Calgary Zoo cancels glitzy fundraiser for at least 2 years

The Calgary Zoo has put one of its major fundraisers on hold for the next two years. The annual Tusks and Tails event has been held each spring for the past 16 years. Last year's event was $500 per ticket.

Tusks and Tails event was $500 per ticket last year, and organization says it's sensitive to economy

Guests get to know the wildlife at the Tusks and Tails fundraiser in 2013. The yearly event has been cancelled for at least the next two years. (CBC)

The Calgary Zoo has put one of its major fundraisers on hold for the next two years. 

The annual Tusks and Tails event has been held each spring for the past 16 years, with last year's event costing $500 per ticket. 

The organization says it's sensitive to the state of the local economy, but is planning other fundraising events. 

"They're looking to host, instead of a larger event like Tusks and Tails, a smaller intimate setting — groups of 10 or 12 with our president and CEO, giving folks a chance to really engage with him and have a little bit of a more intimate setting," said Larissa Mark, manager of communications with the zoo. 

"We're already doing that, and you know it's just really about taking a thoughtful approach to how we're approaching our fundraising efforts."

Pam McCarthy, an event planner in Calgary, says she's noticed some events are scaling back but not across the board. 

"With the current economic climate, there's certainly industries that are thriving and booming in this economy and some that are not, which is quite a lot different than the downturn that we had in 2008. So it's a change for sure," she said. 

Mark says the zoo is hoping to revive Tusks and Tails in 2018, just in time for the arrival of two giant pandas from China. 


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