A proposal to mark White Rock pier’s 100th anniversary with a party on the landmark itself has been referred back to city staff for more information.
Semiahmoo Arts has asked the city to support its use of the pier for a ticketed evening event on Aug. 28, as well as its request for a liquor licence that would enable a beer and wine garden to be part of the celebrations.
Coun. Al Campbell told Peace Arch News last week that while he is in favour of such ideas, allowing this one means the city must break its own rules. And for that, he said, everyone must be onside.
“Alcohol and food and beverage – we don’t even allow that during the summer months,” Campbell said.
“It’s difficult here because I really would like this to happen, but we have to make sure that everybody’s on the same page.”
According to a report by director of leisure services Eric Stepura, staff support the plans, which would also mark Semiahmoo Arts’ 40th anniversary, and serve as a fundraiser to help fund arts and culture programs and events.
But they do have conditions: limiting the number of participants to 700 (from the initial request of 1,000); that organizers obtain $5 million in liability insurance; ensuring the designated celebration area is blocked to the public, yet ensuring access to members of the sailing club; and, notifying Canada Customs of the details.
Noting that a temporary closure of the pier for a ticketed event may evoke complaints, Stepura also recommends that non-ticket holders have access to the first 200 feet of the pier.
Family-oriented activities would take place along the promenade.
Coun. Helen Fathers said council agreed the idea is good “in principle.”
Discussion touched on policing costs, railway-tracks safety and allowing alcohol on the pier, she said.
“I think there’s a lot of logistical things that have to be worked out.”
The decision to refer the proposal back to staff was supported by all of council at the May 12 meeting, with Coun. Grant Meyer absent due to the city workers’ picket line.