A ‘scaled-down’ version of the PNE Fair is in the works for this summer
Plans are in the works for the 111th year of Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition this summer.
On May 25, British Columbia entered the first phase of a four-phase plan to reduce public health orders and restrictions put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the province. While not all restrictions have been completely lifted, the news has offered a glimmer of hope to many across the province, including the organizers of the PNE.
“We were very pleased to hear yesterday’s announcement. It’s fair to say that we are cautiously optimistic, and have restarted our planning for an in-person fair,” said Laura Ballance, PNE spokesperson. “Whatever we plan will look different and daily capacities will be much smaller.”
In an announcement made in late April, the PNE's CEO indicated fair’s future was at stake due to unprecedented financial losses incurred over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
At the time, PNE president and CEO Shelly Frost stated that "all of the major events had to be cancelled in 2020" and that the PNE is a staggering $8 million in debt. "We are forecasted to be $15 million in debt by the end of 2021," she said.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said that the PNE as we "now know and love it could end" despite the city's backstopping of its line of credit. Kennedy added he hoped Premier John Horgan would come to the table and provide the support that the PNE needs.