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Banff Business License Appeal

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To: Kerry TOWN of BANFF Calgary Wedding Professionals are looking for a resolution. It has come to our attention that Banff is looking to enforce a bylaw that would require Calgary based Photographers and other wedding businesses to have a Banff Business License in order to photograph and provide services in the Banff townsite. This also seems to be targeting the wedding professionals specifically. It has also come to our attention that this was brought about by a very small group of local businesses complaining about "outside" photographers and planners. A member group of 200+ photographers has discussed this and find the practice to have an air of protectionism and discrimination. We also believe that targeting a specific group is unconstitutional and prejudicial. We have discussed that as Banff is a popular wedding destination - that many of us speak highly of and recommend the resorts, hotels and other vendors we work with in Banff. Many of our past clients refer us to people getting married there or we recommend locations in Banff to our current clients to have their weddings. Many of these clients are Calgary and area based clients who have developed a relationship with us and are hiring us based on our business style, practice and individual expertise. To try to protect a group of local vendors from outside competition is in our opinion a very slippery slope when you are in a destination based location. We are also aware of several examples of photographers and videographers from Banff photographing in Calgary, and all over the world without attaining municipal licensing from all of the places they visit and photograph. The Calgary Wedding community is a tight knit group of professionals who represent a significant amount of consumer interests. We have planners, florist, dj's, photographers and decor specialists who may occasionally work in Banff - and often refer business to Banff, as well as spend money personally in Banff and the entire Bow Valley. Most of us pay for a business license in our place of residence and pay taxes, buy park passes and of course spend money while we are on location outside of our jurisdiction. To attempt to enforce a by-law to prevent us from bringing business to your town is short-sighted and is essentially a premium tax on small business. We hope that you reconsider this bylaw, and recognize that the couples and companies bringing their weddings and events to your town bring a tremendous value that far exceeds the business license revenue. We have spoken with several other Banff photographers who have indicated that they were never part of this group of dissenters, and as such have expressed concern that they will be unfairly painted with the same brush as they have great relationships with the Calgary wedding community. We hope that we can work through this and are looking for a simple resolution to this situation - so that we can continue being good neighbors, and work towards increasing tourism and revenue for everyone. After all, we are first and foremost Canadian, and we are all part of the solution. We would welcome the opportunity to address the stakeholders, town council and any other concerns in a meeting. Thank you for your time.

Feel free to contact us at: 
Edward Ross Edward Ross Photography 403-371-9996 www.edwardrossphotography.com info@edwardrossphotography.com


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