The Okanagan Batman may be as elusive as the real deal.
Since a Facebook video was posted March 23 of a masked superhero offering his assistance at the scene of a Kelowna police incident, questions on who the Batman really is and what he was doing keep coming up.
The Okanagan Batman video has gathered thousands of views, circulating the internet and multiple media outlets. The Capital News even received an interview request from a Japanese TV show.
Some residents considered his act hilarious, others foolish, including the police department.
“As to the presence of Batman at the scene, when there is an unfolding event which is potentially serious in nature as most people would assume by the fact that members were deployed with carbines out the public should remain away from the area as they are putting themselves and the lives of the responding members in jeopardy,” Paul MacDougall, corporate and client services officer with the Kelowna RCMP, said at the time.
As far as he is aware, this is the only time as a masked superhero has been at the scene of a Central Okanagan police incident.
The Okanagan Batman, who is involved in children’s birthday parties and at popular events including the Kelowna Fan Experience, acknowledged on Facebook that he was the one who attended the scene.
“Stopped by to help but the RCMP had it under control,” he said in a post that shared the original video.
Alex Draper, marketing director with the Kelowna Chiefs, said he received roughly 50 text messages asking if he was Batman, as he occasionally dresses up in the superhero outfit for events.
“I’m a big fan of Batman, I may or may not have a costume. It definitely wasn’t me at that thing, though. I’m about six-foot-six and this guy is about five-foot-six and it just kills me every time people ask me,” Draper said.
Bonnie Gratz, artistic director with the Kelowna Fan Experience, said the Okanagan Batman has been a part of KFX since its inception six years ago.
He was a part of KFX the weekend the police incident happened, said Gratz.
“He has been around the community for years, but he’s very specific about wanting to keep his identity secret. But he is a really great guy and he does everything from children’s event to show up at large community events like ours,” she said.
“He’s very passionate. When you discuss things with him, you discuss things with his character. He’s fun to talk with since he’s very much the Okanagan Batman.”
“People go crazy for him, they just think he’s awesome. He’s a really nice guy,” Gratz said.
She said the comments and speculation have been entertaining since the video was posted.
“He’s just part of our community and people look forward to seeing him (at KFX) every year. It’s certainly raised his profile around Kelowna or even around Canada,” Gratz said.
Signals were sent out to the Okanagan Batman for comment but went unanswered.