Canada’s Banff festival cancelled
The 2020 edition of the Banff World Media Festival, scheduled for June 14-17, has become the latest Canadian TV industry event to cancel.
The decision, owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, follows the cancellation or postponement of most forthcoming events in the country, including Hot Docs, the Canadian Screen Awards, Canadian Film Fest and the Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards.
Banff said that its 2020 Rockie Awards International Program Competition will continue to take place, with winners to be named later this year.
“Although we had kept hope up in recent weeks, it became clear that it would be impossible to hold the festival with no certainty regarding what the safety situation might be by June, in addition to restrictions on large gatherings and travel bans in place at most media companies,” said Banff World Media Festival executive director Jenn Kuzmyk.
“We are not able to gather in person this year, but our team is already working on new ways to connect, inform, inspire and serve our industry. We look forward to working with all of you in the coming months to do just that.”
Randy Lennox, president of Bell Media and chair of the Banff board of directors, added: “Cancelling the festival after 41 years of success was not a decision that we took lightly, but it was the right thing to do for festival delegates, speakers and staff.”
The news comes after Telefilm Canada, the NFB, the CMPA and eight other Canadian associations, funding agencies and municipal organisations last week united to set up the Covid-19 Production Industry Taskforce, in a bid to address the country’s government with one voice.