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Friends rally around busker denied Granville Island permit

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A Vancouver couple who fostered the talents of a young busker is angry he’s losing his licence to perform at Granville Island.

The Granville Island Cultural Society is now forcing street performers to audition.

Marie Decaire came to know Keegan Chen, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, while her husband taught him how to play guitar.

Chen then went on to perform at Granville Island. “He just blossomed. He was so happy,” says Decaire.

Then she says the society imposed some restrictions on his performances.

“Keegan was then told he had to do a video. The video was submitted. He was then denied a permit.”

Decaire says everyone who loves Chen’s presence on the island is wondering why he was turned down for the licence.

“The island is supposed to be a cornucopia of entertainment. One of the reasons why Granville Island is so ideal is because it’s safe. It’s a safe, secure, happy environment.” She believes he might be vulnerable busking in other areas of the city.

And how is Chen taking the news?  “Keegan is crushed, quite frankly. He’s heartbroken. It’s been devastating for him.”