The future of all major Abbotsford events in the coming months are uncertain due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with a number of notable cancellations or postponements occurring this week.
The City of Abbotsford initially posted in a COVID-19 update on Monday that all public gatherings over 50 people in civic facilities or parks are cancelled or postponed until Sept. 1.
However, that update was then edited on Tuesday to remove the Sept. 1 date. The updated on the City of Abbotsford website now states that events with over 50 people are cancelled or postponed until further notice.
The initial release would have meant the cancellation or postponement of popular events such as the Abbotsford International Airshow, the Abbotsford Agrifair and local Canada Day celebrations. The future of those events remain unclear for the moment.
Monday also saw the official cancellation of the Fraser Valley Regional Science Fair, which was scheduled to occur at the University of the Fraser Valley on April 1 and 2. The event regularly features over 100 students from all over the Fraser Valley, with the winners advancing to the national science fair.
Dr. Lucy Lee, the chair of the event, said in a press release that organizers were saddened by the cancellation, but that it is necessary in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the next few days we will take the time to communicate with students, teachers, parents and sponsors regarding any commitments that have been made for the 2020 FVRSF,” she stated. “We ask that our participants and stakeholders be patient and provide our committee with time to formulate a process to deal with this cancellation. The Fraser Valley Regional Science Fair is organized entirely by volunteers, whose tireless efforts have made the FVRSF a great addition to our community. It saddens us to make this decision, but we will regroup and look forward to the 2021 Fraser Valley Regional Science Fair.”
One of the biggest local impacts felt by the coronavirus situation is the Abbotsford Centre, which has had to postpone or cancel all upcoming events.
Mini Pop Kids Live, the Gord Bamford Rednek Music Fest, the Alice Cooper concert and Cirque du Soleil AXEL have all been postponed. There is no official word yet on the Iron Assassin’s Demo Derby, which is scheduled for April 4, but it appears very unlikely that event will proceed.
Jeff Dunham (April 22) and ZZ Top (May 1) have also not yet been officially cancelled or postponed, but if the current restrictions on public gatherings continue they will also not go forward on the original dates.
Over at Tradex there are also a number of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Creativ Festival, DEX-MMP Expo and The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Marketplace have all been postponed. The BC Health and Wellness Show, which was scheduled for March 14 and 15 has been moved to October. The BC Skills Competition has also been cancelled.