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All major B.C. events to be cancelled amid COVID-19 order

Click to play video 'B.C. holiday attractions awaiting clarification on whether they can operate' B.C. holiday attractions awaiting clarification on whether they can operate
(Nov. 21) B.C. holiday attractions awaiting clarification on whether they can operate

A number of major annual holiday events in B.C. will be cancelled due to new COVID-19 restrictions.

Last Thursday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry expanded a public health order banning all social gatherings until Dec. 7.

Health Minister Adrian Dix told Global News Sunday the order will put the brakes on all major events, whether they are related to the holidays or not.

It means families will not be able to attend annual events such as the VanDusen Festival of Lights, the Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train or The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens in Victoria.

Read more: Vancouver holiday events face uncertainty amid new COVID-19 restrictions

Over the weekend, Vancouver Park Board spokesperson Christine Ulmer said organizers were consulting with health officials and hopeful they would still be able to go ahead with the events.

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The events had implemented COVID-19 safety plans which included mandatory masks, pre-booked tickets and time-slots, plexiglass barriers and physical distancing measures.

The events already had a prior exemption to the health order banning gatherings of 50-plus people, Ulmer said.

The Pacific National Exhibition had also said it was cautiously optimistic it would get the go-ahead for a drive-thru holiday lights event.

Anyone who had already purchased tickets to the events is expected to be eligible for a full refund.