The 2020 Victoria Classic Boat Festival has been cancelled in order to follow COVID-19 physical distancing protocols. (Photo by James Holkko)

Victoria Classic Boat Festival cancelled due to safety concerns

Organizers say Inner Harbour doesn’t provide enough space for physical distancing

The narrow docks of Victoria’s Inner Harbour are not conducive to social distancing, according to organizers of the Victoria Classic Boat Festival.

The event, which usually draws close to 10,000 people, has been cancelled in keeping with COVID-19 safety protocols. Organizers at the Maritime Museum of B.C. say safe physical distancing at the annual festival wouldn’t have been feasible because of the size of the docks in the harbour.

“We are very disappointed about having to cancel the festival for 2020,” said David Leverton, executive director of the Maritime Museum of BC. “The decision was made by the Board of Directors to protect the public, the boaters, and Museum staff and volunteers from any associated risks related to COVID-19 and to do our part in keeping our community safe.”

The museum, like many others, is taking its cancelled event to the online world. Organizers are preparing historic festival footage and video content related to wooden boats to share on its social media channels in time for the Labour Day long weekend when the event typically goes ahead.

The Maritime Museum says it looks forward to running the festival in 2021.

READ ALSO: Ahoy! Ships from all over northwest coast will moor at the Inner Harbour this weekend


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