Festival and event organizers are adjusting to the news that the province will not enter the fifth and final phase of the PEI’s Moving Forward plan as planned for September 12.
In the last phase, many restrictions would have been lifted, such as collecting limits.
In a public health briefing on Tuesday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison suggests that gathering restrictions will continue to be capped at 100 indoors and 200 outdoors.
A maximum of 200 people can attend weddings and funerals.
This has led event organizers like Liam Dolan, President of the PEI Shellfish Festival, to rethink the way their events will be held.
“We’re going to have cohorts, people are being double-vaccinated, and people are strongly advised to wear masks, and I think we’re going to be pretty good,” Dolan said.
Up to 3,000 people have filled a tent in the past few years. Today they are still waiting to see how many people will be admitted.
Set the trend
They say the plan is to stay safe and set some trends for future events.
“I think we are pioneers on how to get back to normal on Prince Edward Island and I think we are very resilient, the organization we have here.”
People who bring conventions to the island, like Susan Freeman, Executive Director of Meetings and Conventions PEI, say that PEI has one advantage: people feel safe here.
“What we hear from other meeting planners we speak to is that they want their groups to come to the PEI because they know we are safe and they know we did very well and they have Feeling like as soon as they get here, “said Freeman.
In the entertainment business, the Confederation Center of the Arts is trying to plan for future shows and audience numbers. Right now they’re limited to 300 people, but they hope that will change.
“We remain optimistic and hope that there will be some changes for the better in the near future to collect limits,” said Andrew Sprague of the center.
“We can’t wait and wait for the boundaries to change before we start programming. We have to plan ahead. We have to book our artists and we have to audition talent for the festival next year.”
The center is preparing to announce a few shows in the coming months. Some of these shows will depend on larger crowds being allowed in, but the center and others say they are used to pandemic life and how it can affect plans.
Future bride Kassidy Kerr said she knew there are rules to keep people safe, but calling who can and can’t go to her wedding is stressful.
“We wanted over 200, but now we’ve cut it down a lot, leaving out important people, which is tough for us,” said Kerr.
It’s not the first time their wedding plans have changed due to COVID-19.
“We actually planned for last year because we wanted to include everyone and we thought that maybe if we postponed it there would be a bigger chance … but it doesn’t look like that.”
Her wedding has been postponed to 2022 for the time being.