COVID-19: These are the event cancellations for the Okanagan and Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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COVID-19: These are the event cancellations for the Okanagan and Kamloops

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
March 12, 2020 - 6:30 PM

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control has recommended social distancing as a measure of protection.

The CDC defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 metres) from others when possible.” The call has resulted in the cancellation of nearly every mass gathering including major sports leagues around the world, but others are closer to home.

As well, B.C.'s Public Health Officer Bonnie Henry has restricted to 50 people or less, which followed her 250-person limit last week.

Here is a list of events that have been cancelled as a precaution against COVID-19. As the situation is rapidly evolving, the following list will be updated as more information becomes available. 


B.C. wide

The Canadian Hockey League (major junior), B.C. Junior Hockey League and National Hockey League seasons are also on pause until further notice.

All B.C. casinos will be closed as of by 11:59 p.m. local time on March 16, 2020. Facilities will re-open when BCLC receives government direction that it is safe to do so.

The CUPE BC Convention was scheduled for April 22-25 in Vancouver, and has been cancelled. "The Executive Board also voted to postpone a CUPE BC 2-day conference scheduled for June in Nanaimo. CUPE BC will continue to monitor developments and provide updates to Locals as required," said CUPE in a media release.

All Cineplex theatres have been closed until further notice.

All YMCA facilities, including fitness centres, are closed.



Kelowna Fan Experience has postponed its annual comic con, which was scheduled from March 20-22, but has rescheduled it for July 10-12. A Facebook post from organizers states that "Advance ticket holders who cannot attend in July will receive a refund upon request. Otherwise, all tickets and passes will be transferred to our July dates. Contact us at for details.”

Orchard Park Mall has scaled back its hours of operation. From Monday to Friday the mall is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

MEC has made the decision to limit  hours of operation until further notice. As of Monday, March 16,  MEC stores will be open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

Today, Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan announce that the campus-to-campus half marathon and celebration scheduled for Saturday, April 4 has been cancelled.
This decision follows the recommendations made by the B.C. Ministry of Health on March 12, which advise event organizers to cancel all events and gatherings of 250 people or more, in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province.

“While we are saddened to have to delay the resurgence of the run, it’s absolutely paramount to us to put the health and safety of OC and UBCO students, employees, volunteers and community members first,” said Tyler Finley, event co-organizer and Manager of Marketing and Communications for Okanagan College.

For those registrants who are interested, there will be the option to apply your refund to a fund for bursaries and scholarships for OC and UBCO students.

The Kelowna Rockets 2019-2020 Awards Ceremony scheduled for Sunday, March 22 has been cancelled. If you bought tickets, contact Anne-Marie Hamilton by calling 250-979-0853 or emailing for a refund.

Comedian Steve Hofstetter has cancelled his show in Kelowna for March 22. Plans to reschedule will be made as soon as possible. He posted on reddit "Refunds will be processed automatically…A few of the venues I was supposed to be performing at are now closed indefinitely. And more have reached out to let us know they're considering doing the same."

The Board of Education agreed to the cancellation of the following international field studies in School District 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Mount Boucherie Secondary School Music Performances in Disneyland and Universal Studios, Southern California (March 13-March 19)
  • Mount Boucherie Secondary, Okanagan Mission Secondary, Rutland Senior Secondary and Kelowna Senior Secondary France Exchange (March 14-April 25)
  • Kelowna Senior Secondary School: Cultural and Historical Tour, Germany, France, and Belgium (March 18-April 1), 
  • Leadership Education and Enrichment, Southern California (March 27-April 5), Musical and Cultural Events, Activities and Experience, New York (April 5-April 12)

The Westside Youth Soccer Association has cancelled all indoor soccer league games. 

"Although we host approximately 100 people in the dome for each hour with the younger ages and a bit less for the older groups there will be well over 300 people in the dome each day.  We are not currently equipped to sanitize the dome between groups and therefore with the health and safety of all our community members in mind we are cancelling all remaining indoor soccer league games (on March 14-15)," according to an emailed statement from the association.

