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Big Valley Jamboree latest Edmonton-area festival cancelled due to COVID-19

File shot of the Big Valley Jamboree from 2017.
File shot of the Big Valley Jamboree from 2017. Julia Wong/Global News

For the first time in its history, Alberta’s Big Valley Jamboree will not take place this summer, yet another casualty of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In an announcement posted on the festival website, the organization said that the 2020 festival has now been rescheduled to July 29 to August 1, 2021.

READ MORE: New cancellations prove lifting coronavirus restrictions won’t be easy

It is the first time the popular Camrose country music festival will not take place since it launched in 1993.

“I never thought I’d see the day that this iconic festival would have to be rescheduled, but we have to follow the lead of medical experts and our government to keep our fans safe,” said Troy Vollhoffer, CEO of Big Valley Jamboree.

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The decision came after Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced Thursday that a ban on mass gatherings in the province would remain in place over the summer.

READ MORE: Deena Hinshaw defends call to restrict mass gatherings through summer as Alberta’s COVID-19 death toll rises

Hinshaw defended the decision to extend the closures on Friday.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 will be with us for many months to come,” she said.

“And the relatively low case numbers we are seeing in most of the province are the results of our collective efforts and sacrifices.”

“COVID-19 is still with us and it spreads rapidly through social interactions.”

Click to play video '‘This is the time to stay home and limit the spread’: Hinshaw' ‘This is the time to stay home and limit the spread’: Hinshaw
‘This is the time to stay home and limit the spread’: Hinshaw – Mar 25, 2020

Those who have tickets for BVJ for this summer will have their tickets automatically honoured for the rescheduled dates in 2021. The festival also said it would be emailing those with tickets about its transfer and refund policy on April 29, with preliminary info available also posted online.

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This would have marked BVJ’s twenty-seventh year.