As the country braces for the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, events across Victoria are either cancelled or postponed.
Earlier this week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry advised event organizers to cancel any event that would bring 250 people or more together.
In following this advice, major events planned in Victoria have now been postponed, including the city’s annual Comic Con and former US First Lady Michelle Obama’s talk in Victoria.
Capital City Comic Con was scheduled to take place from March 20th-22nd, but according to a statement from organizers, has been postponed due to COVID-19.
“Our team is working diligently with our venue to determine an alternative date in 2020, but due to the massive impact COVID-19 has had on all events this process may take a little longer than we are all hoping,” reads the statement.
“We are pushing to more information within the next couple of weeks and will continue to update our fans as quickly as possible.”
All purchased tickets will be honoured at any new dates announced for Capital City Comic Con, and anyone unable to attend on these new dates will be eligible to receive full refunds.
Meanwhile, organizers of an event in which former First Lady Michelle Obama would participate in moderated conversation at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre have confirmed that that event has also been postponed.
Obama was originally scheduled to visit Victoria for this event on March 31st. Tickets will be honoured for any future date announced.
Cirque du Soleil is also cancelling all showings of Axel, a new breathtaking ice-skating/acrobatics show that was set to stop in Victoria, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George from May 28th to the 31st.
All tickets purchased at Select Your Tickets via the internet or phone sales for this show will be automatically refunded to the purchasing credit card on file.
On Thursday, the WHL made the decision to suspend all games due to ongoing concerns over the coronavirus.
The Victoria Royals were slated to play this weekend at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, but all games have been suspended due to yesterday’s announcement, with only four games remaining in the regular season.
The Greater Victoria Festival Society has also cancelled the 3rd Annual St Patrick’s Day Party scheduled to take place on Sunday March 15th at Market Square.
“It was voted and passed that due to crowds of just over 3000, without the ability to add extra sanitizing stations due to availability and with the goal of always protecting the health of our staff, volunteers, performers, spectators and their families, we have determined, it is in the best interest to cancel the event for the 2020 year,” reads a statement from the festival society.
This morning, Transport Canada announced that no cruise ship carrying 500 passengers or more will be allowed to dock at Canadian ports until July 1st, thereby suspending cruise ship season.
In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, the B.C. Ministry of Health has advised against all non essential travel outside Canada, including to the United States.
Those who do choose to travel against this advice will be asked to self isolate from school or work for 14 days upon their return to Canada.
Authorities are expected to provide their daily COVID-19 update for B.C. at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.
With files from Seanna Wainman.