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Amid The Pandemic, The PNE Might Try a New Event Format This Summer

playland - pne entertainment attractions

B.C.’s health officials are saying no to big events this summer, but the PNE is hoping to do things a little differently, while still obeying the new rules.

As the province surpasses 1,600 COVID-19 cases, social distancing rules may stick around for a while. And that means large scale events are off the table.

RELATED: B.C. Is Preparing To Lift Some COVID-19 Restrictions Next Month

“Realistically we will not be having those big events where people gather together this summer,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry. “We do not have enough herd immunity or community immunity to protect everybody and allow that type of event to happen.”

She added that the PNE, specifically, is not likely to happen this year.


A Different Approach For The PNE

However, PNE spokesperson Laura Ballance told CTV News Vancouver that it was “certainly a bit of a surprise to hear that.”

“We’ve been monitoring the situation and looking at modelling in different ways that the PNE, maybe not the traditional fair, but different models that may work in light of whatever the COVID situation would be in August,” said Ballance.

In a recent press release, the PNE said to stay tuned for smaller events with different protocols. 

“We have a few bright ideas up our sleeve for when the time is right,” the statement reads.

Photo: GoToVan / Flickr

Playland was originally meant to open this spring, but had been pushed back until July 1st. Depending on how things go, organizers may push it back again. 

The opportunities to celebrate will be different and we absolutely recognize that our plans for the PNE Fair and Playland will need to adjust accordingly,” adds the statement.

As the fair reaches 110 years, the PNE mentions that it has “succeeded through impacts of two wars, a great depression and the economic recession in early 2000’s.”

What potential formats do you see working for the PNE this summer? Share your ideas in the comments below.


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