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No TRIBE BBQ this year

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Staff member
I am pulling the plug on the TRIBE BBQ this year. I had hoped to do it on Sept 20, shifting it out of July, because this summer really sucked for weather for the most part.

Some other factors also came into play that made throwing the BBQ a bit unwieldy and expensive for me this year. Perhaps next year I can figure out a way to keep doing it. As you know, I pay the hard costs of the TRIBE BBQ out of my own pocket (audio, transport, charcoal, permits, bacon), and the DJs donate their skills...

The person we have dealt with for our annual permit on Toronto Island for the last 9 years wasn't responding to my emails when I contacted her in June and July. I figured she might have been on mat leave or something.

Eventually I called the Island Parks office to see where she was and was told she was no longer there and all the permits would now be handled by the City's Special Event permit office.

When I applied for the permit for the Sept 20 date I was told that we would now be required to provide an insurance certificate with proof of 2 million dollars liability insurance to the City of Toronto as the Payee. This in spite of having to sign our normal Permit application that has a clause that indemnified the City for anything and everything.

As well, they would not be collecting recyclables and garbage any more on the Island from our site and we would have to purchase our own bins and get them off the island or hire someone to do that. These were new costs that did not apply to us in previous years.

Also, the central Special Event Permit office does not issue vehicle permits for the Island, so I would have to get this separately from the Island Parks people for that, and there is no co-ordination between the Special Events Office and the Island Parks people for this.

So, in typical bureaucratic fashion, a simple one-step process of having to deal with one person for everything for our small event has been "improved" into having to deal with 3 separate municipal government departments that do not communicate with each other. Costs have also pretty much doubled.

Clearly these new rules are aimed at making hosting massive corporate sponsored EDM parties on the island easier for the City, but it makes it much more difficult to throw smaller free community events and family BBQs or picnics, which are falling through the cracks. This is probably the reason why most of the Island's excellent picnic areas are always vacant and underutilized, as you can see if you bike around the Islands on any day of the week.

I love doing the TRIBE BBQ and enjoy the chance to meet and grill with you all in person, but I don't have the thousand bucks to spend this year, nor the inclination to source garbage bins separately before Sept 20, nor have the time to find some company to take them afterwards.

So I am pulling the plug on the TBQ this year.

I think next year I will investigate doing the event somewhere else, or at least start working on it 6 months beforehand now I know what new bureaucratic layers we have to deal with. Perhaps I can get sponsorship to cover these new costs so we can keep doing it on the island.

It would be so nice if the City made it easier for smaller events in public parks instead of more difficult, but that is life in today's corporate sponsored Toronto I guess.
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
Is it possible that we just get something else where we can gather together and have a little mini bbq? I would like to see everyone this year. Maybe getting together this year (informally) will also help keep the buzz alive for the next years to come...

Too bad it didn't work out Alex! You did all that you could! :)

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