Heritage Park cancels Carnivàle fundraiser due to public health restrictions
Officials at Calgary's Heritage Park say they made a "difficult decision" to cancel a fundraising event, which ticket holders said was done at the last minute.
Carnivàle, described as an after-hours event where visitors could enjoy antique rides and games on the midway, performers and other attractions, was supposed to take place Friday evening, but officials say the provincial government's new guidelines changed all that.
"Due to the recent state of public health emergency we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Carnivàle event," the park wrote in a statement on its website.
"The health and safety of our guests, employees and volunteers is our top priority. We are not able to offer many of the intimate experiences of this event in our current climate, therefore we feel we can't provide our guests with the magical experience intended."
According to a statement sent to ticket holders, the cancellation was finalized at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.
A post on the park's Facebook page, made at 11 a.m. on Sept. 15, also indicated that tickets were still available for purchase online.
Officials with Heritage Park say they are "disappointed" with the outcome.
"Similar to every other public facing organization, we are moving quickly to implement the new (Alberta Health Service) rules. Given the heighten state of emergency it caused us to pause and make the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event," said Viola Midegs, marketing director with Heritage Park in an email to CTV News.
The online auction still went ahead as planned and wrapped up at 11 p.m. on Sept. 17.
"Winners will be contacted after Carnivàle concludes. Online auction items will be available for pick up at Heritage Park Security after noon on Sept. 20, 2021."
PARK ADOPTS RESTRICTION EXEMPTION PROGRAM
In addition to the sudden change to one of its fundraising events, park officials say they will also be adopting the province's restriction exemption program starting Monday.
That means all visitors will continue to wear masks in all indoor areas and must show proof of vaccination if they are 12 or older.
Proof of one dose of vaccine administered at least two weeks prior to entry, will be accepted between Sept. 20 and Oct. 25. Full vaccination (two doses) is required after Oct. 25.
Heritage Park will also accept proof of a privately-paid negative PCR or rapid test with 72 hours or documentation of a medical exemption.
It's not just the front gates where visitors will need to display their documentation either. They'll also need to show it at the entrance to Gasoline Alley, the reception area of the Selkirk restaurant if choosing to dine inside or on the patio and at the till at the Railway Cafe and Harvey's Confectionery if choosing to dine inside.
"We are committed to providing a safe experience for everyone at the Park and continue to provide enhanced cleaning, additional hand sanitizer stations and mask mandates for all of our guest facing staff. We thank you for your ongoing support of Heritage Park and for complying by these new government of Alberta mandates."
Heritage Park says it plans to bring back Carnivàle for next year.
Guests who purchased tickets should watch their email inboxes for details on refunds and donations.