Mississauga considering cancelling all summer events due to COVID-19 pandemic
When COVID-19 prompted the cancellation of springtime events, many wondered if physical distancing restrictions would remain in place and disrupt summer festivals and celebrations. Now, it appears that Mississauga City Council is considering cancelling all public and private events into September.
According to a corporate report that will be discussed at a virtual council meeting on May 27, city staff is recommending that council cancel permits for festivals, events and other large gatherings in city facilities until Sept. 7, 2020.
City facilities are currently closed to the public and programs, festivals, events and gatherings have already been cancelled until July 3, 2020. The move to cancel events came after the province enacted emergency measures banning gatherings of more than five people who do not live together.
That ban currently remains in effect.
According to the report, approximately 30 community organizations and event organizers in Mississauga have already made the decision to cancel their 2020 summer events. Events that have been called off include Italfest, Rib Fest, Rotary Movies in the Park, Port Credit Busker Fest, Salmon Derby, Can Jam, Port Credit Art Fest and the Terry Fox Run.
Other cities, including Toronto, have formally cancelled city and third party events until August 31, 2020.
The report says that between July 4 and Sept. 7, there are approximately 180 bookings for events scheduled to take place in city facilities such as Mississauga Celebration Square, the Living Arts Centre, Paramount Fine Foods Centre, Meadowvale Theatre, the Small Arms Building, the Bradley and Benares Museums and city parks.
Should council vote to cancel gatherings in July and August, events such as Fresh Air Fitness and Celebration Square movie nights will not take place. The policy will also affect various cultural events including the Mississauga Concert Series, afternoon teas, the Indigenous Walk, and parks stewardship and beautification initiatives.
Affected Celebration Square events will include Food Truck Fridays, Japan Fest, Muslim Fest, Portuguese Festival, Philippine Fest, Mosaic, Latin Fest, and Bollywood Monstrosity.
Events at Streetsville Village Square such as yoga, movies, salsa, and concerts will not be permitted.
The report says that any customers with rentals during the cancellation period will be provided with a credit on their account for the affected time missed to be applied to future booking.
Refunds may also be requested.
Council recently confirmed that grant recipients will continue to receive approved funding amounts for 2020 despite the need to alter, postpone or cancel their programs, services and/or events.
"The cancellation of festivals, events and gatherings in city facilities and parks would align with the directives from public health and other levels of government as well as decisions already made by other jurisdictions," the report reads.
"Staff are prepared to work with third-party event organizers to mitigate the impact of this decision and investigate alternatives where possible."
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