Open letter to the people of British Columbia:
For 110 years the PNE Fair has been a coveted summer gathering that transcends age, race, gender, religion and economic circumstance to bring our province together to celebrate and build collective memories. For British Columbians, it is a summer tradition that has always signified the fun-loving spirit of our province.
COVID-19 has impacted everything around us, in BC and throughout the world, and we are grateful for the leadership we are seeing from our health authorities and officials. Because of COVID-19, this summer will look different at the PNE. The opportunities to celebrate will be different and we absolutely recognize that our plans for the PNE Fair and Playland will need to adjust accordingly. We continue to monitor progress and work with Government officials and, when the time is right, we will be ready to welcome the province back in ways that makes sense for all our health and safety.
These are challenging times but we are resilient. Yes, the summer months are vital for us financially, and hearing confirmation today that all large summer gatherings are unlikely to happen, will of course, make the coming year very difficult. We are deeply concerned about the thousands of our youth, staff, vendors and partners that depend on us each summer to pay their way through school and to support their families and businesses each year. But the PNE succeeded through impacts of two wars, a great depression and the economic recession in early 2000’s. We were the site where British Columbia came together to wrap our arms around each other in celebration following both world wars. The PNE celebrates community resiliency, innovation, creativity and fun, even during extremely challenging times. We are the home of generations of great memories – we’ve been down before, but we’ve never been out.
We will be the place where British Columbia will come together again – to laugh, clap, cheer, sing, ride and scream through the lazy days of summer. As British Columbia’s largest employer of youth and the largest ticketed event in this great province, we thank you for 110 years of your support British Columbia.
So stay tuned, the events may be smaller, and protocols may be different, but we have a few bright ideas up our sleeve for when the time is right.
The team at the Pacific National Exhibition