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Festival of Lights, Christmas train: B.C. events suspended until Dec. 7 under COVID-19 order

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The latest health order from the province is putting the brakes on all major holiday events across B.C. for now --- even if they take place outdoors. Jennifer Palma explains the rationale behind the move and the impact it's having on the organizations involved. – Nov 23, 2020

Anyone hoping to attend popular Christmas events in B.C. is out of luck, at least for now.

B.C. health officials say all major holiday events are suspended with a ban on community gatherings in place.

However, there is some confusion around the order and whether some events will go ahead after Dec. 7 if provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry lifts the ban or if events are cancelled entirely for the season.

It has been confirmed that events such as the VanDusen Festival of Lights and the Stanley Park Christmas Train, run by the Vancouver Park Board, have been suspended for now.

The Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island has also suspended its Christmas light event at this time. The facility remains open to the public.

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These events did have COVID-19 safety plans in place before the gatherings ban was extended.

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“The park board has been working on these two events for a long time. The Bloedel Conservatory, which is normally open because it’s an indoor Christmas event, was closed early on,” John Coupar, Vancouver Park Board commissioner, told Global News Monday.

“So park board was working very hard under the previous regulations to get everything ready and we’re trying to get confirmation of whether the protocols that were in place would be adequate and we’re still waiting for accurate information from the health authority.”

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

Coupar described the situation as “very fluid.”

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“Hopefully we can bend the curve down,” he said.

Anyone who has bought tickets from now until Dec. 7 will be able to reschedule for a later date if the event can go ahead or they can apply for a refund.

More to come.

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