BC seafood festival

BC Seafood Festival and Expo postponed due to COVID-19

Western Canada’s largest seafood festival organisers looking for new dates in September to stage modified event.

By SeaWestNews

The BC Seafood Festival and Trade Expo, held annually in June, has been postponed due to public health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are actively working to secure late fall dates to host a modified Festival and Trade Expo in 2020,” the organisers said in a statement, adding they are also planning for the return of the regular event in June of 2021.

Billed as Western Canada’s largest seafood festival, the 14th edition of the BC Seafood Festival and Trade Expo was scheduled to be held between June 12-21, 2020 in the Comox Valley of Vancouver Island.

Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism, the organization that collaborates with a wide range of seafood organizations and institutions to develop the event annually, said it will be contacting those who have purchased tickets and trade show booths and passes, to provide further details.

“We know this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone in the seafood, tourism and hospitality sectors that contribute so much to the Festival and Trade Expo each year. Our thoughts are with them, our loyal guests, volunteers and all their families,” the organisers said.

The BC Seafood Festival and Trade Expo is built around the coming together of local seafood industries, commercial fisheries, aquaculture farmers, industry leaders, government representatives, First Nations communities, alongside BC Chefs.

Last year the Expo component of the event attracted about 500 delegates, speakers and exhibitors and a large international buyers’ delegation, which was supported by Global Affairs and the BC Ministry of International Trade.

The Festival, originally started by the BC Shellfish Growers Association as a one day event, featured ten days and 85 satellite events including educational tours, stunning seafood dinners, master classes, and fast-paced competitions in 2019.

The pandemic has also forced the cancellation of the 2020 edition of Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Global, the world’s largest seafood event, originally planned to be held in Brussels later this month. Next year’s event is to be held in Barcelona, Spain.

Earlier, organisers of The Seafood Expo North America, one of the biggest trade shows in Boston, announced their event has been postponed to September due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus.