The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) announced today that its annual fair has been canceled for 2021.
“Despite our planning for a number of scalable versions of the PNE Fair," says PNE spokesperson Laura Ballance in a news release, "it is now clear that the number of guests required to make an in-person Fair financially viable will not be allowed under anticipated Public Health Orders this summer.
"We understand the implications this decision will have on our staff team, our exhibitor and concessionaire partners as well as hundreds of thousands of annual guests, with whom we will look for ways to connect with once informed about what the summertime Health Orders will allow. We are committed to continuing to work with the Provincial Health Office to see what might be possible as the summer progresses.”
Owned by the City of Vancouver, the PNE is the largest employer of youth in the province, employing 4300 direct and up to 9500 indirect jobs, including 4200 CUPE 1004 members.
“Losing the second year of the PNE Fair is a massive loss of much-needed employment for our members,” says CUPE 1004 president Andrew Ledger in the release. “We are deeply concerned about the thousands of CUPE members that depend on the Fair each summer to pay their way through school or to help support their families.
“We do want to thank the more than 4000 people who have engaged the www.savethepne.ca website and sent letters to the BC government to save PNE jobs," adds Ledger, "we hope their voices will be heard.”
In other PNE news, it was announced last week that the opening of its Playland amusement park has been postponed until the end of May.