The Pure Movements dance group performing ‘Coffee, Coffee, Coffee…Americano’ during the 2019 Pacific Northwest Music Festival. (Ken Juniper photo)

Pacific Northwest Music Festival cancelled for 2020 season

Refunds will be issued to participants and sponsors

Organizers of the 55th Annual Pacific Northwest Music Festival (PNMF) have cancelled two-week Terrace event for the 2020 season.

Program coordinator Ken Juniper said the board carefully considered postponing the competition until the COVID-19 pandemic subsided, but decided Tuesday evening (March 16) to call it off entirely.

“We rapidly run into things like grad and final exams, and then finally with summer holidays a lot of kids are out of town. And there’s no telling if we’ll even have the venues back by then. We’ve looked into this in the past, as we always have to move it around, but we have to be careful at how far into the fall we push it.”

READ MORE: ‘We’re living in pretty challenging times’: Bachrach gives thoughts on COVID-19

Entries for the festival closed Jan. 15 with 1,350 people confirmed. Juniper said a refund procedure is being developed for all performers, award providers, patrons and advertisers. Last year $12,930 in prize money was donated by local businesses and individuals.

The cancellation this year adheres to a provincial government ban on gatherings of more than 50 people to help slow COVID-19 infection rates.

In a statement on its website, the PNMF Board stated attempts were made to work around this restriction, and the decision to cancel was not taken lightly.

“Initially we investigated the possibility of saving the festival by restricting the audience size, cancelling all large groups, and similar ideas, however it quickly became apparent that none of these would provide an adequate level of safety for all concerned, including those outside the festival who are working in or using the various venues.

READ MORE: City of Terrace closes all buildings and facilities to public following COVID-19 pandemic spike

“We know the amount of time and effort that everyone involved, in particular the competitors, have put into preparation for the festival, because we ourselves have been there. However, as an arts community we must listen to the health professionals who know how these things work. There is a world of difference between what is happening now and other events we have dealt with in the past.”

Juniper said the board has received strong community support for its decision. The annual festival will resume in 2021.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Here are some changes to the Fraser Lake Community Paramedicine program amidst COVID-19

Jessica Wurst, community paramedic in Fraser Lake answers some questions about her role in the community as well

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Vanderhoof has access to a water aerodrome again

Municipal council decomissioned the aerodrome last year citing liability concerns

Facebook Group created by Vanderhoof resident aims to battle individual needs during COVID-19

A new Facebook group started by a Vanderhoof resident has recently gained… Continue reading

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

‘Community is amazing’: Williams Lake woman organizes drive-by birthdays

With self-isolation the norm due to COVID-19 children are missing out

A curfew is being implemented by Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation

The First Nations community will also be putting up check-points due to COVID-19 concerns

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

Most Read