MEDIA RELEASE: COVID 19 - Update 11

print-logo May 06, 2020

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 – Port Hope, ON

In the wake of the global pandemic, Municipality of Port Hope Council and Senior Management announce the cancellation or postponement of all large-scale events and activities that are scheduled to take place in the Municipality before August 31, 2020.

Municipal event cancellations
The logistics, resourcing and planning involved in hosting large-scale community events has been greatly impacted by the pandemic closures and the mandate to maintain physical distancing. Due to the uncertainty of the length of time that the current physical distancing measures will remain in place, the following Municipal events have been cancelled for the 2020 summer season, with options being explored to host virtual programming in place of some Municipal events.

  • Port Hope Canada Day Celebration
  • Port Hope Arts Festival
  • Movies in the Park

Staff are currently in the process of planning and developing initiatives and activities for Canada Day that can take place virtually, with physical distancing measures intact. More information about these initiatives will be shared, once available, at porthope.ca/canada-day.

“News of the cancellation of our much-loved summer events and celebrations is most certainly disappointing, as we continue to come to grips with all of the changes to our daily lives as result of this pandemic,” notes Bob Sanderson, Mayor of the Municipality of Port Hope. “While we are hopeful that we will be able to phase in some of our regular activities over the next couple of months, our health officials have indicated that large-scale events, gatherings and celebrations will not be possible. While disheartening, we will continue to do our part to ensure that the health and wellness of our community is maintained.”

Cancellation/postponement of other special events
Throughout the summer months, many other events, activities, and rentals take place in municipal facilities and on municipal property. As such, events and rentals that are scheduled to take place before August 31, 2020 have also been cancelled or postponed. Residents are encouraged to review the full list at porthope.ca/calendar.

“The logistics behind planning and executing special events and celebrations in the community are extraordinary and we felt that we had to make the call early on to aid event organizers in their planning efforts,” explains Jim McCormack, Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture at the Municipality of Port Hope. “This is certainly not an ideal situation, but we value our community event partners and so we felt that we had to make this decision so that money, time, and resources are not spent planning for events that more than likely can not take place here this summer.”

The decision to cancel events until August 31 is predicated on the current physical distancing guidelines set out by the Provincial government. If the Province relaxes the current physical distancing regulations, some events may be hosted, at the discretion of the Parks, Recreation and Culture department.

Municipal events and programs, as well as those planned and hosted by our community partners, are pillars of local heritage and culture, and instrumental to preserving and celebrating the vibrancy and connectivity of the community. As such, the Municipality will make every effort to phase-in smaller events throughout the summer, should the opportunity arise.

Summer Camp
As the summer months approach, Parks, Recreation, and Culture (PRC) staff have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it relates to our popular Summer Camp programs. Registration has not yet been opened, as enrollment dates were impacted in March by the shuttering of all municipal facilities. Summer Camp registration will open when restrictions on group gatherings are relaxed and the Provincial Emergency Order is lifted.

To plan for a scenario where Summer Camp can take place, PRC staff are continuing to prepare fun, engaging and memorable programs and activities and will be ready to open registration and run the camp on short notice, if possible. While the safety and wellbeing of our staff and campers remains a top priority, the implementation of new camp planning measures, will include:

  • Adjusting summer camp program dates to accommodate government regulations.
  • Training and program planning will take place remotely, to ensure that the camp is ready to begin as soon as reasonably possible.
  • Thursday special guest options will be implemented in place of destination trips, to limit offsite contact with other individuals and camp groups.
  • Regular hand washing and equipment sanitizing will remain a top priority.
  • Smaller groupings in daily activities while maintaining adequate childcare ratios may be implemented.

Special events planned for Fall 2020
A variety of events, programs and facility rentals are still in the planning stages for the remainder of 2020, although, the outcomes of these events also remain uncertain at this time. The events slated for delivery in September are:

  • Terry Fox Run, Town Hall, September 20;
  • Cultivate Festival, Memorial Park, September 25, 26 & 27;
  • Culture Days, September 25, 26 & 27;
  • Sunrise Rotary Men Who Cook, Town Park Recreation Centre, September 26.

An update about the status of the Fall 2020 events will be made and announced mid-summer.

For additional information, please check these credible resources:

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
905-375-8321
kingram@porthope.ca