Fairs, festivals and sporting events across Canada try to ‘salvage something’ as they face second summer of pandemic

Excerpt from the Globe and Mail by 

When organizers at the renowned Spruce Meadows show jumping venue in Calgary debated pushing ahead with their annual summer series, they faced uncertain conditions and plenty of potential problems. The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics could mean overlap with pre-qualifying events and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases cast doubt on both the reopening of the Canada-U.S. border and whether large-scale events would be allowed at all.

Large summer events across Canada are making similar tough decisions under ever-shifting conditions. While the current public health plans of provinces like Alberta would allow large-scale events to take place if COVID cases and hospital admissions decrease by summer, organizers of music festivals, fairs and other big events say they can’t wait for official word from the government before deciding if they can proceed.

“Everyone’s trying to see if they can salvage something this year and still engage their community with some sort of programming,” said Christina Franc, executive director of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions.

She noted many large-scale summer events have only a few days or weeks each year to generate enough revenue to keep going.

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