Entertainment and sporting events in the waiting pattern as the Omicron variant rages on

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CALGARY –

Many major events have had to be canceled or postponed as uncertainty grows with the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

Big Winter Classic, a huge music festival in Calgary, scheduled for January 27-30, is now suspended. Adrian Urlacher, the founder, says his team met on Friday afternoon to discuss their Plan B.

“With the restrictions in place, it’s impossible to organize an event and try to be true to what you do as an event, which is to build community and gatherings. It was a very difficult decision, ”said Urlacher.

Almost 100 bands are expected to play and 4,000 are expected to attend the four-day festival.

The Calgary Folk Music Festival’s Block Heater was supposed to release its full lineup on Friday, but delayed it due to uncertainty surrounding Omicron. In a statement, Kerry Clarke, Artistic and Marketing Director said:

“We are carefully planning the seventh annual Block Heater, scheduled for February 17-20. We have made a low-key announcement of dates, venues and six of the 30 performers, but are delaying our full announcement and ticket sales while we monitor the ever-changing situation.

Jim Cressman, president and co-founder of Invictus Entertainment Group, which often books major music artists to the Saddledome, says it’s been a continuous cycle of uncertainty and has been frustrating for the industry.

“I feel bad for artists and musicians,” Cressman said.

“These people only really make money when they are on the road and their livelihood has been taken away from them. “

HOLD THEIR BREATH

Outside of the music industry, other event planners have also held their breath and pivoted when needed.

Lenora Kingcott, executive producer of Bridal Expo, welcomes up to 1,500 people to its annual event. While she was able to host it last fall, the 2020 one was canceled.

“It was a huge financial blow because deposits were lost and a lot of investments were lost,” she said.

“I think we’re all on hold right now, whether we’re a guest at an event or have tickets for things, I think everyone is on hold.”

ESSO Minor Hockey Week organizers are moving forward with their tournament, which begins Friday, and hope it will not be canceled, such as the World Junior Hockey Tournament and the ESSO Gold Ring Tournament .

“We know Omicron is very contagious and we are doing everything to comply with AHS guidelines and government guidelines and we just hope we can continue to have an exciting hockey week,” said Kevin Kobelka, Executive Director of Hockey. Calgary. .

Kobelka says ESSO Minor Hockey Week only involves Calgary players and there will be no out-of-town teams.

The Small Scale Opening Ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Max Bell Arena. Over the seven days, 800 matches will be played in 50 different arenas.

Late Friday afternoon, the Calgary Philharmonic announced that it had canceled its next two concerts, including Yuja Wang in concert on January 15 and 16 and Diana Cohen Performs Mozart on January 21 and 22.

The CPO plans to resume its winter series on February 5.

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