Posted by: VPSN | February 3, 2011

More fun city – better opportunities for temporary performance spaces

For those of you who have grumbled about the lack of cool performance spaces in this city, today’s Council decision on live performance venues will be welcome news.  It will open the doors to the possibility of new, temporary spaces for arts events, performances and more.

The staff report on the subject can be found here. The text of the City’s press release is as follows:

Council supports changes for live performance venues

Vancouver City Council today agreed to pursue bylaw changes to reduce red tape for temporary indoor events, increase flexibility for venues offering events with liquor service and reduce onerous and costly upgrades for temporary indoor event spaces.

These changes pave the way for non-traditional event spaces such as warehouses and art galleries to be used on a temporary basis for theatre, music, dance, festivals, and other cultural performances. In some cases, the changes reflect the successful approach used for gatherings during the 2010 Winter Games.

Council asked staff to consider overall regulatory improvements, and in this first phase of a multi-year review, is supporting changes to allow more people to attend live performance venues serving liquor. Easier-to-follow safety standards and a new centralized process for approving temporary indoor events holding up to 250 people will be introduced.

The City will also work to improve liquor policies that affect live performance venues.

While changes are underway, an interim program will be set up for cultural organizations and venue owners to work with the City to address regulatory concerns, without a threat of enforcement, however life safety requirements must be met.

As the review continues, Council will also consider issues facing artist studios. In the fall of 2010, two artist-focused roundtables identified barriers affecting artist studios and opportunities to protect existing studios and create more.

The Regulatory Review on Live Performance Venues was launched in October 2009. There are three phases of the review which include City departments such as Cultural Services, Licenses and Inspections, Planning, and Fire and Rescue Services, and cultural organizations and the public.

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