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Riot officers in downtown Vancouver June 15, 2011 during the Stanley Cup riot. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)
Riot officers in downtown Vancouver June 15, 2011 during the Stanley Cup riot. (John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Stephen Quinn

Buzzkill for the Canucks' next shot at the Cup Add to ...


PRESENTATION: Stanley Cup Riot Review – Update and 2012 Planning

Penny Ballem, City Manager, will provide a presentation on the implementation of the Stanley Cup Riot Review recommendations and planning for the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.


That council direct city staff to work with stakeholders including police and the Provincial Liquor Licensing Branch toward the implementation of a framework to allow for celebrations in conjunction with a possible Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup final series while avoiding a repeat of the 2011 Stanley Cup riot, which was in no way our fault.

This year, the city will actively discourage a large, centralized public celebration with the following measures, should the Vancouver Canucks reach the Stanley Cup final series:

All licensed establishments and liquor outlets in Vancouver will be prohibited from selling or serving alcohol to anyone for the duration of the series.

Pubs that remain open will be prohibited from showing the games on TV.

SkyTrain service will be limited to 7:30 p.m. on game nights.

Special police enforcement teams will patrol major streets pre-emptively, arresting anyone wearing a Canucks jersey.

These measures will be accompanied by a “Just Watch the Game at Home” public information campaign to be developed by city communications staff. Vancouver’s Chief of Police has already taken the lead on a campaign with similar messaging: “Don’t come downtown.”

These extreme measures may rekindle the popular media myth that Vancouver is a “No Fun City.” In anticipation of this we are encouraging smaller, “neighbourhood celebrations” hosted by community centres, neighbourhood houses and other community associations. Among the events planned:

Lantern workshops with participants encouraged to free-associate and create a representation of what hockey means to them

Story-sharing Circles with the emphasis on the value of team play, alternative dispute resolution, and consensus-building

Colourful murals depicting the history of the Vancouver Canucks (with all references to riots omitted)

Anti-hockey-violence collage workshops

Presentations by some of the city’s most accomplished arena refrigeration technicians

Yoga for hockey

Planting “Canuck Gardens” in existing community gardens aimed at educating children about the value of nutrition in sport and not rioting

It has been suggested that hockey games be screened at civic buildings such as arenas and community centres to facilitate a “shared experience.” At this time, staff does not support this as an option because of the potential for citywide “mini-riots.”

As well as events planned at city facilities, we are encouraging neighbours to “Catch Canuck Fever” and organize community celebrations of their own. These celebrations must, however, remain within the bounds of the city’s effort to maintain public order.

Therefore the following provisions will apply:

Screenings of all final series games in private residences will be limited to family members and immediate neighbours only. For single-family dwellings, “immediate neighbours” include those who reside no more than two houses away from the subject residence, or in a basement suite or secondary suite included therein.

For those who live in apartment or condominium buildings, “neighbour” means any resident who shares the same floor, or is in the unit directly above or below the subject residence.

For any other gathering which includes the live-screening of a game, an application must be submitted in writing to the city’s Chief Licence Inspector no less than 60 days prior to the planned event. All applicants must provide proof of liability insurance, and have successfully completed a recognized first-aid program. In addition, all applicants will be subject to a criminal record check. This application includes a non-refundable processing fee of $500.

Games may only be screened on televisions of 42 inches or less (measured diagonally.)

Those hosting any event approved by the aforementioned application process are prohibited from selling liquor at events. If liquor is to be served on a no-cost basis, the application must have completed the province’s “Serving it Right” program. All liquor must be distributed in “airplane-sized” bottles of no more than 50 ml. All drinks must be consumed at host location.


With the combination of additional enforcement, and ample opportunity for neighbourhood-focused celebrations, we are confident we will not see a repeat of the public disorder and wanton destruction of property that occurred in last year’s final series.

It has been suggested that despite all of these measures, drunken young men in hockey jerseys may spontaneously gather in the downtown core, thus setting the stage for another riot.

We see no need to plan for any such eventuality.

Stephen Quinn is the Host of On the Coast on CBC Radio One, 690 AM and 88.1 FM in Vancouver.

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