Aaron Stone, chairman of the CVRD, said the district is waiving its cancellation policies for events, facility bookings and program registrations at its facilities due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. (File photo)

CVRD to waive its cancellation policies for events due to COVOID-19

Province banned gatherings of more than 250 people last week

The Cowichan Valley Regional District has waived its cancellation policies for events, facility bookings and program registrations at CVRD facilities, as more and more events are being cancelled by the day due to COVID-19.

The decision was made at a special board of directors meeting on March 13, and applies to all CVRD parks and facilities, including the Cowichan Community Centre, Kerry Park Recreation Centre, Cowichan Lake Recreation, Shawnigan Lake Community Centre, and the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre.

“Our board has decided that, in support of health, it’s not appropriate to penalize those who planned and paid for the use of our facilities,” said Aaron Stone, chairman of the CVRD, in a press release.

“We recognize there will be a loss of revenue associated with this decision, but it is the right thing to do to support our community members at this time. We will review options for cost recovery via insurance and other compensation opportunities that may become available.”

On March 12, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry directed event organizers to cancel all gatherings of 250 people or more due to the growing COVID-19 outbreak, and on Monday that was adjusted to all gatherings of 50 or more people.

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Based on that direction, the CVRD cancelled a performance by Natalie MacMaster at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre last week and refunded ticket holders.

But all events at the CPAC scheduled for March and April have now been postponed as well.

While all events with participant numbers greater than 250 will be cancelled for the foreseeable future, all CVRD facilities, including recycling centres, will remain open and delivering services until otherwise advised or directed by the provincial health officer.

The CVRD will also continue to convene a Regional Emergency Operations Centre in partnership with its member municipalities, First Nations, school districts and Island Health as required, in an effort to share information and practices that will help “flatten the curve” of transmission and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For more information on the CVRD response to COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 Information page on the CVRD website.

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