Surge in COVID-19 cases prompts cancellation of major conventions in Calgary: Nenshi

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says at least five major conventions that were scheduled to take place in Calgary have been cancelled due to the recent spike in COVID-19 numbers in Alberta.

The organizers of Inventures, an event connecting entrepreneurs and innovators with investors that had been scheduled to take place Sept. 22 -24, announced Monday that the convention had been cancelled.

"Our priority is to assure a safe environment for Inventures participants to enjoy an exceptional, live experience," said Inventures officials in their cancellation statement. "With the comments of participants in mind, we made the decision to stand down Inventures 2021 from September 22-24 and focus our efforts on the June 2022 edition – just nine months away."

The 2022 edition of the convention is still scheduled to take place in Calgary.

Nenshi says the provincial government is to blame as several conventions cancelled on the same day that Alberta announced plans to eliminate COVID-19 testing and mandatory isolation.

"In my economic development work, I can tell you the number one question that I get asked, and my colleagues at Calgary Economic Development get asked is, 'Why would I move to Alberta with that provincial government? How in the world would I attract young people to want to live therewhen it's so retrograde? The premier and his cabinet haveto come to terms with this and understand they're doing long term damage to the brand of Alberta."

The province's plans to remove COVID-19 testing and isolation requirements were originally scheduled for mid-August but later pushed back to Sept. 27. There are currently no plans to remove testing or isolations in the province.