Cornwall Kinsmen cancels 66th annual Music Festival

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By Shawna O'Neill
Cornwall Kinsmen cancels 66th annual Music Festival
Students of North Dundas Choir at Kinsmen Music Festival on Thursday, April 4, 2019 (Shawna O'Neill/TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario – For the first time in 66 years, the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall has made the difficult decision of cancelling the 66th annual Kinsmen Music Festival.

With the announcement from the Ministry of Education extending the March break until April 5 for all schools, the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Kinsmen Music Festival,” read an official Kinsmen Club statement. 

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This year would  have been the 66th year for the club to host the music festival and the decision to cancel was not made lightly,” continued the statement. “The Kinsmen Club recognizes the level of work and commitment by competitors, teachers, and families. We know there will be many who are disappointed. But the health and safety of our young musicians, dancers and singers is of the utmost importance at this time.”

Long-time Festival Coordinator Jane McLaren added that handling and using instruments may pose a higher risk of any transmission compared to other occupations.

“Community safety has to come first,” said McLaren. “The fact we don’t know what the risks are…the safety of competitors and their families is our utmost priority.”

McLaren said that participation in the festival has been steadily growing over the past few years. She sympathizes with students who are set to graduate this year who were looking forward to taking part in the festival.

“We are already working on the 2021 festival with confirmed dates of Tuesday, April 6 to Friday, April 9, with the Concert of the Stars taking place on Sunday, April 11. We are in communication with the adjudicators for this year and hope to have them attend the 2021 festival in lieu of this year’s event. We want to thank all our competitors and teachers for their hard work and look forward to seeing you again next year and for many years to come,” read an official Kinsmen Club statement. 

A number of organizations have announced changes to their schedules and programming amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: CCH sends volunteers home, SLC cancels trips amid COVID-19 concerns

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