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Elton John World News: Elton played On Dark Street

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First Eminem, now Kelowna, writes the local press

Thursday 29 August 2002 @ 13:13 - GMT

The Canadian city that seems uneasy with homosexuals welcomed Elton John to town on August 28, 2002, wrote Kanagan.net.

Elton John, the world's most famous openly gay performer, probably only knew that for his Kelowna gig at Skyreach Place tickets sold out in less than 12 minutes.

This is a town which changed a street name because it was once called Gay Road.

Some years ago, writes Ron Seymour, residents lobbied the city council to change the name, and officials obliged, so now it's the only street in Kelowna named after a person's first and last name.

And Mayor Walter Gray gained some national attention in 1997 when he refused to sign a gay pride proclamation. Even after he was censured by a human rights tribunal, Gray was unapologetic.

When it was announced earlier this summer that Elton John would play a concert in Kelowna, people seemed baffled and flattered.

Baffled as to why Sir Elton would choose "a tiny retirement town," as the Toronto Globe and Mail described Kelowna in a big feature on the concert in yesterday's edition.

The official line is that Sir Elton, who performed in April 2001 with anti-gay rapper Eminem simply wanted to perform in a market where he hadn't been before.