Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is proposing extending liquor serving hours and closure times at bars and nightclubs across the city if he’s re-elected.
How late? Well, 3am closures for the bars on Granville Street in the entertainment district.
Kennedy is making the announcement Wednesday morning after meeting with industry leaders as part of a plan to invigorate the city’s nightlife.
“Before I became mayor, I lived, worked and studied in world cities – including London, New York, Los Angeles, and Paris,” Stewart said in a news release. “I know that by working with our innovative cultural leaders, Vancouver can be the kind of city where there is so much to do, you can never do it all.”
He made three promises for the city’s 2023 budget:
- Creating a Night Time Advocate Office tasked with transforming nightlife to be a “centrepiece of our city’s social fabric”
- Expanding the Sport Hosting Office’s mandate to attract conferences, conventions, music, and other entertainment
- Harmonize 3 am bar closures along Granville Street and expand extended hours to other parts of the city
Of course, Kennedy would only get a say in the 2023 City budget if he’s re-elected in the October municipal election.
“Whether it’s building a thriving patio culture, lifting archaic liquor capacity caps, and attracting events like the Invictus Games and the World Cup, Vancouver has come a long way over the last four years,” Stewart said. “But as we continue to reopen to the world, we need to do more to help our night-time economy thrive and build a true 24/7 city.”
Blueprint, one of the city’s key event hosting companies, welcomed Kennedy’s proposal.
“Our city is a great one, but for too long the creative sector has been forgotten,” Nate Sabine with Blueprint said in Kennedy’s release. “As the world returns to visiting Vancouver, it will be the bars, nightclubs, restaurants and events that will be among the first to welcome them.”
Vancouver’s hospitality sector employs 10,000 people and generates approximately $750 million annually, making it a significant economic driver, according to Laura Ballance with the Vancouver Hospitality Association.
“These commitments represent an extremely positive step forward for our sector, and we are excited to see our role as a significant contributor to the overall fabric of Vancouver recognized,” she said.