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Celtic Gathering at Fort Edmonton Park cancelled on 'short notice'
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 4:31PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 13, 2018 7:20PM MDT
With a month to go before a Celtic culture showcase was set to hit the stage, organizers cancelled the two-day event.
The Celtic Gathering at Fort Edmonton Park had been running for the past 28 years, featuring Highland dancing, pipes and drums competition, and games.
The president of the Alberta Society of Pipers and Drummers said they do not support the decision to call off the event.
"We are extremely disappointed and saddened by the decision to cancel the Fort Edmonton Celtic Gathering,” John Stewart said in a statement to CTV News.
Fort Edmonton Park Company’s vice-president of operations, Carl Damour, said it was determined with its partners that the event would be cancelled because of financial issues.
“This event has seen some deficits,” Damour said. “The decision was made that this year, Fort Edmonton Park could not continue to subsidize an event like this.”
“It’s certainly unfortunate that we had to cancel the event. We didn’t take the decision lightly; it wasn’t something easy to arrive at.”
The event was supposed to take place 33 days from when the cancellation was announced.
Stewart said this adds to the inconvenience of those who have already made travel plans to participate in the event.
“We are currently investigating the reasons as to why this event has been cancelled, and also why it was cancelled on such short notice, putting a great burden on many who have made travel plans, and invested money on plane tickets, hotels,” he wrote.
Fort Edmonton Park previously subsidized the event for organizers, but could not this year. It did offer the venue for free.
“When you have two groups who are both trying to run the event and both see that potentially there will be a huge financial impact… the two groups decided neither party can run the event and make it sustainable,” Damour said.
The event was scheduled to take place July 14 and 15.
With files from Jeremy Thompson