Vancouver Seeks Reform on Live Performance Venue Regs

The City of Vancouver holds two open houses as it seeks to reform clunky, outdated regs on live performance venues.

Credit: Kris Krug

City seeks reform on Vancouver’s live performance venues regs

The City of Vancouver holds two open houses as it seeks to reform clunky, outdated regs on live performance venues


The City of Vancouver’s current Live Performance Venue regulations are onerous and out of step with the city’s broader goals of fostering a sustainable, diverse cultural environment, says a report issued this week from the municipal Cultural Services office. As a result, new venues are forced underground where they operate unregulated, sometimes in inappropriate, unsafe locations, or are sent outside city limits.


But change could be afoot. The City of Vancouver Cultural Services is hosting two open houses Monday and Wednesday, January 17 and 19, 2011, inviting the public to weigh in as council continues its multi-phase review addressing clunky, outmoded bylaws affecting the arts, culture and creative sectors.


Live Performance Venue review open houses:


Monday, January 17, 2011

4–7 p.m.

Mt Pleasant Community Centre, Vancouver


Wednesday, January 19, 2011 

4–7 p.m. 

Salons, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver 

The report, entitled “Regulatory Review for Live Performance Venues,” identified key barriers to the cultural sector in creating and operating live performance venues, including cost, availability of space, outdated and inconsistently administered regulations, and archaic liquor licensing and safety requirements, among other obstacles.


As well, the “Cultural Facilities Priorities Plan 2008–2023,” which was adopted by council in January 2008 and identifies strategies and tactics for enabling the creation and operation of cultural spaces, outlined regulatory structures as one of the key barriers for cultural facilities development and operation.


City staff have already completed the first of three phases of the Live Performance Review, and on February 3 will take a report to the mayor and council recommending the first phase of implementation.


Read January 2010 Council Report [pdf] for full list of key issues and recommendations.


Irwin Oostindie, executive director of W2 Community Media Arts Society, says the open houses offer the opportunity for “clear and direct response from promoters and peeps who struggle to deliver culture for our friends and neighbours but face barriers from the regulatory forces of the City and [its] outdated ‘risk mitigation’ policies.”