From the Ink well of the BCRF Pubmaster:
In days of yore, alcohol laws were simple; the King insisted that beer had enough alcohol in it. Inspectors were sent through the realm to ensure no one received short measure; after all it could be dangerous to drink water.
Today liquor laws are much more complex, no doubt they seek to serve the public good, but sometimes the public is left wondering.
It is our opinion that a Renaissance Festival without a pub is like Gilbert without Sullivan or Shakespeare without a sonnet. During the past five years we have been able to obtain a Special Occasion liquor licence to allow us to provide a “pub” as part of the BC Renaissance Festival. This facility has been well received by you our valued guests, you have joined with us in song and laughter and enjoyed our performers. The operation of this attraction has been carried out without incident and has contributed to our ability to present our show.
The Liquor control authority has decided that only a non for profit society may obtain a Special Occasion Licence for a public event. We believe, an event such as the BC Renaissance Festival requires the professional guidance of a production company rather than a society to ensure the continued success of the festival. We hope you agree.
During the 2012 BC Renfest we elected to present a Non-alcoholic pub to allow us time to present the case to the Government of British Columbia, that companies, as well as societies, should be permitted to licence events such as the BC Renaissance Festival.
If you agree with the sentiment of that old Australian song which says, “There’s nothing so drear as to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer”, then please add your support by signing this petition, so that once again, we can open the taps of the Frog and Fiddle Pub at the BC Renaissance Festival.
We are a yearly weekend event not a fly-by-night. We’re lucky if we make a profit to pay for the tent, seating and licenses as well as product and serving needs.
To us a family event has many aspects that cater to the kid friendly family right to the no-kids-yet couples, while not cutting out the individual who hasn’t reached that point in life yet.
We have never, in the 6 years that we have done a pub, had problems with people drinking too much or rowdy disturbing drunks.
We promote local wineries, meadery and brewery. We’re adding to their business not taking it away.
People don’t come to the Ren Fest JUST for the pub but more to have an added level to their experience at our event. The goal is to introduce people to some of the finer local products. Mead, berry wines and local micro brew deserve to be experienced, supported and appreciated and what better place to try your first glass of mead or have a fine cup of local brew or sip on a lovely berry wine, then at a Renaissance Festival, amongst the atmosphere, performers and friends.
We would like to note that the goal here is to support these projects that are unique and don’t fall under the standard image and guidelines. The goal is to change the approach of the government when dealing with special events, cultural experiences and unique businesses. Our hope is to open up the mind of the individuals that hold the power of decision and help them see that not every project in this province is a straight forward cut and paste case. We hope that we can open their minds to past experiences and help them see past present assumption; Education and knowledge instead of asumption and nervousness.
Even with price restrictions on what we serve and the previous cost of the liquor license not being an expense for the 2012 renfest, the cost of tent, chairs, stage and tables put us $2000.00 in the negative. With a drop in cross promo advertising (suppliers cross promo didn't happen), support, attendance (no license turned us into not worth driving the miles for- only renfest on circuit minus pub) and no drop in expenses and no additional way to legally make the necessary funds or attract lost attendance back.
Other stories of the same vein:
Rio won their fight and gives the rest of us hope:
The Cultural Festival (closest to us in 'goal and format') has some interesting takes on their removal of their Liquor License:
Then there is the video game bar:
And now the Whistler Jazz Fest:
Feel free to watch our 2012 Promo at:
And browse previous years from our main youtube page:
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