After last year’s event was cancelled, the Victoria Day parade has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s current grip on the province.
This year would have been the 123rd rendition of the Victoria Day event in the capital city. Organizers hope the public health situation may allow for a scaled-down parade later in the summer.
In a news release, the Greater Victoria Festival Association (GVFA) said it had hoped to broadcast a mini-parade that would include some of its long-time participants from an “open and safe location,” where strict COVID-19 protocols could still be followed. That plan wasn’t possible under the current provincial guidelines.
Instead, the association wants the public to send in their favourite parade photos, memories and stories from past years, along with any event suggestions. The GVFA can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The parade has been going on for well over 100 years so losing this major community and economic booster would be very sad,” said Kelly Kurta, the GVFA’s executive director. “We just want to find ways to bring our community together again.”
She said the parade pumped millions of dollars into the local economy every year as out-of-town performers would stay in local hotels and parade-goers would frequent downtown restaurants and shops on event day.
The association has seen a major loss in revenue due to stifled events and it has had difficulty securing government program and grant support. However, Kurta said the GVFA would be ready to put a smaller parade with a very short turnaround when it’s deemed safe.
“Community is vital and we are determined to see this through,” she said.
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