The Filberg Festival in Comox is the latest local event to be cancelled in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Audrey Craig, the chair of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park Association board, made the announcement on Friday.
“Today we are saddened to announce that the 38th annual Filberg Festival originally scheduled for July 31-Aug. 3, 2020, will be postponed until the August 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic and the extension of the B.C. government’s measures limiting large gatherings,” Craig said. “To our patrons, partners, sponsors and volunteers, we are extremely grateful for your support. Stay safe, stay healthy and we hope to see you all at Filberg Festival 2021.”
The cancellation follows those of some other large events on the community calendar. This includes the Island MusicFest, Nautical Days and the B.C. Seafood Festival and Trade Expo.
Spring was to be the time that the Filberg Festival announced its entire program. This was the first year that festival was to work with a new partner. In January, MRG Events announced it would produce the 2020 festival.
“We are thrilled to be part of one of B.C.’ s most storied festivals, and we look forward to working with the board of directors and the community. Filberg Festival is a great event that our entire team in Victoria and Vancouver are excited to be part of,” John Donnelly, VP of MRG Events, said in a news release earlier this year.
MRG Events was introduced in 2018, when the MRG Group joined forces with John Donnelly & Associates, which has more than 30 years of producing large events in Western Canada.
While the postponement to 2021 did not come as a surprise, it is still a disappointment, says Mayor Russ Arnott of Comox.
“It’s just really unfortunate that we’ve had to go this way, but again by following the directions of the health care officials, hopefully we’ll get through this quickly,” he said.
Even though events like the Filberg Festival do not happen until summer, they require months of planning, which comes with associated costs.
“It’s better to err on the side of caution,” Arnott added. “We’ll have a big party when this is over.”