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October 27, 2017 9:03 pm

Mayor Hall Welcomes “Entertaining” Ideas

Saturday, September 24, 2016 @ 6:58 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Finding something to do from an entertainment point of view in Prince George can be difficult to do, but there is definitely a demand for more of it.

The strong turnout at recent events in the city, like the outdoor concert by Honeymoon Suite and local band Audio Union at Pacific Western Brewery the second weekend in August and the Saturday Night Bazaar outside the Black Donkey Café the last weekend in August, seemed to indicate a desire for entertaining events and a willingness to support them.  However, there is basically no night life in the city, certainly nothing that rivals the times had by residents who have been living and working and raising a family here over many years.

Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall also believes that people are looking forlyn things to do.  “I think you’re right, there is a demand for it, I think there’s a demand for various types of entertainment for various age demographics.  That was proven out by Honeymoon Suite performing at PWB at their tailgate party and I’m hoping that that continues to be a yearly thing.”

“We have a couple of locations where there’s night life, I guess the old term is cabaret style, but we’re seeing things being done differently around the entertainment piece, where you have a one-off at PWB or a one-off at Black Donkey or some other location will do something different.  Obviously there’s room in the city for a continuation of that kind of a night life scenario, and I’m hoping that we’ll see more of it and in different locations.”

The mayor says other venues might be “the Canada Games plaza or it could be a restaurant that looks at doing something.  Nancy O’s does it, and I think that has become a real niche in our community.”  He notes that the club-type business “is entrepreneurially driven so if somebody wants to put together a nightclub or a cabaret that’s driven by that business person out there that thinks they can make it viable.  As I’ve said to many people who want to start things in our community, bring it to council and we would be open to the discussion.”

“There used to be a comedy club in town, for example, so maybe we’ll see another comedy club rise up.  But I think if people are interested in an entertainment venue, bring it to council and we’d be willing to have a conversation or they can come by and talk to any of the council members about it.”

Mayor Hall says there is no doubt that many residents are looking for entertaining activities.  “I hear it all the time, that night out at PWB, events at the winery, one-off events downtown and people say man, why isn’t there more of this, why don’t we do it more often?”

“I think it really struck me,” says Hall “when we take a look at the number of events that are held at CN Centre it’s amazing.  There’s some big name entertainers who come to Prince George and they’re very well attended.  And Honeymoon Suite, holy cow they’re been around for quite a while and to be able to have them in that kind of setting which was just a different setting, I think people like that kind of thing, they like something different.”

He says he is definitely not against holding more entertainment and night life events in Prince George.  “No I’m not adverse to it, obviously it would depend what the proposal is but I’m certainly not opposed to having that conversation with a potential developer of an entertainment-style venue, whether it be a comedy club or a cabaret-type venue.”

“You know we’re hearing it from the younger demographic so we want students and the younger folks to move downtown and so you talk about the university and CNC students, they’ll come downtown but they’re looking for entertainment.  Not always when you talk about entertainment downtown is it a nightclub kind of thing.  It may be entertainment within a restaurant, and that’s been done as well and we are certainly open to talking about that kind of night life.”

Hall says we are slowly seeing the development of new venues in Prince George.  “Take a look at the Crossroads Brewing Company for example.  I mean that is going to be a new level of entertainment for our city and you see them all over when you go to other communities and it turns out to be a location where people can have an evening of it.  It’s just a different venue and I think they’ll do very well.  I like the idea that it’s something different for everyone to enjoy.”

“Look how popular the winery has been for hosting events, for example.  The winery is very well known all across the province, and I think people are really looking for something different to do.”

“I’ve heard people talk about various locations they went to, Kamloops, Nanaimo, Vancouver, wherever it might be, and the question is, can we have something like that here?  And I think we’re starting to see that grow.”


Anything except a far too expensive performing arts centre. There are plenty of things happening around Prince George all the time, you just have to lift your head up out of that electronic device once in a while.

I realize I represent the senior side of the spectrum, but I remember going to The Red Garter restaurant/club at Inn of the North. You could have a great dinner, listen and dance to live entertainment, often a big name entertainer. Then many will remember the Vienna Schnitzel, again great food, music and dancing. We always enjoyed making a whole evening of fun with friends just going to one place! I still wish we had a Venue to go to dedicated to our age group.

    Agree. The Vienna was a wonderful place. The Inn had its main restaurant with entertainment as well as a disco.

    The Yellowhead had a lounge with entertainment featuring out of town groups, including people such as Ian Tyson. They also had a country western nightclub at the same time.

