FILE – A vendor waits to serve mini doughnuts to a motorist at a drive-thru event with mini doughnut vendors at the Pacific National Exhibition grounds, in Vancouver, on Sunday, May 24, 2020. The PNE organized the event to help support vendors who will be unable to sell at the fair this year due to the cancellation of the annual event because of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

FILE – A vendor waits to serve mini doughnuts to a motorist at a drive-thru event with mini doughnut vendors at the Pacific National Exhibition grounds, in Vancouver, on Sunday, May 24, 2020. The PNE organized the event to help support vendors who will be unable to sell at the fair this year due to the cancellation of the annual event because of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

PNE cancels in-person fair for 2021, citing COVID concerns

Restrictions have made planning too difficult, organizers say

The 100-year-old PNE will not be running an in-person fair this summer, organizers said in a statement Wednesday (May 5).

“Despite our planning for a number of scalable versions of the PNE Fair, it is now clear that the number of guests required to make an in-person Fair financially viable will not be allowed under anticipated Public Health Orders this summer,” said spokesperson Laura Ballance, adding that the team would look to see what is possible as summer nears.

The announcement came just days after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed there would be no large events, even outdoors, this year.

“I can say there is not likely to be big events of any sort, even outdoors, through this summer and into the fall or winter of next year,” Henry said Monday.

“I can see many situations where we can have smaller, distanced outdoor events this summer, perhaps hundreds of people.”

Organizers said that losing the fair two years in a row will hurt employees.

“Losing the second year of the PNE Fair is a massive loss of much needed employment for our members,” said CUPE 1004 President Andrew Ledger. “We are deeply concerned about the thousands of CUPE members that depend on the Fair each summer to pay their way through school or to help support their families.”

The PNE, owned by the City of Vancouver, creates 4,300 indirect and 9,500 direct jobs.

Organizers say it brings 185,000 tourists to the Lower Mainland each year, something that could provide difficult if current travel restrictions continue.

READ MORE: Large events ‘not likely’ to happen in B.C. this year, even as vaccine rollout speeds up: Henry


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

Shuswap Litas and Sons of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

The price per litre of regular gasoline was at 145.9 cents at several gas stations in downtown Salmon Arm on June 11, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Gas prices pumped up in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Price spikes from 131.9 to as high as 145.9 cents per litre

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Police identify South Okanagan homicide victim as 57-year-old Naramata woman

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Most Read