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Street fair fizzles

Davie BIA looks to next year

BIA president James Steck told Xtra West that a street closure on Pride Day "probably isn't going to happen."

Plans for a Davie St fair on Pride Day, Jul 31, won’t come to fruition this year despite the Davie Village Business Improvement Association’s (BIA) efforts.

Xtra West reported May 12 that the BIA wanted to close Davie St between Jervis and Burrard from 2-10 pm on Pride Day for a party featuring two concert stages, concession booths and a $2 optional cover charge. The BIA ran ads in Xtra West soliciting community input and support for the idea.

Vancouver’s special events manager Muriel Honey says although she has a proposal for the BIA’s Davie Day celebration in September and that event “will be fine, absolutely, for sure,” there’s no chance of closing Davie St on Pride Day this year.

BIA president James Steck told Xtra West Jun 16 that a street closure on Pride Day “probably isn’t going to happen.”

Steck didn’t return Xtra West’s follow-up calls before press time.

BIA member and PumpJack Pub co-owner Vince Marino says the BIA is still working on a proposal and is still hopeful something can be worked out.

“The intent is to submit something to the city and see what they’re going to do about it,” he says. “What the BIA is proposing hasn’t been reviewed by anybody and it hasn’t been submitted and it’s something yet to be seen.”

“We’re going to put some budget numbers together,” says Davie BIA coordinator Lyn Hellyar, “and we’re going to go see Muriel [Honey], but we can’t pull something together for this year now.

“We’ll see what we can do for next year,” Hellyar continues. “We’d just like to have some Pride celebration on Davie St.”

Both the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) and the city of Vancouver explored the idea of a Pride Day festival on Davie St earlier in the year but sidelined the idea because, they said, the costs and logistical complications were too great.

The Pride Society and the PumpJack ran a Davie St festival on Pride Day in 2003. Although that event was popular with the people who attended, it wound up losing almost $25,000.

Honey says the Davie St festival on Pride Day in 2003 was unsuccessful because it just took too long to clear the streets, redirect traffic all over downtown and get Davie St closed.

“We’ve talked about trying to change the timing between Pride and the Celebration of Light,” says Honey. “The problem is that when Pride Weekend and the Celebration of Light weekend are the same, the Saturday and Sunday get really crowded because of the fireworks on Saturday evening and the Pride Parade and festival at Sunset Beach on Sunday.”

Honey is also concerned the BIA and the Pride Society aren’t working together to plan Pride events.

“It’s like tying the hands of someone who’s trying to plan an event in the same area that competes with another at the same time,” says Honey. “We wouldn’t approve two events in the same area at the same time.”

Honey says if there’s a desire in the community to have Davie St closed for Pride, then the time to start talking about it is October or November.

The BIA hasn’t discussed Davie St on Pride Day with the VPS since May.

“What street festival?” says VPS president Shawn Ewing. “I know nothing about it. I didn’t hear any feedback after they had a call for opinions. That stuff wasn’t put out there so I don’t know. We’ll find out.”