Nova Scotia

East Coast Music Awards 2021 goes virtual over COVID-19 concerns in Nova Scotia

The East Coast Music Awards announced that all in-person events planned for May 5 to 9 in Sydney, N.S., will be held virtually because of COVID-19 concerns.

In-person events were supposed to take place May 5 to 9 in Sydney, N.S.

The 2021 East Coast Music Awards show and related events scheduled for early May in Sydney will be switching to virtual events as a result of the pandemic. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

The 2021 East Coast Music Awards scheduled for May 5 to 9 in Sydney, N.S., will be now be held virtually. 

"In light of recent announcements, and under the advice of scientific and medical experts throughout our region and beyond, transitioning the in-person events planned for May 5 to 9 in Sydney to online events is the right thing to do," a news release from the association said Friday. 

In the release, Dean Stairs, chair of the East Coast Music Association board of directors, said it was committed to keeping its members, staff and communities safe. 

"We do not take this decision lightly," he said. 

Other events that were already slated to be held virtually will go ahead as planned.

According to the release, details of the virtual events will be released in the coming days and anyone who purchased tickets for the 2021 in-person events will receive an automatic refund. 

Nova Scotia's Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Suzanne Lohnes-Croft thanked the organizers for their flexibility, hard work and creativity in moving the event to a virtual presence. 

"We know the importance of live cultural events and live music to our communities and the hope and joy they offer, but caution now will ensure a return to the thrill of live performances in the future," she said. 

The release said the music industry has a wealth of resilience when facing difficult situations.

"The music will get us through," it said.