Media Release - April 16, 2020
2020 Parksville Beach Festival cancelled due to C0VID-19Pushing the decision until the 11th hour is how the Parksville Beach Festival Society described their deliberations regarding whether to host their annual festival. This week they have made the decision to cancel Parksville Beach Festival for 2020. This cancellation includes, the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition, Art in the Park, Tim Hortons Summer Concert Series, Lunch with the Castles, Canadian Tire Sculpt like the Pros and the Coast Capital Savings Light-up! Show.
Beachfest's 2020 Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition was due to take place July 10- August 16, featuring international artists sculpting sand alongside Parksville's coveted beach in the community park. With an average of 122,000 annual event visitors over the past five years, Board President Cheryl Dill said the board felt the event would pose a significant health risk in light of the current state of the CoVID-19 pandemic. “Because the rules around gatherings and a social distancing have not yet changed and our event planning involves significant travel arrangements from around the globe, well in advance, it does not make sense to continue with plans for 2020”, commented Dill.
Cancellation of this event will a have significant social and economic impact. Dill said that in 2015, research was completed using the Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model (STEAM), which indicated that Beach Festival’s annual events result in at least an $18Million boost to the local economy each year. “Not only will many businesses, contractors, local not-for-profit groups serving as gate ambassadors and our society feel the financial impact of this cancellation, our community will feel the loss of a wellrespected event that garners significant social cohesion and boosts community pride.” says Dill.
Annually, the board transfers a significant portion of gate donations to an average of 25 philanthropic groups in the Parksville-Qualicum region. This will not be possible in 2020. “While our heads are hanging low with this decision, we know we need to do our part for the health and safety of our community”, says Dill. We will continue to plan for a fantastic festival in 2021.” For more information visit www.parksvillebeachfest.ca.