the signs were removed because they made the park look ugly. He also told me that he can not possibly keep up with the problem and that the public gardens had reduced their staff.
So that explained why the gardens grass was now showing signs of wear all around the pond area by the water fountain.
Also I was told that the reason why all the signs had been put up was because of all the huge commercial wedding parties walking all over the grass.
Then I was told that wedding photo shoots were no longer permitted in the gardens and is why the gardens management felt the signs were no longer needed.
That is why today I was shocked to see the gardens flooded with wedding parties and no gardens grounds crews or security was present.
But still many people that are new to the gardens would walk all over the gardens grass and even set up picnics because they did not know it was not permitted. Those little no walking on the grass signs are very needed.
This grounds person told me that he hated having to spend his whole day chasing all over this huge public gardens and asking people not to go on the grass.
He really wished that the signs were put back up. Especially when the people were always telling him that they did not know and that there were no signs anywhere letting them know that going on the grass is not permitted.
For years I and many other people who love these gardens have enjoyed going to the gardens to take photos of the flowers, wildlife and scenery.
But all that is impossible to do when these commercial wedding photo shoots are in the gardens.
So today after I had spoken with one of the members of this huge wedding party.
I noticed that they did not care what so ever that they were blocking the paths and crushing the lawn.
I realized that this situation was the responsibility of the commercial photographer who was doing his business in the gardens.
He should not of taken such a huge party to the gardens.
He should of found some other location that would not interfere with other peoples freedoms.
The commercial photographer should of found a location that would not be blocking public access to the gardens and the trails.
So I asked one of the people of this huge party if they would tell me the name of the photographer so could follow up later to file a complaint about this photographer.
Since no one would tell me who he is, I advised them that I would be taking photos of the photographer and his huge party on the grass and their blocking the trails.
I indicated that I needed the photos to be able to identify this photographer and to show what he was doing. See photos. (Photos and video to be uploaded in the near future)
The situation went worse not because of me.
I had moved away from their wedding party and different members of their party decided to verbally harass me.
So that is when I decide to take photos.
Their harassment continued, so I screamed out at them that they were not permitted to be on the grass.
Then I did a quick short video of the location.
I then went away. But then the sister of the lady getting married comes over far away to where I was and stood over me and began screaming, threatening and swearing at me. Then here boyfriend did the same thing.
All I did was try to back up in my wheelchair but i could not safely back up more then a few inches as I could not see the people behind me.
The woman threatened to call the police and I told her I would like it if she did so.
The boyfriend then started on me but he quickly stopped and became very polite and civil when he realized that I was very civil and that the police were called.
Later the police arrived and that huge wedding party had disappeared.
the police surrounded me and asked me questions about what happened.
I described the above to them.
The police left me alone when they realized that I photographed and did a video of the event so I had proof of what occurred.
They told me that i should of just filled a complaint later. But i said to them that I needed the name of the photographer so I could follow up with my complaint, and that that is why I photographed the photographer.
Actually all the wedding parties departed. I believe the police asked them to leave.
Later on I found the security guard and the guard told me she was new to this job. She also told me that hse was never told that people were not permitted on the grass.
She even told me that she has actually assisted the wedding party to set up their photo shoot.
That made no sense to me.