Edmonton International Street Performers Festival cancels 2020 event, will move online

The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival has announced it will be cancelling its 2020 event due to COVID-19. Supplied to Global News

The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival has announced the cancellation of its summer 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 36th year of the festival was set to take place July 3-12, 2020, at Sir Winston Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton.

Organizers said that the decision was made due to the current social distancing rules and regulations around the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the international nature of the festival cast.

READ MORE: Coronavirus forces Edmonton-area festivals to cancel 2020 events

“One of the aspects that our team plans and prepares for every year is the safety of everyone – artists, staff, volunteers, supporters and partner businesses, our audiences and our entire community,” festival artistic producer Shelley Switzer said in a news release.

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“We take that responsibility very seriously.”

Each year, the festival has about 40 to 50 artists — and about half of them are Albertans. Switzer said that the “greatest loss” will be to those artists who make their living from festivals such as StreetFest.

“We hope to still present some online activity and do have funding to pays artists for their participation in that,” said Switzer.

Organizers said the festival is looking at other options, such as an online format with artist performances from previous years, and at-home activities for families.

READ MORE: 35 years of laughs, wows and cheers at Edmonton International Street Performers Festival

“We all know this is disappointing news.

“Now more than ever, we need the fun and laughter StreetFest brings. We are looking at alternate ways to adapt through this challenging time to continue to connect as a community, and to share the festival experience,” board chair Jill Wright said in a statement.

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The festival said it will post its plans for the online content on its social media in the coming weeks.

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