New Brunswick

Fredericton cancels some summer programming in response to COVID-19

Outdoor concerts, film series and walking tours off the table

Outdoor concerts, film series and walking tours off the table

The outdoor films series on Saturday and Sunday and outdoor concerts will not be happening this summer, neither will walking tours or Guard House programs. (CBC)

The City of Fredericton is cancelling some of its summer programs as it moves into the next phase of its COVID-19 recovery. 

The outdoor films series on Saturday and Sunday and outdoor concerts will not be happening this summer, neither will walking tours or Guard House programs.

The trail centre on the north side of the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge will also not open this summer. 

"We recognize the importance of providing programming to our community," said Mike Baldwin, director of corporate services, "so we're looking across the board at other services, how can they perhaps be modified to replace those?"

Councillor Greg Ericson suggested a drive-in movie theatre approach to make up for the loss of the outdoor film series, staff said it's an idea that would be considered. 

 "We're considering a whole lot of things," said David Seabrook, manager of tourism and culture. "I think we're starting with existing programs and how do we deliver those programs safely."

Market future unclear

The City is still considering if or when it will be able to open markets such as the Boyce Farmers Market and the Garrison District Night Market.

"We're looking at all sorts of scenarios -- one-way aisles, how many vendors can we accommodate inside the market, could we expand the footprint in the parking lot during the summer so we could create more distance between vendors," said Seabrook. 

 "We're considering a whole lot of things," said David Seabrook, manager of tourism and culture. "I think we're starting with existing programs and how do we deliver those programs safely." (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Transit will move to an hourly service beginning on May 19, and this week 30 per cent of staff who have been working from home will start to return to the office. The standing committees will also resume the week of May 19.

Seabrook said there are still a lot of questions surrounding the city's tourism and hospitality industries. 

"A huge chunk of our tourism business has been eliminated," he said, citing the loss of festivals and events, motorcoach tours, conventions and sporting events. 

"It's going to be a challenge to support that sector through the summer."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Bird is a journalist at CBC New Brunswick. You can contact her at lauren.bird@cbc.ca

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