Saturday, May 16, 2020

Honda Indy Toronto 2020 looking for alternate dates

The City brought the hammer down and cancelled large events for July and August, taking out the Honda Indy Toronto's mid-July scheduled races, as part of the ever evolving Covid-19 precautions. The organizers haven't given up on getting the race into Toronto at a later date in 2020 and discussions are ongoing with all the partners for alternate dates. You can see the City's media release on the cancellations at the bottom of this post.

For now the first IndyCar race of the season will be June 6, 2020 in Texas.

City of Toronto News Release May 15, 2020:

"City of Toronto extends cancellation of permits for major festivals and launches recovery program for events

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the City of Toronto is extending the cancellation of City-led and City-permitted major festivals and events with attendance of more than 250 people through July 31, and those with attendance of 25,000 or more through August 31. The resumption or cancellation of professional sporting events is not included in this decision.

Today's announcement includes festivals, conferences and cultural programs held in facilities managed by City divisions or public locations, such as roads, parks and civic squares. Issued permits are now cancelled and permits that have been applied for will not be issued.

Major summer festivals and events require long lead times for planning, rely on City sites, supports or permissions, and present higher public health risks given limits to physical distancing and exposure to attendees from outside the area.

This decision follows the cancellation of all such events up to June 30, announced by the City on March 30, and the cancellation of Canada Day events. It enables event organizers to make sound decisions in support of public health efforts and their business needs, access insurance, support impacted employees, manage sponsors and develop alternative approaches, such as virtual events.

The decision to extend the cancellation of City-led events and third-party permits has been made in consultation with Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, the Emergency Operations Centre, Toronto Police Service, and major event organizers, and supports the directive that physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19. The need to sustain essential services also limits the City's ability to provide support to third-party event organizers to ensure public safety.

The cancellation of major mass participation events of more than 250 people until July 31 includes Salsa on St Clair, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Honda Indy, Toronto Triathlon Festival, Beaches International Jazz Festival, and Big on Bloor, among others.

The cancellation of major mass participation events of more than 25,000 people until August 31 includes Jerkfest, Taste of the Danforth, Taste of Manila, and Toronto Chinatown Festival, among others.

Toronto Public Health needs to ensure that the risk for the spread of the virus is reduced before we can consider resuming major mass participation events. This includes conforming with the prevailing provincial orders, using the provincial framework for recovery and taking into account Toronto's specific circumstances for the following criteria:
• significant and sustained reduction in virus spread in Toronto
• health care system capacity able to implement an effective response to any resurgence of cases
• public health capacity to manage resurgence in cases
• adequate surveillance and incidence tracking capacity.

Timing of when services may reopen requires an assessment of risk. Planning for service resumption must then consider actions to modify operations (mitigation strategies) to slow the spread of COVID-19.

To mitigate the impacts of these cancellations, Mayor John Tory announced today that the City will repurpose grant funding that was previously approved by City Council, in order to support festivals that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City's Cultural Festivals Recovery Program will provide financial and in-kind support to:
• defray financial losses for festivals that were cancelled due to COVID-19
• assist festival organizers to meet payments due to their suppliers, including artists and small businesses
• help festival organizers maintain critical operations to survive this year and prepare for their next festival
• support planning and purchases that help improve the public health and safety practices of festival organizers and
• aid collaborative efforts in areas such as event planning, insurance, volunteer training and marketing to strengthen Toronto's network of festivals."

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