PARRY SOUND, ON-The annual Festival of Sound event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Alison Scarrow, Executive Director of the event, told MyParrySoundNow that during a meeting Tuesday night, the Town of Parry Sound passed a motion for the Charles W. Stockey Centre Performance Hall to remain closed until September 7th. 

With this closure, Scarrow said the event will take a sabbatical for the 2020 season and will resume next year. 

Artistic Director James Campbell said the inevitable has happened and after 40 years, it somehow seems logical that they may need a sabbatical, even if it is a forced one. “A sabbatical will give us time to reflect, refresh and explore.”

Campbell added he’s excited about the opportunity this gives them to establish a solid groundwork for the future.

Scarrow, meanwhile, said during this time they will continue to be active social media members and let the public know what they are up to. 

“The virtual world has become a brand new thing for the performing arts, and we are looking at what we can do about the music that is provided at the festival that is both national and international quality. We are looking at what it will take to have those kinds of presentations online.”

When asked if this could refer to some sort of virtual concert, Scarrow added it’s possible, but no plans have been set in place yet. 

Scarrow noted that during this sabbatical, they would be discussing what the festival could look like in the future once the COVID-19 outbreak is over. “If we are able to hold concerts with physical distancing, what is that going to look like? Does that mean we have to wear masks, be six feet apart, and when will people feel comfortable coming back to a theatre setting? There is a whole series of things we need to look at in terms of how we are going to get there.”        

To stay up to date on the festival and any more news, visit their Facebook page here.