Advertisement

Coronavirus: Annual Kelowna Kiwanis Festival cancelled, again, because of pandemic

The 2021 Kelowna Kiwanis Festival has been cancelled because of COVID-19. The festival celebrates amateur performing arts in the Okanagan, and was slated to run on different dates from late February to early May. Global News

For a second consecutive year, the annual Kelowna Kiwanis Festival has been cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officials announced on Tuesday.

The festival celebrates amateur performing arts in the Okanagan, and was slated to run on several different dates from late February to early May.

This year’s event would have been the 95th annual gathering and featured opportunities to earn awards and scholarships.

Read more: Kelowna Kiwanis Festival to provide guidance to amateur artists, performers

“When we heard last Thursday that Dr. Bonnie Henry was extending restrictions on gatherings for another month, the board had no choice but to cancel, disappointing many young participants who are starved for opportunities to perform,” Kelowna Kiwanis board president Zonia Arnold said in a press release.

Story continues below advertisement

This year’s festival was slated to start at the end of February with dance events.

In 2020, the event was cancelled in March, albeit after all dance events and some choral events had taken place.

Click to play video 'Annual Okanagan voice competition about building youth confidence' Annual Okanagan voice competition about building youth confidence
Annual Okanagan voice competition about building youth confidence – Apr 8, 2019

“Many other events in the music and voice disciplines were not able to go ahead last year,” organizers said in the press release.

“This means a significant number of our community’s young performing artists have missed out on the Kiwanis Festival experience for two years in a row.”

Festival executive director Dr. Stephen Berg said organizers are now focusing on 2022.

Click to play video 'Kingston Kiwanis Music Festival goes virtual' Kingston Kiwanis Music Festival goes virtual
Kingston Kiwanis Music Festival goes virtual – Nov 25, 2020

“When it is safe to gather again after we all get the vaccine,” said Berg, “I look forward to delivering the best Kelowna Kiwanis Festival ever.”

Story continues below advertisement

Previous festivals have provided more than $10,000 in awards and scholarships, along with hosting almost 3,000 participants and 5,000 audience members and 1,000 volunteer hours.