The City of Selkirk is being sued for 1.2 million dollars by former Selkirk Resident and musician Goody Grace.
Grace is suing the city on the grounds of violating a trademark, brand slander, and breach of contract resulting in financial loss. This legal action was taken after the city repainted its iconic water tower in a new design, making it unrecognizable from his well-known tattoo, and removing it as an iconic landmark his fans could visit as it took part in his music video “Scumbag” Featuring Blink 182.
Unknown to the city, Grace trademarked the Selkirk Water Tower’s original design as it was not an official City of Selkirk logo. With the recent repainting Grace claims the new water tower design violates his trademark by not receiving permission to change his Selkirk logo.
“I am completely disheartened seeing that a success story from Selkirk that I held so much pride for has chosen to turn his back on the city he grew up in,” said Mayor Larry Johannson, “We love Goody and all his fans who support Selkirk, but this is an unacceptable action. He should have never registered the trademark; it was never his to own.”
To further the suit Grace claims his brand was slandered by the change of the water tower design, taking the moody, dark colours and replacing them with bright cheery ones, effectively removing him from association with the tower.
When Grace recorded his “Scumbag” music video in Selkirk in 2019 he presented the city with what seemed to be a contract stating he would not disrupt the flow of traffic or any city activities with his filming.
In the contract Grace refers to the tower as “my iconic landmark” which he claims is the City of Selkirk signing off that the Water Tower is directly related to Grace and his branding efforts.
Grace claims he has not only lost a part of his branding, with Selkirk being a topic his music often references, but he also lost an iconic landmark in his videos which now does not look like they were filmed in his home city.
The city is offering to pay for a coverup tattoo for Grace to help mend his brand identity and ties to the landmark.
As his fans can no longer photograph with the tower design featured in the video, the city is offering a shop discount code GOODY20 for 20 per cent off of Selkirk merchandise from the Shop to represent his hometown and show their support for the partnership between Grace and the city that existed.
The city is fighting the claims and has no intention of granting Grace 1.2 million dollars.
“We don’t want to lose the partnership with Grace, even if he is directly targeting us, he will always be a Selkirkian in our eyes and we want his fans to see that too,” said Mayor Johannson.
The city potentially losing half over a million dollars could mean cuts to programing or staff to be able to stay on track with current infrastructure projects.
“It’s unfortunate that this is the route his management group is taking. I think Goody is getting some unscrupulous advice from his legal team at Josh, Kidd and Chaff Law Firm,” said CAO Duane Nicol, “He decided to tattoo his body with our old design, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have the right to go and change our tower’s design. Tattoos are forever, but paint is not.”
City employees have started a petition for Grace to drop the suit, if you wish to sign or see who in the community stands with the City of Selkirk go to MySelkirk.ca/Goody.