This summer could see a revival of agricultural fairs and trade shows, following last week’s announcement of BC’s reopening plans.
BC Fairs members met June 1 to discuss plans and protocols as BC prepares for a full reopening of the province by September. Many fairs that usually happen later in the summer are planning to go ahead, with modifications and flexibility in their plans. There will be ongoing sector engagement with the government into July to determine how reopening will unfold.
Playland, the amusement park at the Pacific National Exhibition fairgrounds in East Vancouver plans to reopen June 11, and organizers have signaled that the PNE itself may take place this fall. Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest plans to run over two weeks (rather than two days) at the end of July.
WorkSafeBC industry specialist Rose McDonald told BC Fairs that if the province lifts public health orders this summer, fair health and safety plans won’t need to be approved externally prior to events taking place.
Trade shows are also gearing up for a fresh start.
On May 20, the BC Landscape and Nursery Association announced the rebranding of the CanWest Horticulture Expo as Grow West Coast.
“This exciting new event will deliver an exceptional outdoor market-style trade show combined with educational seminars and sessions to the horticulture industry,” organizers state. “The redesigned experience will allow for in-person education sessions, a marketplace for exhibitors and much more.”
The first promotional e-mails were sent out this week, inviting exhibitors to register for the event scheduled for Surrey City Hall Civic Plaza on September 15-16.
Protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19 will be in force, in keeping with provincial health orders in force at the time.
With files from Barbara Johnstone Grimmer