The upcoming Winterruption festivals across Western Canada are being postponed because of a surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant through the Prairies.
In news releases and social media posts issued Wednesday afternoon, the Regina Folk Festival and the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon said they were “regretfully” announcing the postponement of their 2022 festivals, slated to run the last week of January, to a later date.
“We made this decision despite a lack of restrictions. Safety at any event we host is a top priority and at this time the safest decision for our artists, audience and our team is to wait,” the Regina Folk Festival said in its release.
Both the folk festival and the theatre said they are planning to move the festivals to a new timeframe in early spring and are urging festival goers to stay tuned for an announcement soon.
In the meantime, ticket holders can get refunds or hold onto their tickets for the new, still-to-be-announced festival dates, they said.
The events in Saskatoon and Regina are affiliated with similar festivals in Swift Current, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
The Broadway Theatre and Regina Folk Festival partner up to bring musical, comedy and drama performers to Saskatoon and Regina and sometimes share musical acts.
The festivals are held in multiple indoor venues, but there are outdoor events, as well.
The Regina Folk Festival and Broadway Theatre said the producers of all six festivals are working diligently on securing new dates with venues and artists and are striving to keep the lineup as intact as possible.
“The artists’ tours need to make logistical and financial sense across the Prairie provinces and so we are working together to develop solutions,” they said.
Last year, the festivals in Saskatoon and Regina were postponed in favour of online versions that ran in the early spring.