Thousands of jobs on hold for Playland and the PNE

Apr 13 2020, 3:15 pm

One of Vancouver’s most popular summertime attractions is holding off on thousands of potential hires as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Playland is tentatively scheduled to open on July 1, 2020, with the fair at the PNE opening on August 22, 2020.

The hiring of approximately 2,500 employees, however, is being postponed until further notice.

Laura Balance, spokesperson for the PNE, said by this time of year they would normally have hired approximately 1,000 employees for Playland. Preparations and recruitments for the 1,500-some fair employees would also be underway.

Teenagers and young adults who traditionally work summer jobs at the PNE are being affected as well.

Balance notes that of the PNE’s 4,300 staff, approximately 2,230 (52%) of them are under the age of 21.

“We’re tentatively planning for a July 1 opening for Playland and we are actively planning for the fair,” she tells Daily Hive in an email. “But we acknowledge that those scenarios could change at any moment.”

Balance says that the PNE is doing “modelling” in case one or both of the events don’t take place.

Shelley Frost, president and CEO of the PNE, said in a written statement that “these are extraordinary times.”

She explained that the PNE is a not-for-profit organization and that much of the events and programs run by the organization come from revenues generated by Playland, the fair, and other year-round events.

“Since we do not receive operational funding from the government, we are actively mitigating our revenue losses and preparing to ensure we can get back to business as soon as the COVID-19 emergency is behind us,” Frost said.

Last year, the PNE Fair saw 731,708 attendees through its 15-day event — the highest attendance seen in five years.

This year marks the fair’s 110-year anniversary.