At the last EDQG meeting on October 21st, it was announced that the Quilt Show Committee had made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Festival of Quilts. I promised to provide the membership with a full explanation for this decision.
There are two major reasons for cancelling and they are:
With respect to the first reason, the Quilt Show Committee has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation since early February. We have watched as the general public has gone into isolation. In recent weeks, the number of cases in the province has continued to increase. Currently, it is expected that those numbers will only continue to increase. By June of next year, it is predicted that the number of active cases in the Edmonton area could be even larger. The Quilt Show Committee felt that cancelling the Show sooner, rather than at the last minute, would be in the best interests of our members, volunteers, show attendees and vendors participating in the Show.
With respect to the second reason, we were not prepared to risk a large financial loss by holding a show without feeling confident that we could expect a good turnout of members, volunteers and the general public to support us. Many of us are not going out, let alone going to an event with large numbers of people in attendance. The budget for the show was to be roughly $24,000 and we were not willing to risk the viability of the EDQG with such an unpredictable COVID-19 situation ahead of us. The Quilt Show Committee was unanimous in their decision to cancel the 2021 Show.
When I say that the Quilt Show Committee moved to cancel the Show, I mean the EDQG Festival of Quilts, as we knew it in 2019, would not go ahead. That being said, we are moving forward with planning other smaller events to take the place of the Show. The Feature Quilter Exhibit will be one of those events. Others have yet to be determined.
The Quilt Show Committee also discussed having a Virtual Quilt Show as well as moving the date to another time of year or to another year. It was felt that we didn’t want to infringe on dates of other Guilds. As well, holding the Show in 2022 and continuing the Show as a biennial event, would mean our show would fall in the same year as Quilt Canada in Edmonton in 2024. Therefore, the next EDQG Festival of Quilts will be held in 2023.
The Quilt Show Committee is always open to new ideas and suggestions and would welcome anyone wanting to join the Committee in planning future events to be held between January and August of 2021.
I ask for your support with the decision that we have made and look forward to working hard with the EDQG Quilt Show Committee in the coming months to do our best to create events that are both safe (according to AHS COVID-19 guidelines) and financially viable for the Guild.
Myrna Purser, Chair
EDQG Festival of Quilts, 2021