"At this point, the outdoor soccer season is still on course to start April 13 (fields/weather permitting).  We will continue to monitor our provincial health directives for any changes and will advise all members of any other changes as they occur."

The World Mixed Doubles and World Senior Curling Championships have been cancelled in Kelowna.

These final two World Curling Championships of the 2019-2020 season were scheduled for April 18–25 at the Kelowna Curling Club.

"With more than 60 teams expected to be competing and more than 400 travellers including athletes, coaches, supporters and media attending from around the world, it is no longer possible to run these international events," according to the World Curling Federation's news release.

Chamber Music Kelowna announced the cancellation of its concert on Saturday, March 14 at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

"The CMK Board feels it is prudent to defer to the public health experts in this matter. While this is disappointing, the health and safety of our subscribers, ticket holders, and the public at large is the top priority," CMK said in a media release.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board-Okanagan WaterWise is postponing the Canada Water Week-UN World Water Day film screening. “Right now we are following the direction of health officials to limit social gatherings,” stated Executive Director Anna Warwick Sears in a press release.  “We are encouraging people to celebrate Canada Water Week & UN World Water Day in their own way and look forward to screening this film in the coming months. Those who have already purchased tickets will be reimbursed.”

All performances of Cirque du Soleil AXEL in Victoria, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Kamloops and Prince George have been cancelled.

All tickets purchased at Select Your Tickets via the internet or phone sales will be automatically refunded to the purchasing credit card on file, a Cirque du Soleil press release states.

In-person sales will need to visit the Select Your Tickets Box Office to be refunded. If you have any further questions, please contact Select Your Tickets at 250-762-5050.

The Great Closet Cleanout on March 14 at the Laurel Packinghouse has been cancelled. The event will be rescheduled in the future.

Sold out shows at Lake Country's Creekside Theatre March 12 to 15 are now cancelled. The Theater will be publishing more information on refunds soon. 

Cod Gone Wild will be re-scheduling all of these shows and will honour all pre-purchased tickets for those times. The following shows are affected:

  • March 13 - The Powerhouse Theatre, Vernon
  • March 14 - The Okanagan Mission Hall, Kelowna
  • March 15 - White Lake Community Hall

The Kelowna Farmers' and Crafters' Market has been cancelled for March 14, according to the market's Facebook page. Customers are still being encouraged to order online.

The 2020 BC Interior Sportsman Show that was scheduled from April 3-5 has been cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns. The BC Interior Sportsman Show will be back in April 2021. The dates will be announced in the future.

The Kelowna HomeGrown Market will now be hosting their market exclusively online. They will advertise their vendors' top two to five items for sale on The Local Chemist's website.

"Each order that is processed will be made directly with the vendor. Every vendor will provide the customer an order code and pick up time that is specific to each purchase and for confirmation of payment. All orders will be dropped off by the vendor at Rustic Reel on the Fri/Sat prior to the pick up date," HomeGrown said in a Facebook post. 

The HomeGrown Online Market will be live for orders from April 5 to 9. Order pick-up is scheduled for April 12 during at Rustic Reel during regular hours.  

The Harry Potter Pub Crawl organized by Dart Frog Events for March 27 has been postponed until summer 2020.

"We are unable to do refunds at this time as the orders for the shirts have been made. Once we solidify the date you’ll be able to sell your package on the event page. There is a 75-person wait list for the event so it should be easy to resell your ticket," organizers said in a Facebook post on the event page.

The Okanagan Regional Library has cancelled all extra programming for an indefinite period of time, which includes children's activities which were planned for spring break. Locations will be remaining open for the time being, however, ORL warns in a press release that this could change "with little notice depending upon staffing or public health requirements." 

In regards to current loans, the library encourages those who are sick to not return your materials until you are entirely recovered.  ORL will be waiving new fines for the period of March 16 to April 30. 

"Should the Library have to fully close, we will be closing all book returns and would ask that you keep your material until we reopen," ORL said in a press release.

