Manitoba 150 celebrations postponed amid COVID-19 pandemic

By | April 8, 2020

Manitoba 150 celebrations are being postponed, Premier Brian Pallister announced at a news conference on Wednesday morning alongside Monique LaCoste, co-chair of the Manitoba 150 host committee.

“While this pandemic has brought out the best in our communities,” Pallister said, “the reality is that this is not the time right now for celebration.”

The events were scheduled to mark the 150th anniversary of Manitoba joining Confederation.

All remaining events and public activities associated with the celebrations are being postponed, but funding will stay in place to support community projects and events once public health officials say it’s safe to have large public gatherings again, LaCoste said.

The Unite 150 concert featuring a lineup of Manitoba artists, which was originally planned for June 27 at the Manitoba Legislative Building, will be rescheduled to take place in 2021.

“This is an unprecedented time, and it’s a time to focus our efforts. It’s a time to protect our most vital service — our health-care system — and our most vulnerable citizens,” Pallister said.

“The health and the well-being of every Manitoban has been and is going to continue to be our Number 1 priority above all else.”

WATCH | Premier Brian Pallister talks about postponing Manitoba 150 celebrations:

Premier Brian Pallister said now is the time to do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the province, so Manitobans can enjoy the upcoming celebration of the province once it’s safe to do so. 1:00

LaCoste said organizers initially looked at moving Manitoba 150 events scheduled for this summer to a date in August, but it quickly became clear the celebrations will need to wait until next year.

Pallister did not give an estimate of how much longer physical distancing measures might be in place in Manitoba, but said it’s important for people to keep them in mind with holidays coming up.

The premier said he has talked to the Easter bunny and Santa Claus about the importance of doing their jobs with health precautions in mind and they are physical distancing.

“I want the kids out there to know that. The Easter bunny is very, very conscious of the need to do this, not to transmit this COVID, be very, very careful. I’m also understanding that Santa Claus, as well, is doing this,” he said.

“We’re seeing our citizens, and we’re seeing key people, stepping up and doing their part. And kids, you need to do your part, too.”

Pallister hopes the measures won’t be necessary by Christmas, but said they’re still needed right now.

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