Adam Burley, dressed as The Grinch, wasn’t happy when the Valley Fair Mall asked him to leave. (Special to The News)

Adam Burley, dressed as The Grinch, wasn’t happy when the Valley Fair Mall asked him to leave. (Special to The News)

Grinch ejected from Maple Ridge mall

Mall management says check at the office before performing there

The Grinch was asked to leave the Valley Fair Mall in Maple Ridge last week. However, the man animating the classic Dr. Seuss character is certainly not banned, according to mall management.

Adam Burley has about 36 different character costumes through Happyland Events Society which he operates locally. When he wore a Grinch costume to the mall last week, he soon found himself asked to leave by security, and not come back.

Burley said he was simply dropping off 20 gift bags for seniors at London Drugs, while wearing his green getup. He walked past the station where Santa was having photos taken with kids, and waved to them. Then he stopped and posed for photos with kids too. Burley said he doesn’t charge for pictures, but does take donations for charity.

“It’s just to do something positive for people, and cheer people up,” he said. “We know times are hard.”

He said he likes to take his characters – like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Mario – to places where people congregate in the city.

Not liking the way he was treated, Burley posted in social media that he had been banned from the mall, and there was a swift and angry reaction from the public. He also contacted the media.

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Mall Manager Nicole Archer wanted to clarify Burley is not banned, but he has been asked not to perform there as the Grinch.

She said nobody can be at the mall hugging children, handing out gifts and performing as a children’s entertainer, except with the agreement of management. She said the mall could be held responsible if there are any issues – for example, she didn’t know whether Burley is fully vaccinated.

“It’s COVID times,” she said. “Any children’s entertainer here must be hired by the mall.”

Archer said any parent would have assumed the Grinch character was there with the mall’s permission, but management didn’t even know he was coming.

“It is private property, and he needs to come to the office,” she said.

She noted the Grinch’s sudden appearance was also a disruption at Santa’s photo booth, and the solution was to ask him to leave, and not come back as the Grinch.

Archer noted there were a lot of nasty messages on the mall phone and in social media after the incident. She clarified that organizations are welcome to do charity work at the mall, but are asked to contact the administration in advance.

Burley said people will find him at other businesses, where people who work there, and even security guards, like to pose with him and get photos of his many characters.

“We’re just trying to put a smile on people’s faces,” he said.

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