    The Simon Fraser had a nice little lounge, a restaurant that tried to outdo the Inn, and a nightclub bringing in many “generic” lounge music groups from the Philippines, etc.

    Then came the pubs in suburbia. One can look to them in a similar way one can look to the suburban shopping centres. It was possible to get “entertained” by watch sports on TV while drinking and chatting with friends without going downtown.

    And, of course, people seemed to go out less frequently. More Big Macs than a quiet dinner at the Achilleon.

    No more Chinese food restaurants open late at night to go to after the movies. No more Pandoras and one or two other pizza joints open after midnight till 2 and even 3 in the morning.

    No more Shakey’s with Bruce Strachan playing the piano. Now it is pizza by the slice, closing at 10pm …. a place for a quick piece of pizza rather than a hamburger.

    I am sure we all had our own favourite places.

    Mine also included dives such as basement entertainment in the MacDonald as well. Great place to go when entertaining family coming to visit from Toronto a city where such places were normal for the university crowd – the Silver Dollar on Spadina being a well known example.

      Pool at Wainright, Bino’s, capture the flag at Fort George Park, sledding at Carney and Massey and Rainbow Park, Rock Pit and Toronto with the Headpins, being served in the car at Dog n’ Suds drive in on my first day in PG – who is Ian Tyson? My earliest memory of an outing in PG was Streetheart at the colliseum, I gotta shake the dust off my box of tapes but you are talking 8 tracks here

Why does this sound like a precursor to ” we are going to build a PAC”?

    Your paranoia is showing.

    Why can you not take this for what it is and tell us what you understand by the word entertainment and the kind of entertainment you used to enjoy in this city and the kind of entertainment you participate in these days in PG?

What’s the point?! The cops don’t want new night entertainment downtown, especially for the 20-40 demo. They were always fighting against new establishments opening in the downtown. One of the reasons why I left town (a small one) lack of things to do in pg. I do miss the outdoor activities pg had to offer tho:(

    So the cops dictate what we can have?

    Give me an example of that happening.

    BTW, where do the cops go in off hours with their families? Do they have different entertainment interests than non-cops?

      You don’t remember the Odeon proposal? The RCMP were very vocal about the damage/vandalism to their private vehicles parked nearby and the amount of calls they would get.

      That and the city wants to sell the parking lot next door for a condo project were the two deciding factors, planning wanted the project in the downtown “entertainment” district on their “map” and this one was a block or two too far away from the area outlined

      The police were quite vocal to the city about their “concerns” of a new night club trying to get the go ahead downtown. This happened more than a few times, anytime there was interest of a new bar / club to open in the downtown core. I can’t say I blame them

      I don’t know what they do now, but years ago they had their own club funded by dues.

      The whole neighbourhood came out in opposition to that “Night Club.” The last thing the neighbourhood wanted was for the “PG Hotel” to relocate so close to us. We attended the open house and they told us the only reason they selected that location was because “it was the cheapest option in town.” They had no plans to make any improvements, just going to throw up a sign and rake in dough. And if the PG was any indication they would have just run the place into the ground. Any other proprietor may have been successful in getting neighbourhood support.

Shouldn’t be a problem for them to provide “entertainment”, try getting a building permit

The Great Canadian Brewhouse is coming with a rooftop patio for guests

I had to look up who “Honeymoon Suite” are. Sure glad I missed them.

How about bringing “Alabama Shakes” to town instead?

    I looked them up and listened to them. I wouldn’t rush out and spend money to see them live, any more than I would Honeymoon Suite.

    Everyone has their own musical tastes, maybe next year it will be a band like Alabama Shakes. If you were into the bar & Canadian music scene in the mid ’80s to early ’90s Honeymoon Suite was a pretty big band, bubblegum pop but still were musically relevant to that time. Fast forward to the tailgate party…Audio Union put on a fantastic show, very talented local boys, Honeymoon Suite was awesome, even though they are all middle age men they played with the energy & enthusiasm of people 25 years younger. All that said, the tailgate party was one of the funniest events I have attended in PG in a very long time. Got to see old acquaintances I hadn’t seen in years, had a few mediocre beers & listen to some tunes that brought back some god memories. All in all a great night out, PG needs more of these type of events.

    You had to look up who Honeymoon Suite is? (insert head shake here) I’m sure you weren’t missed at the event.

    You had to look up “Honeymoon Suite”. I had to look up “Alabama Shakes” and find some tracks. Wouldn’t lose any sleep if I missed them but might get some sleep if I saw them.

