In March, Grande Prairie and Saskatoon were forced to cancel their events due to the negative affects of Covid-19. Less than one month later, the Battle of the Rockies event in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta has also become victim to the Covid-19 restrictions related to holding live events.
As the uncertainty for live event Covid-19 restrictions continues and the impact the economic downturn has had on sponsorship, the Rocky Mountain House Chuckwagon Committee has informed the WPCA that they will not be able to host a chuckwagon racing event in 2021.
Not long ago there was optimism for live events as COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases continued to drop. Members of the live event industry looked for direction and a model from Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Government in an effort to make decisions on whether or not they would be able to host their events. Last week an attendance model was sent out to various western event committees by Alberta Health Services outlining their plans for 2021. The information communicated was as follows:
* Late May - 15% of fixed seating capacity to a Maximum of 100 fans
* Late June - 50% of fixed seating capacity to a Maximum of 500 fans
* Late July - Removal of capacity restrictions
Upon receipt of the information many questions surfaced around what would be required for these scenarios to be achieved. For a sport like chuckwagon racing which is driven by sponsorship and ticket sales, the model sent out by Alberta Health Services makes it impossible for shows like Rocky Mountain House to be in a position to financially host and event. Shortly after communication of this capacity model, information was released indicating that full capacity won't be reached until mid September at the earliest.
The World Professional Chuckwagon Association looks forward to working with the Rocky Mountain House Team in 2022. We will continue to navigate through the Covid-19 live event restrictions that frequently change as we strive to put together a race season for our fans and sponsors in 2021.
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