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BC slashes licensing red tape for promoters

British Columbia is hoping to boost its live music sector making it easier to stage concerts and festivals.

Promoters in the province, Canada’s westernmost, will now be able to apply for a special occasion licence – a fast-tracked alcohol licence previously only available to charitable and non-profit organisations – which will be renamed the ‘special event permit’.

Allowing for-profit businesses to accept liability for the alcohol served at their events will, says the British Columbian (BC) government, “cut red tape for event organisers” and allow promoters to seek “advantageous partnerships with breweries, wineries, and distilleries in order to raise money for charity”.

“On behalf of BC’s music festival organisers, we truly appreciate the ministry’s continued focus on red-tape reduction”

Graham Henderson, the president of Music Canada, says: “Today’s announcement is one more important step to building a sustainable music industry for the benefit of our artists, the economy and live music event attendees, and for that we thank the BC government.

“Reducing red tape for live music performances is an important addition to the BC music strategy and demonstrates the government’s strong support of our growing industry sector. BC has a deep musical heritage and is home to some of the finest production facilities, artists and labels in the world. We’re very happy to see the province make changes that can better position BC to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.”

Nick Blasko, a member of the BC Music Fund’s advisory committee, adds: “On behalf of BC’s music festival organisers, we truly appreciate the ministry’s continued focus on red-tape reduction. Their effort towards a licensing strategy that will help to create more events in our province is good for BC artists and many of our province’s music companies. We look forward to seeing these changes implemented.”


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