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Dyke March on track for beer garden

City staff support proposal

When Vancouver's Dyke March Festival returns to Grandview Park on the Drive this August, it will likely have a beer garden. Credit: Tallulah photo

City staff are supporting a request from Dyke March organizers for an inaugural beer garden at their post-march festival this year.

The festival takes place Saturday, Aug 4 in Grandview Park on Commercial Dr.

The Vancouver parks board is expected to vote on the 200-person beer garden proposal early next week, says spokesperson Joyce Courtney.

The liquor licence application will go before committee on Monday, June 25.

The application “has received conditional approval from the City’s FEST event oversight committee,” parks board recreation director Thomas Soulliere writes in a report dated June 13. The oversight committee includes representatives from the Vancouver police and fire departments, Liquor Control and Licensing, and Special Events.

“They said it looks good as long as we get our security in place,” says Dyke March president Theresa Wilson.

Wilson says festival organizers are still in the process of confirming security arrangements.

“What’s important is that we have security personnel who are queer or queer-friendly,” she says. “It’s important that we make it a safe place.”

The city has also given the Dyke March a $5,000 special events grant, Wilson says. “They’ve been very generous with that.”

If their liquor licence application is approved, Wilson says, Dyke March organizers will seek a liquor sponsor for the beer garden.

Fundraisers are also underway to support the annual march and festival, she notes. Diva’s Den, typically held in May, is now scheduled for the end of July.

The Dyke March has an annual budget of $15,000.

Wilson says the festival’s entertainment roster is taking shape, with the addition this year of podium talks by queer “career women.”

Wilson says the potential addition of a beer garden should not detract from the festival’s family-focused, inclusive environment.

With its recommendation to approve the liquor application, parks board staff also praised the annual queer event: “The Vancouver Dyke March and Festival has always been a well-organized event and a wonderful addition to Vancouver Pride Week.”

The Vancouver Dyke March will begin at McSpadden Park at noon on Saturday, Aug 4. The festival begins at 1pm at Grandview Park.