Jazz society changes Courtenay venues due to liquor regulations

After six years of Thursday and Sunday night concerts at the Elks Club, the Georgia Straight Jazz Society relocated last week.

After six years of Thursday and Sunday night concerts at the Elks Club, the Georgia Straight Jazz Society relocated last week to the Avalanche Bar & Grill in Courtenay due to the enforcement of liquor regulations.

A liquor inspector who had been at the Elks premises on a Thursday was served a drink, which is against regulations. The inspector was supposed to have been stopped at the door and signed in as a guest or club member.

“I suppose we’ve become the victims of our own success,” Elks manager Lisa Woolman said.

The Liquor Board said the Elks operates under a liquor primary club licence, which can only allow entry to members or registered guests.

The licence also imposes a limit on the number of guests. As well, the club cannot solicit the public in its advertisements. Performers at a liquor primary club need not be club members.

“What’s happened in the development of the success is we haven’t got enough members,” Woolman said.

That “threatens the viability of us as a non-profit being able to donate to the community,” she added.

Thursday nights were well-attended events — a testament to the partnership between the Elks and the jazz society.

Society president Malcolm Holt called it a “symbiotic relationship” with the Elks.

“It’s with great sadness we’ve had to say farewell to the Elks,” Holt said, noting the Thursday concerts evolved into “more regular performers with growing membership in the society.”

He said Thursday nights drew crowds from 60 to 110 people. The average age was early 60s.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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