Add Garagellenium to the list of events that won’t happen in Oak Bay this summer as the Tweed community does its part to break the chains of transmission.
Major gatherings look to be the last things to be restored when the provincial order for social distancing is finally lifted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent years Garagellenium was held in June, which is traditionally a busy month in Oak Bay with the Tea Party and Oak Bay High grad ceremonies such as the Block Party also happening.
Sadly we must CANCEL Garagellenium 2020 that was scheduled to take place in Oak Bay Saturday June 13 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic We were looking forward to an even bigger and better Garagellenium this year but for the health and safety of everyone we are unable to go ahead pic.twitter.com/o3iDcSIX8e
— Cassie Kangas (@oakbayagent) April 23, 2020
Registration for the 21st Garagellenium would have opened this week, said organizing lead Cassie Kangas.
“We were trying to wait it out but we realized we can’t do it safely,” Kangas said. “With hundreds of people touching things, there’s just no way to manage it.”
Postponing is also not an option with talks of a second wave of COVID-19 stirring in the fall.
“We’ve had so many comments of understanding, but also disappointment, we’re sorry to say [it’s canceled].”
A shout out of such appreciation to our custodian, Jim Petruzzelli, & our educational assistants who helped get our students through the building last week to retrieve their essential learning materials at a safe distance! pic.twitter.com/QJNYPgH1cs
— OB News Hub (@OBpulse) April 15, 2020
President Martin Cownden of the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association said the organization has had to cancel the monthly Oak Bay summer night markets as well as May’s Spring Nosh.
The Francophone Games have postponed its July dates with hopes of holding the event in Oak Bay in 2021.
“Given the public health concerns, it is likely that community gatherings will be among the last activities to return to normal,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “This is very hard in Oak Bay where our sports events, night markets, events on the Avenue, music concerts, park cleanups, and hundreds of other activities all bring people together.
“Losing these connections to our community, our passions, and our friends, even temporarily, is hard for everyone. I am proud of how responsible our residents and businesses are being and how supportive of each other. The events will return in the future. For now losing these events will have to be part of how we sacrifice to help protect the lives of our friends, neighbours, and front line workers.”