Urban Rec has made the decision to pause the current season for all leagues, tournaments and events in the Okanagan until March 28th. 

Wilson’s Landing Fire Department is postponing its planned Recruitment Open House and BBQ, originally scheduled to take place Monday evening at the department fire hall on Westside Road. 

The Kelowna Museums will be postponing all programs and events scheduled for March.

Westbank First Nation announced in a press release that "all WFN events and programs have been cancelled until further notice."

The Summerland public arena and Aquatic centre are closed until further notice. 

The Board of Directors of the Okanagan Fest of Ale Society have made the decision to postpone the Okanagan Fest of Ale for 2020. “It has been a very difficult decision, but all of us on the Board know it is the right decision given the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak,” said John Cruickshank, President of the Okanagan Fest of Ale in a media release.

Big White Ski Resort has closed for the season.

The Lake Country Museum and Archives AGM has been postponed. 


Peachland, Summerland

The Peachland Chamber of Commerce has suspended all meetings and networking events into the foreseeable future.

"It's not just about COVID-19, we have to do our part to ensure there is capacity at our medical facilities to be able to assist with all illnesses," the chamber said in an emailed statement.

In Peachland, the annual St. Patrick's Day Dog Parade which was scheduled for March 14 has been postponed, according to the Peachland Chamber of Commerce.



Gathering Our Voices has cancelled its Indigenous Youth Leadership Training event, which was set to take place in Kamloops March 16 to 19.

“Over the next ten days we will be in contact with all registered groups, vendors, presenters, etc. to start the process of refunds and contract cancellation," GOV released in a press release.

Kamloops Hindu Cultural Society has cancelled their Rang Barse Holi event on March 14, at Riverside Park.

“We have bought all the colours, all food vendors/ restaurants were ready, DJ was paid, Insurance at place… At this point, one has to put everything aside and do what’s right for the community and the country," according to a Facebook press release.

"Even in India where Holi is originally from, it's cancelled in most communities.”

Kamloops School District 73 has cancelled Spring Break trips to Europe. The decision affects 38 staff and students from Clearwater Secondary, Valleyview Secondary and Sa-Hali who had planned to visit various regions of Europe beginning March 13.

The upcoming 2020 Kamloops Exploration Group Conference has been cancelled due coronavirus concerns. "We feel that with the uncertainties with this virus and the potential exposure to our delegates it is not worth the risk." the group said in an emailed statement. The 2021 conference is scheduled for April 13 and 14.

According to Western Canada Theatre, " Paquin Entertainment’s production of Mini Pops Live, at the Sagebrush Theatre on March 14, will be postponed to a date in fall 2020. Original tickets will remain to be valid for the new date once it is known, and the Kamloops Live! Box Office will be in contact with ticket holders directly."

Future events are on sale for the time being, according to WCT in a news release.

Barnhartvale Coffee House has cancelled its March 21 feature act, Huckleberry Jam. The event will be rescheduled in November.

TRU has postponed two IDays events, the 2020 Showcase and Afternoon Delight Wrap Party, which was scheduled for March 14, at 5 p.m.

The 33rd annual KEG Conference & Trade Show has been cancelled. A release on their website states that KEG will be issuing full refunds to all delegates and booth holders.

The Kamloops Art Gallery has now closed as of 5:00 pm, March 16, 2020. "Exhibitions will be temporarily closed and all programs and events will be postponed until further notice. We will continue to share updates as the situation changes," said a KAG press release.

Sunpeaks has closed for the season.

The Kamloops Symphony has postponed several events due to COVID-19.

  • Barb’s Used Book & Music Sale, originally scheduled for March 21 to April 5, has been postponed. "This crucial fundraiser for the KSO will be remounted at a later date, once administration receives clarity on when it is socially responsible to do so," stated the Kamloops Symphony in a press release.
  • An Evening with Eleanor Wachtel – April 3, 2020. All ticket holders have been automatically refunded.
  • Luminous Voices – April 11, 2020. "In the coming days, all ticket holders to this concert will be given options as to what they wish to do with their tickets. We ask that all ticket holders await direct communication before calling the Kamloops Live Box Office, as they are currently experiencing a high volume of phone calls," stated a KSO press release.
  • Sense of Wonder – May 2 & 3, 2020. Ticket sales have been suspended.



