By David F. Rooney
School District 19’s Board of Trustees have voted in favour of a pilot program to allow alcohol to be served prior to Performing Arts Centre events and during its 20-minute intermissions.
At their last meeting, on September 11, the board agreed that it philosophically approved of serving alcohol at Performing Arts Centre events but only if The Centre can show there will be no problems. Towards that end trustees approved a four-event trial program that could be dissolved if any of five conditions set by the board are abrogated. The conditions are:
- Only approved groups will be permitted to apply for the license to serve alcohol;
- A designated area — identified during the board meeting as the current Drama Room — where alcoholic beverages may be served will not be in space shared with other events or school activities;
- Audience members must display their performance tickets to enter the designated drinking area;
- Alcohol will only be available 30 minutes before a show and during an intermission that will be limited to 20 minutes. No alcohol will be served after an event’s conclusion;
- All containers, glasses, etc., will be cleaned up and removed from RSS grounds after the intermission; and
- School staff will review each individual request for licensing.
SD 19 Superintendent Mike Hooker said the condition go along way towards alleviating the concerns of board members and school staff.
“We’ll be modelling ourselves on other (school districts) that permit alcohol to be served during certain kinds of events,” he said.
The Revelstoke Arts Council, which has an agreement with SD 19 to manage the Performing Arts, has long-maintained that serving a glass of wine during certain kinds of events, such as musical concerts and stage shows, allows adults to enjoy themselves in a civilized fashion.
“It’s not our intention to become a licensed establishment,” Board Chairman Alan Chell said during last Tuesday’s board meeting. “What we’re saying is this will be a trial basis… then we’ll make a decision.”
Hooker the local branch of the Canadian Association of Rescue Dogs (CARDA) will manage the bar during the first event and Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre volunteers will manage it during the final three trial-basis events with bar service. He did not say when or what those events will be.
The whole idea of serving alcohol beverages at the school deeply disturbs some people.