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

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read