The Greater Vernon Community Expo scheduled to be held March 14 has been postponed due to the ongoing concerns of COVID-19. The Great Vernon Chamber of Commerce says it was a "difficult decision" to postpone the event which showcases local businesses, non-profits and government agencies. The Chamber will be meeting in the next few weeks to determine a future date for the expo.

SilverStar Mountain Resort has suspended all lift operations, food and beverage, tube town, brewers pond, nordic operations and retail and rental services. Lodging and property management services remain open at this time.

The Board of Education has cancelled all international field trips scheduled for spring break. A Banff field trip has also been cancelled, according to School District No.22 in a media release.

Here is a comprehensive list of community events cancelled at this time:

Vernon Vipers Playoffs, Bantam A Female Provincials, Vernon Spring Home Show, Village Green Hockey Tournament, Nk’maplqs Challenge Cup Hockey Tournament, Kal Tire Hockey Tournament, Vernon Vipers Spring Camp, All BC Hockey Sanctioned Groups, Seedy Saturday, Punjabi Heritage Society, Greater Vernon Minor Hockey Banquet, Shoparama, School District #22 Battle of the Books, Kids Stuff Garage Sale, Vernon Judo Club Tournament, Vernon Fish and Game Club Banquet.

Following the Province’s advisory yesterday banning all public gatherings over 250 people, the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre Society is currently working with Artists and Promoters to re-schedule their immediately upcoming performance dates. All current ticket holders are asked to hold onto their tickets or vouchers for confirmation of re-scheduled performance dates, as they will be honoured.

Vernon Golf and Country Club and the Chamber have decided not to proceed with the March 17 Business After 5. The Chamber is currently reviewing its April events and details will be made available when a decision is made.

The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives will limit its public access to special visitors for research purposes only.


Penticton poet Shane Koyczan has cancelled one of his shows in London, U.K. on March 28. In a Facebook post he stated: “It’s with a lot of sadness that I have to say the London show and workshop have been postponed...We’re trying to move everything to September when there’d be a better chance to book a few more shows.”

The BC Aboriginal Diabetes Conference, which was March 16-19 in Penticton, has been postponed due to COVID-19.  A Conference organizer posted on the event’s Facebook page: “Under careful consideration and at the direction of the First Nations Health Authority, the Conference Advisory Committee has decided to postpone the conference until the fall...Those that have registered can be assure their registration is good for the rescheduled date, which soon will be confirmed.If you have booked rooms at Lakeside, please call and cancel your booking.”

School District No. 67 has determined that all international travel is cancelled through to the end of April 2020. This impacts students who planned a New York trip over Spring Break and the Robotics Team trip to Houston, Texas for mid-April.

The Penticton Art Gallery announced in a press release that the Bob Ross: Happy Little Accidents exhibition has been postponed to July 2020. "If you would like a refund for your ticket, please call us at (250)-493-2928," the gallery stated in a release. 

The Penticton Sunrise Rotary Club will be postponing its Annual Rotary Used Book Sale previously scheduled for March 23 – 28, 2020. A new date will be announced in the future. 

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, the Penticton Community Centre, Cleland Theatre, McLaren Arena, Library and Museum, along with the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, South Okanagan Events Centre and Memorial Arena, will be closed to the public.

The 25th Anniversary of the Okanagan Fest of Ale has been cancelled.

“It has been a very difficult decision, but all of us on the Board know it is the right decision given the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak,” said John Cruickshank, President of the Okanagan Fest of Ale in a media release.


If you know of an event cancellation in the Okanagan or Kamloops that is not on this list, add it to the comments below or send us an email to

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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