The City of Laval confirmed on Thursday May 7 that it is cancelling or postponing all of its special cultural events that had been planned for the coming summer – including the June 24 Fête nationale celebration – saying they can’t be done safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This after Mayor Marc Demers said during the April city council meeting last month that neither he nor other officials at city hall had made up their minds yet as to whether they should cancel a more than $662,000 deal with a sub-contractor hired for the Fête nationale show at the Centre de la Nature, and that artists and performers had to be consulted first.
According to the city, that consultation has now been done and Laval will be putting together a support program to compensate artists and performers suffering a drop in revenue because of the change of plans.
“Following discussions, we took this decision by common agreement,” Demers said Thursday in a statement. “In effect, it is evident that it would be difficult to get the recommendations by public health respected – notably concerning social distancing – during activities where there are large gatherings. We are, of course, completely aware of the impacts of this decision on citizens, cultural organizations, workers and artists.”
In addition to the Fête nationale, two other major events that are also cancelled are the annual Fête de la Famille at the Centre de la Nature in late summer, and the Laval à Vélo bicycling event at around the same time. In all, 600 or so cultural events which had been planned for this summer are now also cancelled or delayed to a later date.
Martin C. Barry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for the Laval News, firstname.lastname@example.org