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

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

Most Read