Council voted unanimously at their Oct. 8 meeting to sign a policy regarding serving alcohol on Town property designating facilities as eligible or ineligible for holding a special event where alcohol is served. (File photo) Smithers Town Council voted unanimously at their Oct. 8 meeting to sign a policy regarding serving alcohol on Town property. The report designates a number of town facilities as eligible or ineligible for holding a special event where alcohol is served. (File photo)

Town formalizes alcohol venues policy

The policy lists Town facilities as eligible or ineligible to hold an event where alcohol is served

Smithers council has formalized which Town properties are eligible for events where alcohol is served.

In May, council passed a motion which would allow the Smithers Steelheads to sell beer in the Civic Centre in principle.

At that time council also directed Town staff to work with the Steelheads to bring back a policy to council that would promote the safe distribution and consumption of alcohol on municipal properties,

At their Oct. 8 meeting, Dianna Plouffe, director of corporate service presented the policy and council voted unanimously to approve it.

READ MORE: STUDY: B.C.’s regulation of alcohol second-best in the country

The policy clarifies the mechanisms for applying to be able to serve alcohol on municipal property.

It also designates a number of town facilities as eligible or ineligible for holding a special event where alcohol is served.

Currently anyone wanting to put on an event in the province where alcohol can be served must be issued a Special Event Permit (SEP).

The permit allows applicants to “serve, sell and consume alcohol at a special event, celebration or community festival” and is regulated and issued by the Province’s Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

The policy does not change the requirement of an SEP.

“By designating events and facilities as eligible or not eligible for alcohol consumption, the policy aims to promote a healthy and balanced perception and use of alcohol in the community,” the policy states.

Facilities the Town has designated as eligible for special events include Riverside Municipal Campground, Bovill Square, Smithers Civic Centre, Smithers New Arena and “other locations as approved by the Town of Smithers.”

Conversely, all arena areas aside from a section specifically designated for alcohol use have been listed as ineligible.

The designation also applies to concourse areas not specifically designated as eligible for alcohol use, parks and green spaces not specifically designated as eligible for alcohol use and “all other municipally owned buildings and facilities not specifically designated as eligible for alcohol use.”

While the Town has specified locations as eligible or ineligible, it also notes an applicant could be able to host a special event at ineligible locations provided they have special approval from the chief administrative officer and mayor and a valid SEP.

Any person or organization wishing to hold such an event in a location not listed in this policy, or in a location listed as ineligible, must obtain permission from Smithers council 30 days in advance of event.

READ MORE: Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments

The report also clarified insurance policies of the Town regarding events where alcohol is served.

Organizers must purchase special event liability insurance that indemnifies the Town of Smithers from any claims relating to an event involving alcohol service on municipal property.

“The insurance must contain the following wording: Town of Smithers is added as additionally insured, but solely with respect to the liability which arises out of the negligence of the named insured’s operations.”

The insurance policy must also explicitly state alcohol will be served, include information regarding alcohol service and identify the name and date of the event.

Private special events require a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance and public special events require a minimum of $5 million, unless otherwise specified by the Town.

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