Sidney has cancelled the Thursday Street Market, here seen in 2019, scheduled to run every Thursday between June 4 to Aug. 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Beacon Avenue. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney has cancelled the Thursday Street Market, here seen in 2019, scheduled to run every Thursday between June 4 to Aug. 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Beacon Avenue. (Black Press Media File)

Sidney cancels popular outdoor market

Officials also advised cancellation or postponment of summer events involving large gatherings

A popular street market that draws thousands to Sidney during the summer months will not happen this year with longer disruptions ahead because of COVID-19.

Sidney has cancelled what would have been the 21st edition of the Sidney Street Market as local officials have been monitoring what a release from the municipality called “messaging” from senior levels of government and public health authorities about events drawing large crowds.

This messaging has led the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to the conclusion that any easing of restrictions on public gatherings would be a “gradual and phased approach” that will still limit large gatherings for months to come in advising event organizers to cancel or postpone both indoor and outdoors events involving public gatherings scheduled for the summer of 2020.

“Consequently, the Town of Sidney has made the difficult decision to cancel the 21st season of the Sidney Street Market,” it reads.

RELATED: Peninsula markets on hold, could look radically different upon return

The public had heard earlier this month that the market might still go ahead, but under a very different format, a hope now squashed. It is not clear what sort of economic impact the cancellation of the market will have, but it will likely be significant, as the event draws anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 people each Thursday night during the summer.

Cancelled plans called for the market to run every Thursday between June 4 to Aug. 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Beacon Avenue. The event celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and advertises itself as the largest outdoor market on Vancouver Island.

The release also said that the annual Sidney Days/Canada Day celebrations will not be able to proceed as in the past with municipal officials saying that they are working with the Peninsula Celebrations Society to look at options for what the release called a ” significantly modified event” that would allow residents to celebrate together in spirit while still staying apart.

COVID-19 has already led to the cancellations of several events, with key centres of artistic and culture life closed for the foreseeable future.

Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith thanked event organizers, as well as local arts and culture organizations for their quick response to the threat of COVID-19.

“Sidney rightfully prides itself on its numerous events that bring great vitality and happiness to our community,” he said. “While we all share in the disappointment of event cancellations, I believe we can also take pride in the way we have come together, by staying apart, to protect our community.”

The release said the EOC will “work diligently” with community organizers to facilitate cancelled or postponed events when public health orders and physical distancing limitations have relaxed to the extent that those events can be rescheduled. Within this context, officials are encouraging organizers to reach out to the EOC if they have ideas for a significantly modified events that respect limits on public gatherings and meet social and physical distancing guidelines.

“Although it may be a while until we can organize and celebrate events in ways that we have in the past, I hope that we can work collectively on new and safe ways to come together as a community while still respecting physical and social distancing guidelines,” said Brett Mikkelsen, Sidney’s Fire Chief and EOC director.

The Peninsula News Review reached to Laurie McDermid of Westcoast Impressions for comment and will update this story accordingly.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Victoria-Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming moves to the role of transportation minister in the NDP’s new cabinet. (B.C. government file photo)
Vancouver Island MLAs claim key roles in new cabinet

Key ministries headed by veteran and rookie Island MLAs in Horgan’s new team

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

Christmas will look a bit different in Cumberland this year, not only because of COVID restrictions but due to changes from BC Hydro about hanging decorations on the poles. Record file photo
Snowflakes left out in the cold for Island town

Holiday season tradition a no-go for Cumberland’s power poles

Karl Ablack, chair of the Port Renfrew Recovery Task Force, says visitors should steer clear of the community after the second wave of COVID has begun to hit across the province. (Black Press Media file photo)
Port Renfrew, Pacheedaht First Nation asks visitors to steer clear of community again

Tight-knit community of 400 has yet to report single case of COVID

The old home at 785 Island Rd. is coming down as the developer was unable to find a feasible business case to save it. (Black Press Media File Photo)
With no takers to move old Oak Bay home, teardown begins

‘We tried a last hurrah,’ developer says

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from Nanaimo daycare

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has spoken out about some veterans losing their Dimished Earning Capacity income. (Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror photo)
Blaney pens letter to minister about veteran supports

Concerned about veterans losing some income

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

No face-offs until at least Dec. 8 after the BCHL shuts down pre-sesason play. (Citizen file)
BCHL cancels remainder of the pre-season

Island teams see their exhibition season cut short

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

Most Read