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Liquor licensing regulations at ISC in effect for first time during hockey season

Cowichan Arena dressing room are now licensed with regulations to monitor alcohol use. -
Cowichan Arena dressing room are now licensed with regulations to monitor alcohol use.
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The start of the hockey season will bring new liquor licensing regulations at the Island Savings Centre to the forefront for a different crowd of people.

The new regulations at the centre pertaining to the dressing room area were put into practice during the lacrosse season without incident and centre manager John Elzinga expects the same as hockey commences.

"Most arenas in the province have an issue with unlicenced alcohol in their dressing rooms,'' said Elzinga.

Regulations that came into effect last fall were designed to address that issue. Elzinga said the ISC's process of applying included notifying residents within a half mile and giving them an opportunity to comment.

That was done and the licensing agreement was finalized in March, Elzinga said.

"We're in partnership with the Liquor Branch on this initiative,'' he explained.

The former skate sharpening room on the east side of the arena has been converted into an office. A bartender is employed for the rental period and goes to the dressing room with an order to serve the players.

Of course, the usual regulations pertaining to minors are in effect. There's also a maximum of three beers per person, Elzinga pointed out.

In addition, "we had to upgrade our licensing around the Genoa Room,'' said Elzinga.

A portion of it used to be the Social Lounge and "we had to go through the process to make it one license,'' he added.

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