COVID-19 continues to cast a long shadow, with the BC Agriculture Council making yet another change to plans for its annual gala.
Originally scheduled for January 26 in advance of the Pacific Agriculture Show, the gala was rescheduled for April 1 in view of a surge in cases of COVID-19 attributable to the highly transmissible omicron variant.
But with hospitals remaining under pressure, BCAC is now moving to an entirely virtual event. Segments will be prerecorded and streamed live in advance of the Pacific Agriculture Show on March 30.
“With the omicron variant placing significant stress on the healthcare system and impacting our own office, we do not feel that hosting a 250-300-person event is in the best interest of our community or organization at this time,” says BCAC in a statement announcing the change.
This is the second year in a row the gala, which features award presentations to agricultural leaders, will take place online. However, it won’t be online business as usual.
“We are excited to do things a little differently this year than last year and look forward to sharing more details on the virtual event soon,” says BCAC.
The Islands Agriculture Show, originally planned for Cowichan Exhibition Park on February 11-12, recently announced details of changes to its own program.
The event will now take place July 6-7 at Cowichan Exhibition Park, featuring speakers on the theme of “Thriving in a Climate of Change.”
The show is half-sold, indicating demand for in-person gatherings even as restrictions continue. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is expected to announce next steps in the province’s response to COVID-19 next week.