1 min

After 11 years, nudist group booted from Club 23

Telling us we can't have it at the drop of a hat was unfair: P-CAN president

The Pacific-Canadian Association of Nudists (P-CAN) has been told it’s no longer welcome at Club 23, the Gastown nightclub where it has been holding monthly naked parties for the last 11 years.

P-CAN President Frank Contrino says Club 23 informed him of the club’s decision right after their Valentine’s Day party.

Attendance at P-CAN events had been dropping, and the last party had only 73 attendees. Club 23 said it was beginning to lose money on the parties, which Contrino disputes.

“Some of [our parties] are more successful than others,” Contrino says. “We need to keep having them so we don’t fall off the radar. The Pride Party alone could cover all the losses for a year.”

Last year’s Pride Party had more than 300 attendees, he notes.

Contrino says the way Club 23 closed the door on P-CAN was unreasonable.

“Just to tell us that we can’t have it at the drop of a hat was unfair. We’ve been there for 11 years,” he says. “There was no negotiation.

“If they would go to a situation where we would be charged for the event, we would have considered it,” Contrino continues. “We would have had to charge cover, but better than not having parties at all.”

The group has 160 active paid members, and Contrino says that many more people buy temporary memberships to attend the monthly parties.

Club 23 did not call Xtra back before posting time.

On its website, Club 23 says it hosts Vancouver’s “most underground and hottest club nights.” It also hosts a monthly Sin City fetish party.

P-CAN plans to continue hosting private parties until it can find a new venue.

“There’s not many who’ll take us on, especially if they have issues with nudity,” Contrino says. “We’re just going to stay with private parties, potlucks, camping and picnics on Wreck Beach.”