The B.C. premier's attempt to host an International Day of Yoga event on Vancouver's Burrard Bridge has fallen apart as the "Om the Bridge" sponsors have cancelled the celebration and say they are looking to host a "more meaningful" event somewhere else in the city.
Lululemon, YYoga and Altagas all confirmed Friday morning they had withdrawn their support from the event that had faced an intense backlash due to the amount of money being spent (estimated at $150,000), the closure of the bridge, and a perceived lack of respect for National Aboriginal Day, which also falls on June 21.
Responding to a protest tweet calling for a boycott of their company — as well as the other sponsors — Lululemon Athletica replied it had decided to withdraw their support.
@stromkonsult After much feedback, we've decided not to participate. We'll be reimagining a way to honour the spirit and tradition of yoga.— @lululemon
YYoga posted a statement to their website by founder Terry McBride.
"We hoped that our intentions would shine through, but that has not been the case," McBride's statement reads. "We have heard that the event that was presented was not what [the community] wanted."
He said there would be further news coming about a different event that would be more meaningful.
AltaGas — who had promised $10,000 of sponsorship — are also considering their position.
President John Lowe told CBC News the company would likely follow suit, but had yet to talk to the province.
In a statement Friday afternoon, B.C. Premier Christy Clark said "Om the Bridge" had been created with "the very best of intentions" but those had been overshadowed by politics.
"Unfortunately, the focus of the proposed Burrard Street Bridge event has drifted towards politics — getting in the way of the spirit of community and inner reflection," the statement reads.
Earlier Friday, Clark had said she would not attend the event.
The day after she made a joke on Twitter about "yoga haters", the premier turned once again to social media.
"Yoga Day is a great opportunity to celebrate peace and harmony — it's not about politics. I don't intend to participate," Clark tweeted on Friday morning.
Yoga Day is a great opportunity to celebrate peace and harmony - it's not about politics. I don't intend to participate.— @christyclarkbc