White Rock council has approved four “significant community events” for this year, while denying two others.
During its regular meeting Monday, council approved a Spring Art Show, a Craft Beer Festival, the White Rock Moon Festival and the White Rock Multi-Cultural Festival.
Events not approved include a South Asian Festival and a White Rock sandcastle competition.
The Spring Art Show and Craft Beer Festival events were proposed by the White Rock Business Improvement Association. Both are to be held in Memorial Park, with the art show to take place June 8-9 and the Craft Beer Festival on Sept. 21.
White Rock BIA executive director Alex Nixon said both White Rock breweries – 3 Dogs Brewing and White Rock Beach Beer Company – are “enthusiastic” about the Craft Beer Festival, and 3 Dogs Brewing is to help co-ordinate the event.
“I don’t want to spoil who we’re going to approach, but we’re going to have an exciting lineup,” Nixon told Peace Arch News Tuesday.
The date and location of the event, Nixon suggested, was picked to increase tourism during months shouldering the off-season.
“September 21, so far, doesn’t have any craft beer festivals in the area. It’s a beautiful time of the year – it’s always beautiful in White Rock – and we’re excited to have it on the waterfront at that time,” Nixon said. “It’s a perfect location for it.”
The festival is to run 1-5 p.m.
The Spring Art Show is to be jointly organized by the South Surrey White Rock Arts Society and the BIA.
Nixon said the event will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the arts society.
During the council meeting, director of recreation and culture Eric Stepura told councillors that staff recommended denying the South Asian Festival because, among other reasons, it’s predominately organized by Surrey residents.
The event, he added, has been routinely held at Holland Park in Surrey. Stepura said the City of Surrey denied event organizers’ request to host the three-day event in Surrey this year, and that’s why the group approached White Rock.
“Staff have done a reference check with staff with the City of Surrey and we were told there are some significant risks in working with this group due to the security costs as well as a lot of administration time…. This is one we have concerns about,” he said.
Stepura said the White Rock Sandcastle Competition proposal was denied because of environmental concerns.
He said staff have contacted the province, Semiahmoo First Nation and Friends of the Semiahmoo Bay about the sandcastle competition being held on the beach.
“They all oppose this event taking place on our living beach because of the negative impact it can have on our marine ecosystem,” he told council.
Stepura said the White Rock Multi-Cultural Festival is one that’s re-branded from the previously held Festival of Lights Diwali Integration event. He said the new event is to include multiple cultures, and city staff encourage organizers of the South Asian Festival to participate.
The White Rock Moon Festival will return, with the White Rock Chinese Association responsible for event co-ordination.