Cloverdale gun show to change name after ‘disappointing’ turnout

Show organizers apologize to City of Surrey for poor organization prior to 2016 BC Rod and Gun Show.

Two weeks after a ” very disappointing” turnout for the BC Rod and Gun Show, organizers said that if the show returns in 2017, it will do so under a new name.

It was announced Tuesday that the show would be renamed the Cloverdale Hunting and Fishing Show – removing the word ‘gun’ from the title.

“There’s a sensitivity to the word ‘gun’ – it has a stigma attached to it,” event manager Steve Bednash told Peace Arch News Wednesday. “We look at them as firearms – as tools – but a lot of people are afraid of them. Hopefully, the (name) change helps, but a lot of it, too, is the show is just evolving.”

This month’s show, which was held April 15-17 at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, was nearly cancelled last month after originally failing to receive permit-approval from Surrey council. At the time, council members cited concerns over the lack of a proper security plan and the presence of handguns and ammunition at the show, while Mayor Linda Hepner also took issue with the name.

“If it’s a sportsman show or an outdoorsman show, why don’t you call it that? Why do you call it ‘Rod and Gun?'” she asked at the time.

After complying with the City of Surrey’s conditions – that ammunition and antique handguns be cut from the show  – the show received its temporary-use permit at an April 11 council meeting, less than a week before the show was set to open.

In announcing the name change in a news release this week, the president of Clover Ventures apologized for organizational problems.

“We apologize to the City of Surrey for our delay in providing a professional security plan, that ultimately caused a lot of confusion,” writes Kent Archibald on behalf of the show’s organizers.

Bednash noted that while final numbers were still being tallied, attendance numbers were “ridiculously low, compared to where we expected for our second year.”

And while the name change “softens it,” Bednash said a return to the show’s 2015 format – which included ammunition and antique handguns – is necessary in order for the show to be successful. He attributed this year’s low turnout to the sudden cancellation of those aspects of the show, as well as general confusion in the community about whether or not the show was cancelled.

“There were a lot of people who were very disappointed with all the restrictions we had. We had people boycotting the show (as a result) and we had others who told us they thought the show was cancelled,” he said. “Even the first headline in the paper was ‘Surrey shoots down gun show.'”

Bednash’s comments echoed those in the official release, which stated “it is believed that some elements of the previous show need to be restored to ensure financial stability. We would like to work with the City of Surrey well in advance to provide a safe, educational and family-friendly event.”

Just Posted

Heritage Surrey launches time-lapse mapping tool

It matches local historical images to modern-day locations

UPDATE: Delta man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help finding missing 52-year-old

Police say William Michaels last seen on Feb. 19

Private school for hockey players pitched for Surrey’s Excellent Ice arena

Lark Group draws up expansion plan for facility built and operated by the Surrey company since 1999

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read