Summer ­officially cancelled

By Gordon Lambie

Although a month of restrictions on public gatherings has gotten people used to the idea that it’s best to just assume that all in-person events are cancelled for the near future, this past Friday brought with it a hard series of announcements for people who might have been hoping that they might be able to get back to a normal routine by summer.
Probably most striking was the announcement from the AEAQ, Quebec’s association of agricultural fairs, that all events for 2020 will not be taking place.
“The Quebec government has made it clear that the social distancing measures that require people to remain at least two metres from one another will be in place for many months to come,” the announcement reads. “This makes it impossible to hold events that gather several thousand visitors at the same location.”
While acknowledging that the decision to cancel the province’s 28 agricultural fairs will have a far-reaching impact, the association argues cancellation is the best way to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, and exhibitors.
While the news of no fairs hits hard, it was not the only significant cancellation of the weekend. In an announcement on their Facebook page, the organizers of the annual Canada Day celebrations in Hatley announced that the 2020 edition will not be taking place.
“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of our 2020 edition of Canada Day in Hatley,” the notice reads. “We are following the recommendations of the Provincial government in hopes to curb the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. We look forward to seeing you all for our event in 2021. Take care of yourselves!”
As of this writing The Record has received no word back from the organizing committees for the Bury Canada Day celebrations or Lennoxville’s annual Friendship Day about the fate of those events, but the news also came on Friday that all of Sherbrooke’s downtown festivals for the summer will not take place this year. The regional Saint-Jean Baptiste day festivities, the Sherblues & Folk festival, the Concerts de la Cite series, and the annual Lac-des-Nations music festival have all been cancelled for this year with the hope of returning in 2021.
“The music industry suffers in silence,” said Suzanne-Marie Landry, Executive and Artistic Director for Animation Centre-Ville in a press release on Friday.

Published in the Tuesday, April 14 edition of The Record.

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