COVID-19: Vancouver International Children's Festival is the latest to cancel event

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      The Vancouver International Children's Festival has announced it's pulling the plug on its massive annual event on Granville Island from May 25 to 31.

      The multidisciplinary arts festival made the decision today in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic.

      The reasons go far beyond the Province Health Officer and BC Centre for Disease Control's ban on events of more than 50 or more people until at least May 30. The decision was spurred by the recent closure of B.C. schools, because school groups compose about half of the estimated 25,000 attendees.

      The fest added its attendees include vulnerable groups such as children and grandparents.

      The lineup this year had spanned everything from the Aussie circus troupe Gravity & Other Myths and the Quebec-spawned Indigenous performance Mokatek and the missing Star.

      “During this unprecedented time, it’s now more important than ever to support the arts. The Vancouver International Children’s Festival would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of our supporters who stand with us to face this unique challenge,” artistic and executive director Katharine Carol said in a press statement today.

      Ticket buyers are to be contacted by the festival’s box office regarding their tickets, and will have the option of receiving a full refund or choosing to donate the cost of their tickets to the festival and receive a tax receipt.

      The kids' fest is the longest-running annual children’s festival in the world.