TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) Smiling Buddha, a 100-capacity live music pub in Toronto, Ontario, is being boycotted, even by Canadian Music Week, as its owner is accused of one count of sexual assault.
Owner Lucan Wai was charged in February, a Toronto police representative told the Toronto Star, and the incident has not been proven in court.
That has not stopped at least one band to cancel “without giving a reason,” according to the Star, and the booking contact, Matthew Sandrin, has quit his job and has tried to move 30 shows to other venues.
Wai, when reached by the Toronto Star, said he couldn’t comment beyond a prepared statement that said both he and his bar had been extorted for money by his accuser. Wai’s statement said no money was given and a cease and desist letter was sent to the accuser. “I am looking forward to clearing my name,” he wrote, according to the Star.
Meanwhile, Canadian Music Week, to take place in Toronto May 7-13, has removed three showcases involving nine bands from the small venue.
Festival manager Dave Henry told the Canadian Press the festival is “dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe environment” adding “Our goal has always been to create a fun atmosphere that is respectful and tolerant,” adding, ““Our goal has always been to create a fun atmosphere that is respectful and tolerant.”
He added that after learning of the allegation the festival “immediately pulled all shows at the venue.”
Smiling Buddha is “a dive bar” according to one Yelp review. “It’s a decent enough bar with cheap drinks, PBR tallboy was only $6.50 . They also book great talent. They usually host local indie bands but occasionally get some touring bands.”