Aug 27, 2020

Granville IslandLetter from Show Director, Linda Waddell

On behalf of the team at Canadian Boat Shows, I genuinely hope you and your family are healthy and continuing to remain safe during these unprecedented times of COVID-19.

I am writing to provide an update on the 2021 Vancouver International Boat Show, based on progress made in the sector for trade & consumer shows, and what we know today.

We are hopeful that the Vancouver Boat Show will proceed as scheduled, February 3-7, 2021.

The environment we are working through is fluid and continually changing. The daily monitoring of COVID-19 cases by the Provincial Government, combined with their 4 Phase Plan for Re-Opening, means we need approval from the BC government to operate.

The Province of BC has been in Stage 3 since the end of June. Under the Province's BC Restart Plan - Phase 3, many businesses and facilities have been able to open, subject to compliance with reopening conditions. At present, indoor / outdoor gatherings are permitted for up 50 people.

The Vancouver Boat Show, together with BC Place, our venue, are working hard with guidance from health authorities on adapting plans to seek further direction on how business events like ours will have the ability to restart.

All shows and events are navigating the extraordinary changes as a result of COVID-19. Here at Canadian Boat Shows, we have been working in consultation with Boating BC regarding the process to gain approval for the 2021 show. In addition, we are working collectively with our industry association (CAEM, Canadian Association of Exposition Management) on Safe Re-Opening Plans for approval by the provincial government.

The following proposed plan for Exhibitions (Trade & Consumer Shows), is an example of one of the plans that has been submitted to the government.

CAEM Exhibition Industry Safe Re-Opening Guidelines

Please understand trade & consumer shows have not yet been approved. We are continuing to work through the meeting and review process. These documents are relevant to what protocols could look like, if we could hold larger gatherings today. We are including this potential plan in our communication to you for those who may be interested in understanding the process and protocols for Shows.

We are very involved in the extensive process to gain approval for our industry and the Vancouver Boat Show. I am on the National and Provincial Task Forces, working on the efforts to obtain approvals from the government to move forward.

If / When the Province of BC approves our industry and venue's re-opening plans, then the Vancouver Boat Show specific plan will align with the protocols and will be unique to our event, exhibitors and product.

In addition to the current focus on BC's COVID #'s, the provincial government has recently announced the safe reopening plans for schools for in-class and online instruction beginning in September. This is also the government's priority over the next several weeks, as they work towards returning students to class.

The government is prioritizing the health and safety of British Columbians. Decisions on approvals, processes and procedures are being guided by this objective. The government understands the lead time required for exhibitions/shows to plan and execute, however the requests by the industry, venues and shows will not be prioritized over the timeline for keeping the curve flattened.

We feel very strongly that the Vancouver Boat Show can operate safely for both attendees and workers. We are not a large public gathering like concerts or sporting events. We are a retail environment, consistent with shopping malls, large retailers, farmer's markets and grocery stores. We will continue working towards securing an approval as soon as possible.

Linda Waddell
Show Director

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