The 2016 B.C. Rod and Gun Show will go ahead this week in Cloverdale, after a temporary-use permit was approved by members of Surrey council Monday night.
Show organizer Steve Bednash told Peace Arch News last month that, despite a lack of official permit, organizers were confident they’d be approved for the April 15-17 show, and were moving forward as though they would be after complying with all the city’s requests – which included creation of an approved security plan, as well as the removal of ammunition sales and the presence of restricted handguns.
“That was just my confidence, but I really had no idea,” Bednash told PAN Tuesday morning, on the subject of his previous comments.
“But we didn’t really have a choice anyway – we had to keep organizing as though it was happening, because we have vendors and people coming from all over – there was a lot of planning to do.
“But it is a big load off our minds now. We’re just glad it was approved last night and we thank (council) for it.”
The show – which was also held last year – is set for the Cloverdale Fairgrounds (17763 62 Ave.), and will include hunting, fishing, archery, and other outdoors-related vendors and activities, Bednash said.
As well, MasterChef Canada competitor Tammy Woods will also be at the event, cooking up wild game, he added.
In early March, Mayor Linda Hepner expressed concern over the show’s name – specifically, the word ‘gun’ in the title.
“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 told Black Press last month.
Bednash, who was in attendance at council Monday, said those concerns did not resurface this time around.
“No, we didn’t hear anything like that. All we really heard was (Coun.) Bruce Hayne, who complimented us on getting everything done that was asked of us,” he said.
Coun. Dave Woods, a former police officer, had initially raised concerns about RCMP approval for the event, but said last week it was incumbent upon him, and the rest of council, to exercise due diligence in approving it.
Asked if he was going to attend the weekend show, Woods said he would give it careful consideration.
“I’ve got something going this weekend,” Woods said. “(But) I might go down and have a look at it.”
Despite the last-minute approval, Bednash was unsure if it meant the planning of any future events would go more smoothly.
“Well, we were told last year that we’d have no problems this year,” he laughed. “But we’re just happy to have it (approved). It’s going to be a great show.”
– with files from Kevin Diakiw