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Statement on costs of 4/20 protest events at Sunset Beach Park and Vancouver Art Gallery

May 25 2017

Park Board staff cleaning up the field at Sunset Beach Park after the 4/20 marijuana event

The City of Vancouver, Park Board, and Vancouver Police Department (VPD) have reviewed all costs associated with the unsanctioned and unpermitted 4/20 cannabis protest events at Sunset Beach Park and Vancouver Art Gallery on April 20, 2017.

Events were held at two separate locations on April 20:

  • Sunset Beach Park
  • 800 block of Robson Street adjacent to the Vancouver Art Gallery

There was an estimated 40,000 people at peak time at Sunset Beach Park and between 200 to 300 people at peak time at Robson Street.

Costs for managing the protests 

Notwithstanding the non-sanctioned nature of these events, a significant planning effort and operational response was undertaken by the City, Park Board and VPD to ensure public safety.

The incremental costs for managing the Sunset Beach Park and Vancouver Art Gallery protests, do not include regular staff time.

Department Sunset Beach Vancouver Art Gallery Total
Parks and Recreation $34,630 $0 $34,630
Vancouver Fire and Rescue N/A N/A $11,760
Vancouver Police Department $127,245 $43,425 $170,670
Engineering (sanitation, streets, and traffic) $5,760 $20,189 $25,949
Emergency Management $2,370 $0 $2,370
Total     $245,379

The above costs do not include impacts on BC Ambulance Service or Vancouver Coastal Health.

Consistent with correspondence that was provided to the organizers in advance of the event, the Park Board will be invoicing the organizers of the Sunset Beach Park site for their share of event-related expenses.

Total combined cost in 2016

In 2016, the total combined cost associated with the unpermitted 4/20 cannabis protest events at both locations was $148,000.

The City and Park Board will continue to work with organizers to find an appropriate venue for any future 420 events.

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