British Columbia

Vancouver's TED conference postponed amid coronavirus fears

The annual TED conference in Vancouver will be held three months late this year because of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

2-day Sakura Days Japan Fair has also been cancelled.

The annual TED conference has been postponed until July because of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. (Jason Redmond/TED)

The annual TED conference in Vancouver will be held three months late this year because of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The event was originally scheduled for April 20 to 24 but has been postponed until July 26 to 30, TED spokesperson Erin Allweiss said in an email. 

The decision to postpone was made after organizers reached out to attendees last week in an email that warned it would be "unwise" to proceed with the conference as planned. Attendees were asked whether they'd prefer to delay or to hold a virtual conference online.

Allweiss said the majority chose to postpone the event, but TED organizers will also hold a virtual session on April 22 to mark Earth Day. 

TED is an acronym for technology, entertainment and design, and the week-long conference is the source of the famed TED Talks videos broadcast on YouTube and other digital platforms.

Vancouver has been home to the week-long event since 2014, hosting about 2,000 people who pay $10,000 US each to attend.

Japanese cultural festival cancelled

Meanwhile, organizers of the annual Sakura Days Japan Fair at VanDusen Botanical Gardens have cancelled their event entirely.

The two-day cultural fair is part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, and was scheduled to be held on April 18 and 19.

"We acknowledge that the risk for COVID-19 is low and that there is high enthusiasm for our event from all participants and stakeholders," organizers said in a public post.

"This non-profit cultural event relies heavily on ticket sales, sponsorship and volunteer support to help underwrite its expenses, all of which we have seen early indications of being affected this year."


  • An earlier version of this story contained incorrect dates for the postponed TED 2020 conference. The organizers have since clarified that the event will be held July 26-30.
    Mar 10, 2020 3:16 PM PT


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