The Okanagan Fest of Ale has announced today that it is suspending it’s upcoming 25th anniversary celebration, slated for April 17 and 18, in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. It’s one of many craft beer events and festivals around B.C. being cancelled and postponed due to the province’s recent decision to ban gatherings of more than 250 people.
There have been 56 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including one man in his 80s who died. Six people have recovered.
On Thursday, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced a ban on all events with more than 250 people amid concerns of COVID-19 spreading. As a result, Global Spectra have cancelled all events scheduled in the South Okanagan Event Centre indefinitely, including the upcoming Okanagan Fest of Ale.
“The health and safety of all involved in Fest of Ale and our entire community is our number one priority,” explained event organizers in a statement on social media earlier today. “At this time the board of directors of the Okanagan Fest of Ale are considering all options and will be making an announcement on Monday, March 16, 2020 as to the status of this years event.”
Victoria Beer Week cancels Street Eats Brewery Tour event
In addition to the cancellation of its Lager than Life and Saturday Night Casks events, announced yesterday, Victoria Beer Week has also opted to cancel its Street Eats Brewery Tour due to COVID-19 concerns.
According to organizers, although the Street Eats Brewery Tour involves only about 50 people, the decision was made today to cancel it to help minimize the impacts of this outbreak within our community since it would be too difficult to maintain distance on a bus tour.
Ticketholders to all of the cancelled events can expect a full refund from Ticket Rocket.
BC Distilled craft spirits event also cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns
BC Distilled organizer Alex Hamer announced today the craft spirits festival is cancelled for 2020.
“As I’m sure most of you have heard by now, the BC Government is directing event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 250 people. This includes the BC Distilled Main Tasting on Saturday, April 4,” he stated on the events website earlier today. “In the mean time, support your local distillers! Visit your local distillery and pick up something tasty, and if they have a lounge, grab a cocktail.”
The Whisky Tasting and Distillers Dinner are currently still going ahead, however. Tickets for the festival will be refunded through Eventbrite in the coming days. The next BC Distilled is scheduled for Saturday, April 10, 2021.