As Ontario enters the early stage of its COVID-19 vaccination program, organizers of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and Royal Agricultural Winter Fair say planning is underway to hold both signature events in 2021.
However, planners warned there is a chance both events won’t go ahead in-person if there are coronavirus-related restrictions imposed by the Ontario government.
In a post on the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Facebook page on Wednesday, a message said the board of directors voted unanimously to proceed with in-person events at Exhibition Place between Nov. 5 and 14.
“The Royal will heed all regulations from the (Ontario) Ministry of Health to create a safe and secure environment in which to showcase Canada’s royal champions,” the post said.
“With more than 200 agriculture, equestrian and food competitions, The Royal remains steadfast in our commitment to deliver a ‘best in class’ experience for all those who compete, exhibit, and participate in this quintessential Canadian tradition.”
A spokesperson for the CNE told Global News organizers are in the middle of planning the fair “keeping in mind that we are subject to public health guidelines and government stipulations.” The multi-week event typically begins around mid-August.
Both events are signature annual celebrations in Toronto and virtual events were held in 2020 in lieu of in-person activities.
The confirmations come on the same day the City of Toronto and Mayor John Tory announced all major City-permitted and City-led events until July 1, including Canada Day celebrations, have been cancelled as part of the municipal response to the pandemic.