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Posted on: May 4, 2020

Towns cancels programming for Canada Day, reminds Albertans to avoid travel to Banff

Canada Day

In accordance with Alberta Health Services directives to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Town of Banff has cancelled large-scale events until the end of summer. This includes large gatherings hosted by the municipality, and permits for event applications from external organizers will not be issued for summer.

The Government of Alberta has restricted attendance at all large events and festivals for the summer of 2020, and limits all gatherings to fewer than 16 people, until further notice.

Programming for the Town of Banff’s annual Canada Day festivities will be cancelled, including live entertainment in Central Park, activities in the Family Fun Zone and the iconic Canada Day Parade.

“We understand this news is disappointing to many within Banff,” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen. “However, it should be no surprise that, since public safety is our number one priority, it would be irresponsible to host events and programs that would bring groups together and likely involve people within two metres of each other.”

The Town of Banff is focusing on supporting businesses and residents in the community, and restarting the economy when it is safe to welcome visitors back to Banff.  With Canada Day celebrations no longer proceeding in Banff, the full budget of $140,000 will be identified for Council to help reduce the property tax levy for residents and businesses. 

“We take the measures around COVID-19 seriously, and follow the recommendations from the Chief Medical officer regarding events and gatherings,” said Sorensen.

“We look forward to when we are able to welcome visitors back to Banff. But we need to remind everyone, especially our neighbours across the province that the Government of Alberta has emphasized that non-essential travel is still not recommended, including travel within Alberta, and that will be in place until the third stage of the Relaunch Strategy.”

On May 1, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said: “Now is not the time to visit mountain communities for the weekend.”

The Banff Marathon announced its cancellation of in-person competitions, but is hosting the first virtual Banff Marathon. The Filipino Cultural Heritage Month Celebrations and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity have cancelled planned events in the townsite.

The Town of Banff is looking to fall and winter events for possible recovery boosts, and will work with Alberta Health Services to ensure any activity is deemed safe to proceed.

Residents are reminded to follow all health protocols, including 2-metre physical distancing from anyone not in your household and no gatherings, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Please visit banff.ca/covid.

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