It seems like each week brings a fresh batch of cancelled events.
Whether they are modified, postponed or cancelled outright, community events have been one of the main casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's only the beginning of September, and already events as far away as late October and November are being nixed.
This week alone, our newspaper has reported on the cancellation of Boo at the Creek and the indefinite postponement of Nose Creek Players' production of Alice in Wonderland. In past weeks, we've run similar stories about the Legacy Run to End Family Violence, the Airdrie Home and Lifestyle Show and airdrieFest. These joined a growing list that already included the Airdrie Children's Festival, the Airdrie Oilmen's Association's Bulls and Bikes fundraiser and the Canada Day Parade, among others.
At this point, events like ARTember that still plan to go ahead are becoming the exception that proves the rule. We're more surprised when we receive a press release about an event that is pushing forward than we are by releases about events that are suspended.
Community events give our city character and make it stand apart. They provide opportunities to get out of the house on a weekend, pass a few hours and connect with our neighbours. Without these community events, we may find ourselves in a sort of de facto isolation this fall and winter, even if businesses and public amenities remain open.
Further, many of these events serve as fundraisers for local non-profit groups. In a year when needs are high and donations are low, these cancellations will compound the impact of the pandemic on organizations and charities that support our community in various ways.
Organizers of local community events continue to tell us they are optimistic when they look ahead to 2021, and they plan to return with events that are bigger and better than ever. We hope these community mainstays can regain momentum and don't suffer long-term impacts because of this bizarre year.