Due to COVID-19 and the provincial order prohibiting public gatherings of 50 people or more, the Shuswap District Arts Council has chosen to not proceed with this year’s Wednesday on the Wharf summer concert series. (File photo)

Another summer Shuswap tradition on hold due to COVID-19

Wednesday on the Wharf concert series in Salmon Arm postponed

Another summer Shuswap tradition has been postponed due to COVID-19

The Wednesday on the Wharf (WOW) concert series, presented by the Shuswap District Arts Council at Salmon Arm’s Marine Park, will not be proceeding this year.

For 26 years the concert series has provided residents with a place to gather with friends and family on the grass at the park gazebo stage to enjoy the lively sounds of talented musicians, states the arts council in a media release.

“In 2020, however, the events that have unfolded with the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the cancellation of many community gatherings, and WOW has now been added to the list of summer festivals that will not happen this year,” reads the release.

The 12-week series was set to begin in June, but provincial health authorities are not expected to lift the restriction on gatherings of 50 or more people until the end of summer.

Read more: In photos: Music lovers make their way to Wednesday on the Wharf

Read more: Net cast for musical acts to play Salmon Arm concert series

Since WOW attracts anywhere from 300 to 600 people, stated the arts council, this clearly exceeds the limits of what is considered a safe outdoor gathering.

“This is not the situation that any of us were hoping for,” said program manager Astrid Varnes. “We were hoping we might be able to offer a shortened season, perhaps with a mid-July or August start, but it is not to be.

“WOW is not just about the music, it’s about connecting with friends and family, about audiences dancing and having a picnic, and we realized we couldn’t offer WOW in a way that would ensure everybody’s health and safety.”

The arts council is committed to long-term, sustainable cultural planning, and will continue to work toward a 2021 season that is adaptable to the new reality that is the performing arts sector.

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