A Vancouver production company wants to place a 500-seat beer garden on Sunset Beach for each of the 2012 Celebration of Light fireworks events this summer.
The park board is considering the request from brand.LIVE, which has been involved with organizing the fireworks festival and last year introduced reserved seating to the event.
Vision Vancouver park board commissioner Trevor Loke said if approved, the hours of the beer garden will be from 1 to 6 p.m. after which time the customers will have to leave. This year the fireworks displays run July 28, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4., from 10 to 10:30 p.m.
“We don’t want the beer garden going on too late because it hasn’t been done before,” said Loke. “So we want to test it out and make sure there are no public safety issues. If all goes well we’ll take another look next year.”
Brand.LIVE has also asked the park board for permission to increase the number of reserved seats at English Bay for the Celebration of Light from 1,000 to 1,500. Last year reserved seating was introduced for the first time at a cost of between $35 and $45 a ticket. Loke said the park board’s profit from that revenue was used to offset the high cost of maintenance for the event, such as the huge clean-up efforts needed following each fireworks display.
Loke notes the reserved seating was a huge success last year.
“It was very well received by the public,” said Loke, who added park board staff are still working on pricing for this year.
Brand.LIVE is also asking to increase the licensed area of the Bathhouse viewing platform to hold 550, up from 350 and wants to shift the live entertainment stage from Vanier Park and Kits Beach to Sunset Beach. Loke said not only would it make sense to move the entertainment to the beer garden area, but added Sunset Beach is also more accessible than Kits Point.
“It would be the most successful area and would have proximity to the beer garden,” said Loke.
The park board will make a decision regarding the proposal at its April 30 meeting.