City of Kitchener cancels events and festivals up to and including June 30
Kitchener, Ontario – Today, the City of Kitchener, in collaboration with its events partners, announced that all city-affiliated events and festivals, as well as all third-party events, and festivals in city facilities or on city property have been cancelled up to and including June 30.
While such postponements are not currently required by Provincial or Regional Public Health, these changes give our event partners appropriate planning windows while also protecting them against the potential extension of the physical-distancing measures currently in place. Most importantly, the decision helps to further protect the safety of residents, and our valued event organizers and partners. With so many of these community events relying heavily on volunteer and community group efforts, it is also anticipated that these changes will ensure countless volunteer hours leading up to an event are not lost.
The City is evaluating options for Canada Day celebrations including reasonable alternatives to large public gatherings. Additionally, more information about other municipal programs will be shared later this week.
“Today’s decision is another difficult one but a necessary one. We need to stay home, practice physical distancing and do everything we can to help stop the spread of COVID-19” explains Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “We have a rich history of offering a vibrant array of festivals, events and programs, many of which are powered by local community groups and the efforts of thousands of volunteers. I know it’s hard to see these cancellations, but we’re a resilient community that will get through this together and see these events either rescheduled to later in the year or see them return, in 2021.”
In true collaborative spirit, the City of Kitchener is working with all event organizers to assess each event and identify alternate opportunities.
To ensure the safety of residents, and our valued event organizers and partners, all major events up to and including June 30 run by the city or which would have occurred on city property, will be postponed or cancelled, including the following:
Eid-ul-Fitr Festival – the Muslim Association of Canada has decided to cancel the Eid-ul-Fitr festival at The Auditorium until 2021. The Eid-ul-Adha festival will continue in July 2020, subject to any further recommendations from public health on large gatherings.
Neighbours Day – the city-wide celebration of community and neighbourhood activities and gatherings will be postponed, expected to return later in 2020.
Maker Expo – the organizers have announced that the family-friendly showcase of makers, artists and organizations who create amazing things will not occur in 2020 but will return in 2021.
KW Multicultural Festival – the KW Multicultural Centre has decided to cancel the festival for 2020, however the region’s largest cultural celebration will return in 2021.
Summer Lights Festival – the festival organizers will be postponing the 2020 June event, and are looking at opportunities to host Kitchener’s popular nighttime festival experience later in 2020.
Tacofest – organizers will be postponing Tacofest, which raises money to support Community Support Connections, from Friday June 12 to a later date.
tri-Pride – in alignment with the cancellation of other Pride festivals, our tri-Pride festival organizers have decided to cancel the 2020 festival, returning in 2021.
King StrEATery Food Truck Festival– the City of Kitchener and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region are proactively rescheduling King StrEATery Food Truck Festival, the region’s largest street food event, for a later date in 2020. With over 20 food truck vendors and 10 craft breweries -- this decision allows more time to adapt to any new updates over the coming months.
True North - In consultation with community partners, Communitech made the decision to cancel the week-long festival that brings tech founders, creative thinkers, movers, shakers and policymakers together. The festival will return in 2021.
Events at the Aud – all events and tradeshows at the Aud in May and June have been cancelled or postponed. Visit www.theaud.ca for more information. For all other events and festivals in City parks and facilities in May and June, the City of Kitchener continues to work with organizers and community groups to reschedule events to later dates.
Cancellation Period Will be Reviewed
The cancellation period will be reviewed on an ongoing basis following today’s announcement and could be extended in consultation with Waterloo Region Public Health and in consideration of the provincial emergency order concerning organized public events and social gatherings.