EDMONTON -- Edmonton festivals and events are being cancelled and postponed due to worries over the coronavirus as the number of Alberta cases grows.

The Edmonton Flamenco Festival has announced it will be cancelling all workshops associated with the festival, as well as a performance scheduled for Friday, March 13 at the Winspear.

The festival had planned to bring in five international performers to Edmonton, but said that travel and medical insurance issues have forced the cancellation of the event.

“I’m a little lost I have to say, we debated it all of last night,” said festival artistic director Jane Ogilvie. ”The risk, it’s not about anyone being sick it’s about insurance.”

Ogilvie said that medical insurance for the performers would not cover anything relating to coronavirus since flights were booked after travel precautions had already been announced. 

“The artists that we invited this year, I invited in 2018 when I met them in Spain, we’ve been planning for almost two years.”

The festival will likely be out thousands, even tens of thousands due to the cancellations and refunds according to Ogilvie.

The performers have also cancelled tours around Europe and Asia they had planned.

The Winspear Centre box office will be contacting ticketholders to offer full refunds for the March 13 performance. Workshop tickets will be refunded by the festival itself.

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has also announced it will be postponing its March 11 fundraising breakfast until further notice.

“While there is no reason for alarm, so many in our audience support and work with vulnerable members of our community,” said Mark Korthius, MHF President and CEO in a press release. “We believe cancelling the event is the responsible action to take and absolutely the right thing to do.”

“We will be considering next steps in terms of the event and our fundraising efforts.”

This would have been the 11th year for the MHF fundraising breakfast.