Skip to content

Langley food truck festival owners faced with bill for thousands

Husband and wife told the event must cover policing costs
Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival used a drive-thru format in 2020. (Langley Advance Times files)

The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Wars will go ahead, despite last minute glitches that are hitting the bottom line, including thousands for policing costs and a shuttle bus system.

The event is slated to take place Friday afternoon and all day Saturday and Sunday at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Jason Faria and his wife, Kat King, organize the food truck gatherings in many different muncipalities. The Langley City couple has been scrambling to figure how to pull off the event with the added costs.

“We’re not Live Nation. We’re a small company,” Faria said.

Right now the policing costs are estimated to be $8,600, but the actual figure won’t be known until after the event.

Faria said food truck businesses are already dealing with all the economic problems like other businesses – soaring food costs, staffing issues, inflation and more.

“Our costs year over year from last year’s event to this year are 285 per cent (higher),” he noted.

He said he won’t pass on the policing and shuttle costs to the 45-plus food trucks, vendors and entertainers taking part this weekend because they agreed to take part before these issues arose.

“Now with the extra costs, we can’t ask anybody for more money,” he said.

The shuttle service that has had to be implemented in the last few weeks due to parking issues will cost almost $5,000.

Faria said he had an initial conversation with the City of Langley in late February when he was told the event would have to cover policing costs.

He noted that he and his wife’s company have put on 118 food truck festivals over several years and never have they had to pay for policing.

• READ MORE: City and charity car show at odds over policing costs

In 2016, a food truck festival was at Douglas Park in Langley City. In 2020, it was a drive-thru configuration held in the lot of Christian Life Assembly for events in both June and September. It was back in September 2021 at the same church parking lot, which is located in the Township.

“It’s event-specific; it depends on the size, scope, and community impact,” explained Samantha Paulson, Langley City communications officer.

The event will have private security, which Faria figured was sufficient since it’s not on municipal property or municipal roads. Faria said he’s hired a licensed private security firm and is bringing in four times as many security staff compared to normal.

Faria said they thought they had their ducks in a row, having spoken to the various groups necessary, such as Fraser Health, the fire department, and municipality.

“We’ve also have been instructed to do things like a provincial highway use permit which when we reach to them the the province basically said ‘you’re not changing anything. Why do we care?’,” Faria said.

For him, the biggest issue is having to scramble at the last minute because of what he believes is inconsistency in the rules and requirements.

“There has to be a transparent system in place, so as event organizers, we sort of know,” he said.

Since finding out about the additional requirements, he spoke to Langley City’s mayor and some councillors but with only days before the event, there was little they could do.

“Had this conversation been had months prior, we had avenues,” Faria said.

• READ MORE: Food truck festival returns, with a difference

Paulson explained that in the past, the festival has been at events such as Community Day which is a City event.

“When an organization would like to host an event in the City, they are responsible for policing costs. Organizations looking for support can submit an application through the Community Grant program, and council will consider the application’s merit against established criteria and other grant requests,” Paulson explained.

The event was moved from Cloverdale where it was held last year to Langley City because of a lack of parking. Faria and King are both alumni of KPU and said the school has been great to work with.

He hopes to be able to put on food truck festivals in the City in the future, saying the event is a family-oriented gathering that he thinks benefits the community and nearby businesses, but he said he’s concerned about the future.

“I just hope not to go bankrupt,” he said.

Due to parking limits at the venue, the couple was able to rent space near the lacrosse box at MacLeod Athletic Park and will operate a shuttle all three days.

It will start running 15 minutes before opening and run until 15 minutes after closing. The festival goes 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 31, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2. Shuttle pickups will be at the Timms Community Centre, 20399 Douglas Cres., and at the Township lacrosse box, 213A Street and 57A Avenue. KPU is at 20901 Langley Bypass.

There is no charge for the shuttle.

Though the forecast is calling for rain on the weekend, Faria is encouraging people to head out and enjoy the food truck festival, noting there’s covered seating areas.


Have a story tip? Email:
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
The Food Truck Festival drew crowds in 2018 when it was held in Langley. (Langley Advance Times)

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
Read more