After 2020, it is now the turn of the 2021 edition of the Valleyfield Regatta to be cancelled. Racing and entertainment enthusiasts and above all, businesses, everyone will have their reason for being disappointed.
On Friday, February 12th , the organization of the Valleyfield Regatta announced the cancellation of the 2021 edition. The management of the event informed that by evaluating the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic which has been raging since last March, the potential risks as well as the measures established by public health, that cancelling the event became obvious.
In a statement, the event management said it was concerned about the health and safety of racing teams, partners, festival-goers, volunteers and employees. For the mayor of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Miguel Lemieux, the decision was obvious.
“Although inevitable, I am saddened by the cancellation, for a second year, of an international event which is a major economic driver for our city, said the mayor of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Miguel Lemieux. I share the dismay of the festival-goers, the racing teams, the volunteers and the organizing committee.” Several logistical factors also made it impossible to hold the event. Many of the pilots and their crew are from the United States, and the uncertainty surrounding the opening of borders in particular was too great.
The cultural component
In addition to being the most anticipated event for hydroplane pilots, the Valleyfield Regatta are a cultural event for festival-goers. This is why the organizing committee is considering a way to maintain some of the elements of the artistic component, while respecting government measures.
“The racing fan in me is disappointed, but we are still working to offer something to our loyal spectators, explains Émilie Daoust, general manager of the Valleyfield Regatta. And of course we are already thinking of 2022, which will be a spectacular edition!”
Already severely tested for nearly a year, businesses in Valleyfield will need to be resilient. For the president of the Chambre de commerce & d’industrie de Beauharnois, Valleyfield et Haut Saint Laurent (CCIBVHSL), Suzanne Carrier, this is a sad reality, but one that does not take anyone by surprise.
“We expected it, explains Mrs. Carrier. I would be surprised if there is any big events before 2022. It is not easy for businesses. In fact, it’s not easy for anyone.” The economic benefits associated with the Valleyfield Regatta are significant. However, do not think that the survival of businesses in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield depends on the event.
“Since the tourists will not be present, these are potential customers who are not there, says Suzanne Carrier. To give you an idea, let’s suppose that a business has $ 5,000 in turnover on the weekend, during the Valleyfield Regatta, the same business doubles. Last year we did have a sidewalk sale on the weekend that the event was scheduled to take place. However, that did not make up for the shortfall.”
Mrs. Carrier specifies that it is the new businesses that are most affected by the cancellation. However, the president of the CCIBSHSL assures that there are already ideas on the table and that discussions will take place soon. “Unlike last year, we have more time to prepare. We have a meeting in the next few days so we can already address the subject.”