The Winter Carnival will be running in Gravenhurst this Family Day with an updated outdoor format.
Due to restrictions and concerns over the Omicron Coronavirus variant, organizers have decided to change the festival to a hybrid event focused on outdoor activities.
Councillor Sandy Cairns who is a member of the Winter Carnival Committee spoke to the Gravenhurst Council on Tuesday about the updated plans for the event. She stated that the committee wanted to ensure that the event would not be cancelled for a second year in a row.
It was announced in December that the Winter Carnival would be returning on Family Day 2022, Almost two years since the last carnival in February 2020.
Rising coronavirus cases and pausing of provincial re-opening plans forced the organizers to change the carnival to a hybrid model. The carnival will be focused on outdoor events including snowshoeing, cross country skiing, trail hiking and several other that will be announced soon.
“We hope that people can get outside and still continue to do winter activities,” Cairns said.
There will also be virtual elements to the carnival, but they will be announced at a later date.Cairns told council there are discussions Gravenhurst BIA over money allocated in its budget for the Winter Carnival.
Cairns said that there are discussions over turning that donation from the BIA into Gravenhurst Downtown Dollars and giving them out to those who take part in the carnival.
“We’re hoping to be able to award some of these people that do participate with some downtown dollars,” Cairns said. Using downtown dollars would also help local businesses.
Councillor Penny Varney owner of the Arts at the Albion gallery said she supported the idea.
“This will really help the downtown businesses and I appreciate that,” Varney said.
Cairns said that there is still planning to be done to determine all of the events and that the carnival is still looking for more community partners.
Council approved the changes to the carnival format and pledged to assist the organizers with the event. Further updates on the event will be posted on the Gravenhurst Winter Carnival Facebook page.
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