If Green Councillor Adriane Carr has her way, Vancouver’s annual 4/20 event which is less than 3 weeks away might have to find a new home.
As reported by CBC, Carr has proposed to have the city staff find a suitable city-owned site to relocate the event to, such as the PNE grounds or Larwell Park.
This is to keep the event off last year’s location, Sunset Beach. The 2016 event reportedly raised concerns among West End residents that lived within close proximity.
Carr admits that it is a daunting challenge to consult residents, develop staff recommendations, and convincing event organizers of their motives in time for the event that is scheduled to take place on April 20.
Since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the right to have peaceful assemblies and free speech, the event legally can not be stopped from happening. Well aware of this, event organizer Dana Larsen claims to have no plans of relocating the event and vows to go ahead with it even without a permit from the park board.
Larsen states that over 200 booths have already been sold and a stage for Sunset Beach has been booked, hence changing the location at such short notice is “not realistic at all” as it would cause logistical issues as well as massive financial losses since this year, the costs of the event will be borne by the organizers themselves.
Last year, the event cost taxpayers $148,000.
At this point, one of the two parties will be required to make a compromise. Those looking to attend can only hope it doesn’t compromise the 4/20 event altogether.