The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of a popular Sudbury winter festival.

Officials with 'Pond Hockey Festival on the Rock' said challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic made moving ahead with the festival impossible.

“Our committee is still committed to running the festival once it’s safe to do so," said Dan DeNoble, the festival's chair. "We have an awesome community support, teams comes back year after year, the volunteers seem to come back year after year, and our sponsors do too, so if all the stars align, we will gladly be back here next year to run a festival for everyone.”

For more than 10 years, the annual festival has taken over Ramsey Lake in Sudbury. While the hockey tournaments are the main draw, it typically includes many family fun activities including face painting and hot air balloon rides.

It also serves as a fundraiser for a local initiative. In recent years, the event has worked towards raising money for Camp Quality, an organization that works towards providing camping experiences for children affected by cancer and blood disorders.

Last year's festival raised nearly $40,000 for the charity. While the festival isn't going ahead this year, DeNoble is asking the public to still donate to the organization if possible.