Canadian Music Week Officially Cancelled Due to COVID-19
Citing safety concerns and mandated social distancing efforts following the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, annual Toronto-based conference and music festival Canadian Music Week has officially been called off for its 38th edition that was slated for September.
As Canada’s largest and longest running music conference, the event that was originally set to take place at the Sheraton Centre on May 19-23 was pushed back to Sept. 9-11 in hopes that a return to normalcy may take place by the time of the festival. Unfortunately, many live events and large gatherings like concerts and sporting events may not return this summer, being that the pandemic has yet to be effectively curved.
According to Billboard, there were a total of over 6,000 confirmed COVID cases in Toronto as of Sunday (May 3), and over 400 total deaths.
In a statement underscoring the decision, the organization wrote “After extensive consultation with industry partners, it has become apparent that - at this point in the public health emergency - September represented too many unavoidable obstacles. Not least of these would be the participation of international artists and delegates, many of whom might not be free to travel at that point, and some of whom have already declined to attend.”
They continued, saying “Even in a best-case fall scenario, wherein the spread of COVID-19 has been mitigated and limited public gatherings allowed, high-attendance events such as concerts, sports and conferences will likely be the last public activities to resume. The fallout is huge, for events like ours and for the entire music industry.”
Whether it’s possible that the event may be reinstated next year has yet to be determined, with the festival stating that it won’t make any final decisions until current protocol is lifted and government directives suggest that the conference can be held safely and successfully.
For now, all ticket holders for CMW related events are being fully refunded and the organization has confirmed that it will honor entry badges purchased for 2020’s now-cancelled event at rescheduled dates in the future.