March 13 Update on TCAF 2020

March 13 Update on TCAF 2020

As per our last update on this COVID-19 situation, we wanted to keep you up to date on information about impacts to this year’s Festival as soon as we receive it.

We just learned today at 5pm that all public libraries in the City of Toronto are going to be closed for the next 3 weeks, until April 6th, along with a host of other services in the city. This was also the same time libraries learned they were going to be closed, so you can imagine the speed at which these decisions are being made.

We also learned today that the Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is recommending the immediate suspension of all events and public gatherings over 250 people.

Because of this, we strongly recommend against making any purchases regarding transportation or accommodation to attend TCAF at this time. TCAF’s official hotel block is offering reservation cancellations with full refund, and Air Canada is offering no-fee flight changes. Exhibitors are also still able to cancel participation with no penalty and receive a full refund.

TCAF is currently moving forward because it falls outside of these windows, but that could change very quickly. Closures may be extended and we have no way of knowing when those announcements will be made. Because of this, we want to minimize the financial risk of exhibitors and attendees.

While these government recommendations are being touted as temporary measures ending a month before TCAF, they’re also the first real directives we’ve received from health agencies to make alterations to our program. This is also significantly different than their earlier statements this week, and as an independent arts festival we’re relying on governmental guidance to know the best way forward.

TCAF recognizes the important role it plays for it’s attending creators, both for career building and the often precarious financial situation of working artists. Cancelling the Festival is not a decision to be made lightly, and with 2 months until the event we believe there is time and a real need to consult with our attending creators, our partners, venues, staff and stakeholders, about how we should move forward together. We will update the public as soon as we have more information.

As always, if you have any questions you can reach out to us at contact@torontocomics.com.