Uncertainty of how successful B.C.’s restart plan will be has led to the postponement of this year’s International Airshow in Vanderhoof.
For the second year in a row, the airshow that attracts thousands of visitors has been pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s drive-in airshow cancellation was late, said Vanderhoof International Airshow Society secretary Dr. Paul Collard.
“We’d been planning the airshow as if it was going to take place ever since last year, and what we’re concerned about is that despite the province having a reasonable opening plan as we’ve seen in the past, all of these plans can go backwards in an enormous hurry,” he said.
Collard added even now they do not have any definition of what will be allowed for large gatherings.
Sponsorship was also low, with many businesses opting out of supporting an event that had the risk of not going ahead.
Most dates have been grounded for the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Demo Team that was anticipated to attend Vanderhoof this August.
“In the end, there were so many factors involved that just added up too well below a 50 percent chance of this coming off, so we can’t commit to that,” Collard said.
The Vanderhoof International Airshow Society will lose deposits for performers. Some outstanding expenses will also mean a loss of up to $20,000.
Collard said they were successful, however, in receiving some financial support through a Community Gaming Grant.
“It wasn’t the amount we requested, but it will be enough to carry us forward in 2022 with a little bit in the bank to get things started for the show next year.”
An open day will be held at the Vanderhoof Airport later this year on Saturday, September 11. Admission will be free, with businesses and activities available at the airport showcased.
Collard said it is hoped there will be entertainment from a radio-controlled aircraft with the local flying club performing a fly-over of the community.
“Despite COVID-19 and the fact the show isn’t going to go ahead this year, there will be an airshow in 2022, and the airport open day is certainly something the public is welcome to come and see,” he said.
“They’ll actually see more of the airport on an open day than they would if they were spectatoring at an airshow in a different way.”