Can Vancouverites enjoy alcohol in moderation if drinking in public parks is approved?
VANCOUVER -- Elvira Lount heard it before she saw it – a pop-up dance party at Jericho Beach Park, complete with a DJ tent, a PA system, lights and a generator.
“These aren't just mini speakers you can get at Best Buy, these are gigantic speakers,” Lount told CTV News.
She said fewer than 50 people were gathered in a treed area Saturday night, and it wasn’t the first time it’s happened.
Last weekend, she recorded video of a similar event. Both times, she called Vancouver police.
“Our officers did attend and ask them to keep the music down and to keep it down a little bit,” Sgt. Aaron Roed confirmed.
Amplifying systems or loudspeakers in Vancouver parks aren’t allowed without a permit.
A statement from the Vancouver Park Board to CTV News described the event as “unpermitted and unsanctioned."
"Park Rangers were made aware of the event, but unable to attend due to other pressing matters," it read.
Lount says her concerns about the dance parties have been amplified due to the park board considering a pilot program Monday night that would allow alcohol consumption in 10 parks.
As part of the pilot, specific sections in just 10 parks have been selected for the trial:
- Fraser River
- John Henry (Trout Lake)
- Harbour Green
- Locarno Beach
- Memorial South
- New Brighton
- Queen Elizabeth
Drinking would be permitted between the hours of 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Lount says the unsanctioned dance parties are proof that some aren’t capable of behaving responsibly in public parks, and throwing alcohol into the mix would be a recipe for disaster. Police, however, remain optimistic.
“Vancouver has historically been a polite, behaved city,” Roed said, “we expect it to continue that way.”