It comes as little surprise to anyone, but under the advice of British Columbia’s provincial health officer, some of Metro Vancouver’s largest festivals and events have announced that they’ll be taking a year off as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
In early March, health authorities banned all gatherings of over 50 people. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also said that people should temper their expectations for what this summer might look like when it comes to planned private gatherings such as weddings, as well as large-scale public events like the PNE.
With more and more events calling for cancellations and postponements for 2020, here’s a running list of all the festivals and events that have been affected.
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After 30 summers and almost two million patrons, organizers of Vancouver’s annual Bard on the Beach Festival have announced the event has been cancelled for this year.
The 2021 season will feature the productions that were originally slated to be performed this year, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Paradise Lost by Erin Shields.
The long-standing Abbotsford Tulip Festival, or Bloom, is typically held for five weeks in the spring. The event draws close to 100,000 visitors annually to its stunning tulip fields.
In what would have been its 33rd year, the Canada Day at Canada Place celebration will not be taking place. The event typically features a two-barge fireworks show in the inlet, live musical performances, and a citizenship ceremony.
Car Free Day festivals were slated for June 20 on Denman Street in downtown’s West End, June 21 on Main Street, and July 12 on Commercial Drive. These events have a cumulative annual attendance of over 300,000 people, with the Main Street festival stretching 21 city blocks and the Commercial Drive festival using the same footprint as Italian Day.
British Columbia’s largest event, the Honda Celebration of Light, has been cancelled for 2020. The three-night competition has grown to become the world’s longest-running offshore fireworks competition, taking over the skies over Vancouver’s English Bay.
The annual Chilliwack Tulip Festival, entering its 14th year, typically takes place over a four-week period between April and May. As it stands, however, its sister festival, the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival, is still scheduled to begin at the beginning of August.
One of Western Canada’s top music festivals has been cancelled. Festival passes for 2020 are being honoured for its 2021 dates of July 9 and 10. This year, Flume, G-Easy, Illenium, and Alesso were announced as some of the headliners.
Italian Day on Commercial Drive was scheduled for June 14, but organizers have made a decision to not continue with this year’s event, which stretches 14 city blocks and typically attracts over 100,000 people.
West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival typically takes place during the first 10 days of August and is one of the North Shore’s largest events.
Khatsahlano, scheduled for July 11, is not proceeding this year. About 100,000 people typically attend this 10 city block event on West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano.
The Vancouver Titans confirmed that live professional esports would no longer be taking place at Rogers Arena. Two weekends of live matches were scheduled to be held on May 16 and 17 as well as July 4 and 5.
The Shambhala Music Festival is officially postponing its 2020 festival to July 2021. The music festival also announced that all 2020 tickets and lodging packages will be valid for 2021, 2022, or 2023.
The Constellation Festival, entering what would have been its second year, was scheduled to take place from July 24 to 26, 2020. The inaugural event, held in 2019, attracted dozens of artists and 20,000 attendees.
The 2020 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival was scheduled to occur from June 19 to July 1. Like many other events experiencing cancellation or postponement, the festival is now facing significant financial challenges due to the cancellation, but they are determined to return in 2021.
The Vancouver Mural Festival typically hosts a number of in-person events, including street parties and mural runs. While there may not be large gatherings, however, they’re celebrating in a different way by transforming 40 boarded-up storefronts into murals.
Rather than cancelling its massive parade and various other events this summer, the Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) announced it is shifting its celebrations this summer to a series of online events.