On Friday, February 3rd, at The Needle Vinyl Tavern, the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission (AGLC) announced a policy amendment that allows minors to perform at “minor-prohibited venues such as lounges and bars.”
President and CEO of the AGLC, Bill Robinson, released a statement.
“Amending this policy to allow minors to entertain in licensed venues is one of the many ways the AGLC continues to work with stakeholders to modernize policies that reflect the best interests of industry. Overall, the culture has shifted to one of hospitality versus a culture of chaos and we now have more effective mechanisms in place to focus on overall safety.”
In 2007, the AGLC had removed the policy that allowed minors to perform at bars etc.
The amendment to the policy now allows minors to apply for approval from AGLC Inspections Offices in St. Albert, Calgary, Red Deer, Grand Prairie, or Lethbridge.
Minors would be allowed on premises between sets, but would have to leave once the show is over. In addition, the AGLC states that “minors are still prohibited from entering and performing in licensed gaming venues,” such as casinos.
This change in policy has been fought for by many locals around Edmonton, most notably Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepard and Thom Bennett of the Edmonton Live Music Initiative, who, together, consulted with artists and music-industry organizers around Edmonton.
“I am very appreciative that the AGLC is moving forward with modernizing liquor regulation, opening things up, allowing spaces like The Needle Vinyl Tavern to be able to offer a wider range of opportunities and possibilities.” Shepard says.
“This is a great step forward for our music scene, for younger performers, and for our province as a whole. (It) reflects our government’s commitment to supporting and working with Alberta’s heart’s community something that makes our cities makes our neighbourhoods, makes areas like Edmonton’s downtown much more attractive places to visit and to live.”
Cover photo by Thai Sirikoone.