Calgary

Calgary Expo cancels convention as pandemic makes summer date not a 'viable option'

The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo will not be held this year, despite plans to run the popular festival later this summer. 

Organizers hoped July would give 'enough time for things to settle down'

The Calgary Expo is attended by thousands each year. This year, it's cancelled, due to the COVID-19 crisis. (Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo)

The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo will not be held this year, despite plans to run the popular festival later this summer. 

The Calgary Expo, attended by thousands each year, was originally scheduled to run in April. Then it was pushed back to July to meet health guidelines issued by Alberta and the City of Calgary to help stem the spread of COVID-19. 

On Tuesday, organizers announced they had cancelled the 2020 event entirely. The next one will be held in April 2021.

"When we postponed the April show to July, we believed that would be enough time for things to settle down," organizers said in an emailed statement.

"We have been in touch with community partners, and despite all of our efforts and collaboration, it has become clear that July is not a viable option."

Several Ghostbusters pose with the Bow Tower in the background in downtown Calgary. The Calgary Expo is cancelled this year but plans are in the works to celebrate its 15th anniversary next April. (Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo)

Anyone who purchased a ticket for the 2020 Calgary Expo will receive a refund, the statement said, as will vendors.

Over the coming months, organizers plan to host virtual meet-ups for fans and cosplayers. Events will be posted on the group's social media channels.

The annual convention, which started in 2006, has hosted upward of 90,000 people a year at Stampede Park. Thousands also turned out for the annual Parade of Wonders to see cosplayers dressed up as a wide range of fictional characters.

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