Major concerts and events are slowly returning to the Maritimes

The Halifax Wanderers soccer team is anxious to welcome back fans at its stadium in Halifax.

"We would love to host a game on Natal Day," says President Derek Martin. “It would be a symbolic day for us to do it."

Martin says after a tough year of living with COVID-19 restrictions, he is finally sensing a return to normalcy.

"If you read the tea leaves, there's a lot of positivity happening right now,” he says.

Sonic Concerts recently announced its summer series starting July 26.

Moncton’s Avenir Centre is scheduled to host James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt in September.

Downtown Halifax is already back in full-on event-planning mode.

"As we move through Phase 4 and Phase 5, we will continue to host smaller gatherings inside," says Events East President and CEO Carrie Cussons.

Cussons says the Halifax Convention Centre is preparing to host smaller concerts and business gatherings.

The ice will also soon be back in at Scotiabank Centre later this summer

"We are really excited about having the Mooseheads back at full capacity," says Cussons.

Starting with pre-season action in August, the Halifax Mooseheads hockey team will play home games.

But larger-scale events and conventions are still on hold.

"By 2022 we expect to see national and international events start to return to the convention centre,” says Cussons.

Si-Fi convention Hal-Con, postponed in 2020, will return in October with smaller numbers.

"We are hopeful to have up to 2,500 a day, which is what it's looking like right now," says Hal-Con Marketing Director Floyd Blaikie.

Cussons says all events must adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols.

"We are working to figure out what are the best things we can keep while allowing fans to come back and enjoy that in-person experience," says Cussons.

As Martin waits to host bigger crowds, he says he wants the Wanderers to hold pop-up vaccination clinics.

"We obviously benefit, the sooner we get to phase 5 and all the restrictions can be lifted," says Martin.

When that finally happens, Martin says many events would once again be open for thousands of fans to attend.