Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chris Brown Concert in Halifax Stokes Outcry from Mayor, Sponsors Pull Support

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Chris Brown Concert in Halifax Stokes Outcry from Mayor, Sponsors Pull Support

Article excerpt

Chris Brown concert prompts outcry in Halifax


HALIFAX - An upcoming performance in Halifax by controversial American R&B artist Chris Brown has stoked an outpouring of anger on social media, prompted corporate sponsors to pull their support and inspired the city's mayor to speak out, leaving the concert's promoter shocked.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Stephen Tobin, owner of the concert promotion company Drop Entertainment Group.

"I believe it's a very slippery slope when we start trying to censor or to dictate who can or cannot perform in this province."

Brown is scheduled to headline a summer music festival at Alderney Landing along the Dartmouth waterfront on Aug. 31. The Grammy Award-winning musician is also set to perform in Toronto and Winnipeg, where the response so far has been "nothing short of electric and overwhelmingly positive," Tobin said.

"The stark difference between the markets is astonishing," he said Monday.

Halifax-based spa A Touch of Radiance announced Monday it was pulling its support for the concert, two days after telecommunications giant Rogers did the same following the public backlash on social media.

"It's an unfortunate situation, what happened," said Jose Martins, who co-owns the spa with his wife.

"We just found that his past and what happened with him does not align well with our values as a company."

Brown, 24, pleaded guilty to assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna in February 2009. He hit, choked and bit the R&B star during an argument in Los Angeles following a pre-Grammy Award party. He was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community service.

Mayor Mike Savage also weighed in, saying he was disappointed Brown was invited to perform.

"I don't think he's a good model for people," Savage told The Canadian Press. "I quite frankly wish he wasn't coming."

Savage said there is little the city can do to stop the show from happening, but added that he wants to ensure the municipality will not support it. …

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