Announcements of major events being cancelled in the wake of COVID-19 have become an everyday occurrence, but this one hits the Canadian music industry (and its fans) particularly hard.
Today, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced that the Juno Awards ceremony—scheduled to take place in Saskatoon on Sunday (March 15)—has been cancelled.
“Through our collaborative discussions and with input and guidance and the full support of our trusted partners, including the Province of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon, Tourism Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Health Authority and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, it is with an incredibly heavy heart that we collectively confirm the cancellation of the 49th Annual Juno Awards and Juno Week activities in Saskatoon due to concerns surrounding COVID-19,” a CARAS spokesperson said in a statement.
The organization said it will "explore options to coordinate an alternative way to honour this year's Juno Award winners".
Last week, organizers of another major Canadian music-biz event announced that it would go ahead as scheduled in spite of coronavirus concerns. The Canadian Music Week conference, slated for May 19 to 23 at Toronto's Sheraton Centre Hotel, is still set to take place, albeit with extra health-and-safety measures in place, including a reinforced on-site medical team and the installation of hand-sanitizer stations throughout the conference venue.
Of course, it's not just the music industry in Canada that has seen big events cancelled or postponed due to concerns over COVID-19.
The website of the concert-industry trade publication has been keeping an updated list of major tours and festivals that have been cancelled or postponed. These include:
Michael Bublé (15 dates)
Bob Weir & Wolf Bros. March datesLumineers St. Paul and Omaha ShowsLittle Big Town Detroit ShowDan + Shay spring tour
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Zac Brown Band Owl TourPearl Jam North American Tour
Coachella and Stagecoach (postponed)
Miami's Ultra Music Festival
The Public Health Agency of Canada offers the following guidelines regarding large events such as conferences, festivals, and concerts:
Decisions regarding mass gatherings can be considered on a continuum from no changes needed, to enhanced communication to attendees, to risk mitigation strategies being employed without cancelling the event, through to postponement or cancellation of the event.
Risk mitigation strategies could include:
• reducing the number of participants or changing the venue to prevent crowding;
• staggering arrivals and departures;
• providing packaged refreshments instead of a buffet;
• increasing access to handwashing stations;
• promoting personal protective practices (hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, staying home if ill);
• offering virtual or live-streamed activities; and
• changing the event program to reduce high risk activities such as those that require physical contact between participants.
More information can be found here.