WE have CNC and UNBC and they are looing for a club with music and dancing for their age, you want to keep the young in this City then bring on the club. PG has a lot to offer in the out doors but that’s not for everyone.

Maybe the Mayor can come up with an entertaining idea on how a young demographic making 10 bucks an hour can afford six dollar beers and eight dollar shots in order to generate a night life in this city.

    Money from parents, car from parents, living at home, student loans, tree planting, working at the mills with union pay …..

    The same things I used to do when and kids can still do today ….

    I enjoyed weekends at the bars in those days as well as travelling and downhill skiing among other sports that cost plenty of money.

    Others live in the houses the parents bought and make sure the rooms are rented to other students, collect the rent, and when they leave the house the parents sell it.

    Then there are those who have a spouse who earns money while the other goes to university.

    Not everyone fits into the same mold. There is lots of variety. Start up a conversation when you are at a Starbucks or Café Voltaire or the nearest pub and you might be able to find out how many ways there are to get through university without losing out on life.

      I don’t know what decade you are living in, but University students now are drowning in debt. They don’t have the money to spend on six dollar beers. The number of Mills in this area are less than half of what it used to be and, thanks to automation and optimization, the number of available good paying Union jobs is shrinking every year.

      The bank of Mom and Dad is finite and reaching its limits. If all these avenues you have suggested are available then why is it so dead downtown on the weekends?

      I am living in the same era as you are. I do not know whether I went to university in a different era than you. When I went to university student loans had just become available. We did take out small student loans at the time because the money was practically handed to us. We had them paid off in less than 5 years if I remember correctly.

      Today’s bank of mom and dad is reaching its limits because the 1,000 to 1,200 sf houses have made way to houses 1,500 to 2,000 sf in size and the cars have multiplied from one per family to 2 or 3 per family and have increased in size from mainly sedans to mainly SUV sized vehicles. The number of gasoline powered “toys” sitting in the garage have also increased.

      Not only that, but there were no computers that students were carrying around in the 1960s and 1970s and most certainly no cell phones and cable TV. In addition, there were considerably fewer students who owned cars. Money for discretionary spending was likely proportionally much higher than today. Also, less money was spent to buy fast food as well as prepared food to take home.

      In fact, when one goes to Europe one can still see inner city residents not linked by cars, but linked by public transit. The smaller the “home” one lives in, whether a simple one or a well outfitted one, the more one is likely to seek “entertainment” outside of their “home”, then move back to the cocoon called home. The university years to me were much like that.

      Priorities are simply different. The supply of money is not the real issue. The wants are.

Fringe festival .

Thanks gopg2015 for the memory jog of the Silver Dollar on Spadina..actually phoned a U of T classmate today!

What ever you have–You have to Advertise Advertise Advertise.
Let People know what is going on around town.
Give people time to plan to attend an event.

They always seem to fund the money for a little entertainment don’t forget we have many students from out side the region and Country

I wonder if Mayor Hall is still infatuated with Dustin Treudeaus plans to spend billions of dollars. You can do a full service move clean across Canada for $20,000. So how did it cost $100,000.? Houston, we have a problem.

    Dustin? Who’s Dustin? And this has what do with the story about entertainment in PG?

    Real estate fees, commissions, property transfer taxes, storage of property, temporary accommodations, etc. The physical move is often the cheapest part.

To band last few Mayors shut down part of the down town night life. There are a few places but really could use more things on a permanent basis. Night time markets was a great idea. More out door concerts at the park.

WOW!!! from my earlier comment, how did we get here? Oh yeah, I know, the complainers and arguers are at it again. Sad we can’t stick to what started out to be a good topic! We cannot compare the past to the present…EVER!
To “onemansthoughts”, Why did you try to to make it political!. Stick to the topic!

“We cannot compare the past to the present…EVER!”


Your earlier comment was: “I remember going to The Red Garter restaurant/club at Inn of the North ….”

How is that not comparing the past to the present?

You did it yourself, and it is likely one of the most common comparisons: previous experiences to current situations.

Have things gotten better or worse? Is this car better than the one I had before? Was this trip better than the last? Did this meal taste better than the last time we had this? Is today’s weather better than yesterday’s?

My advice for creating more entertainment options is to create a zone of the city where people will want to visit in order to be entertained. You need a critical mass of people to assemble in a specific area in order to do the types of things that they find to be entertaining.

This could include parks, restaurants, night clubs, retail shopping space, festival spaces, sight seeing, etc. It would not include new police stations, office buildings, parking garages, insurance companies, etc.

Developing a plan shouldn’t be rocket science. Sticking to it and allowing it to happen, at least in PG, appears to be.

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