Manitoba is throwing open the party doors for Juno week, March 24-30.
The provincial government is easing up on its liquor laws, allowing clubs and beer vendors to stay open longer, and for dining rooms, lounges and hotel beverage rooms to operate as live music cabarets.
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"Restaurants are a dynamic part of the hospitality industry in Manitoba and we welcome this chance to participate directly in major musical events like the Junos week and the Year of Music," said Scott Jocelyn, executive director of the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
Under the special rules, dining rooms, lounges and hotel beverage rooms that want to become temporary cabarets must provide two hours of live music by paid performers each evening. As a result of recent liquor law changes, DJs mixing original music now qualify.
Existing cabarets and legions and those with special permits will be allowed to serve liquor until 3 a.m. and beer vendors can sell until 3:30 a.m.
"We applaud this step by the province to reduce red tape and enhance options for our consumers," echoed Dwayne Marling, vice-president of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.
"The opportunity and flexibility to act as small venues for local and national musical talent can only enrich the experience we offer our customers."
Following the Junos, it is expected a similar relaxing of the rules will be issued for the Western Canada Music Awards and Aboriginal Peoples Choices Awards.