After a two-year hiatus, the Bacio Rosso Gourmet Cabaret Cirque event that was held at Queen Elizabeth Park under a big enclosed tent could return as early as late 2021 at a new location close to downtown Vancouver.
On Monday, Vancouver Park Board commissioners unanimously approved a request from the event organizer to relocate the event to the Burrard Civic Marina land storage area on the Kitsilano waterfront, immediately east of Vanier Park’s green space.
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The event offers over 300 seated guests a fully immersive three-hour performance hosted inside an antique Spiegeltent tent lined with plush red velvet, woodwork, and beveled mirrors, with circus artists, comedians, singers, magicians, and a four-piece musical ensemble. All of this is complemented by a four-course gourmet meal.
The inaugural event — running several nights each week from November 1, 2018 to March, 2019 — saw over 18,000 guests, and received an “overwhelmingly positive” response from attendees and international artists. Based on the Park Board’s post-event surveys, 98% of attendees enjoyed their experience, and 99% wanted more events like this in Vancouver.
But some complaints from the residential neighbourhood to the south led to the Park Board’s decision to work with organizers to find a new location for the event. Bacio Rosso was held at the pitch and putt parking lot of the park, occupying a footprint of 20,000 sq ft or 75% of the parking lot.
A total of 45 complaints were logged over the months-long event, with 37 of the complaints being noise-related, with most originating from six to eight households located closest to the event site.
For this reason, the new location next to Vanier Park — away from residential areas — has been deemed a suitable location for the event’s future.
The marine land storage area also meets the organizer’s requirements of a paved surface or hardscape, which is critical for enabling the event during Vancouver’s wet winter months. As a further mitigation measure, the tent insulation will be increased to reduce potential sound bleed.
The Park Board’s decision this week grants the event a duration window of between November 2021 and March 2022, but the exact event dates have yet to be decided due to the current COVID-19 pandemic realities. A final decision by organizers on whether to proceed with an event next winter will be made by early summer.