Water Ski Canada and the Shalom Park host committee have been actively monitoring the COVID-19 crisis and its implications for the 2020 competitive water ski season, including the 2020 Canadian Water Ski National Championships, slated for Alberta in August.
The Chief Medical Officer of Alberta delivered an update on COVID-19 on April 23rdthat specifically addressed the mandatory restrictions on gatherings of over 15 people as it relates to summer events. This update provided clarification that summer events will not be allowed if they violate the gathering restrictions. A transcript of the announcement can be seen here- https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=701519ADB9F71-9BB3-65BA-DEBCAF1D54416B96
Due to this clarification from the Government of Alberta, it is with great regret that Water Ski Canada and the Shalom Park host committee have made the decision to cancel the 2020 Canadian Water Ski National Championships. Our foremost concern is to ensure the safety and well being of all participants. We know how important the Canadian Water Ski National Championships is to our community and we do not make this decision lightly.
We are still hopeful that our clubs and schools will be able to run some programming this summer and we will continue to support those activities under local and federal legislation requirements. Our staff remains available to answer your questions and support your activities where legal mandates provide.
We wish everyone the best of health and safety in these difficult times and encourage you to follow the directions of the Public Health Agency of Canada and your local health officials. Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada (WSWC) has create a page with useful links related to COVID-19 information here- https://wswc.ca/covid-19-resource-hub/
We look forward to the resumption of Water Ski activities once the crisis has passed. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Water Ski Canada will continue to update the community on the status of Water Ski events as the information becomes available.
If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to Kyle Hunter Kyle@wswc.ca
Relevant Transcript from Alberta CMO:
The weather is finally getting nicer, and I know many of us want to be outside. I have repeatedly said that being outdoors and active is important for maintaining our mental health during these tough times.
However, we need to remember that a single case of COVID-19 can spread like wildfire in large groups of people.
That is why, today, I want to clarify that the mass gathering restrictions currently in place also apply to all summer events or festivals in Alberta.
To be clear, the orders in place prohibit gathering of more than 15 people. They also require people gathered in groups of fewer than 15 to maintain a distance of 2 metres from one another.
Albertans are prohibited from attending any event that would violate these orders.
I know summer festivals and events are incredibly important for many people. They provide fun and entertainment in every part of our province, and many people depend on them for livelihood.
This decision was not made lightly, but we must do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We have seen that festivals and large gatherings hold the potential to be super-spreader events, where one sick person can expose many others to the virus, spreading COVID-19 across households, communities, and even large geographical distances.
Many event organizers in Alberta have already taken it on themselves to cancel or postpone events this summer, but I also know that others were waiting for clarification from me.
By providing this clarification now, I hope that organizers will be able to provide advance notice to help them limit unreasonable expenditures and cancel contracts in a timely manner.