The second year of the City of Vancouver’s “public alcohol consumption trial” may have had mixed results across the city, but it was a huge success in Cambie Village. The Plaza, located on W.17th, was selected along with three others across the city to host a temporary pilot programme that allowed for public consumption of alcohol from August 10 to mid-October 2020. The trial was then replicated in the 2021.

The Plaza at Cambie Village was busy with activations that included Wine Tasting Wednesdays with Somm Wine Guy, Sean Nelson, bringing vino joy to locals who could not believe that such an experience was free every week.

Similarly, BINGO Fridays generated a good atmosphere among participants given the chance to win gift card prizes redeemable at local businesses. They were hosted by a rotating cast of number-callers including Maria Juarez and Killian O’Reilly. Family Game Nights on the weekends, and minigolf too, were popular with those who summoned on W.17th.

The Plaza’s success was not accidental – it took many hours of planning and active participation by the Board, staff, and our contractors. We have set a precedent for how to successfully operate a public space with responsible alcohol consumption. The trial ended on October 11th, and the reconstruction of the crosswalk at the east end of the plaza will take place to make it more accessible.

Despite the restrictions and protocols that were implemented due to the pandemic, we still hope we were able to provide some joy and relief to neighbours that attended.

If you have any suggestions as to what you would like to see in the Plaza when we next open it up, please feel free to get in touch.