Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade & annual sports tournament cancelled by Khalsa Diwan Society

VANCOUVER’S Khalsa Diwan Society (KDS) announced on Monday that it is cancelling its annual Vaisakhi Parade for the first time in its 41 years’ history.

In a statement, it said that after taking into consideration the high risk of the spread of COVID-19 in gatherings, the directives it has received from the provincial health ministry and keeping public health and safety in mind, it had decided to cancel both the Vaisakhi Parade – that had been scheduled for April 18 – and the KDS-sponsored Babar Shaheed Memorial annual sports tournament – that had been scheduled for May 16-18.

This is the first time that the sports event has been cancelled in its 55 years’ history.

The Khalsa Diwan Society said: “As both of these events take many hours of planning by the volunteers and the municipal staff, these decisions were very difficult to make. We want to thank all the volunteers, city staff from various departments and Vancouver Coastal Health for their hard work in getting ready for these events.”

It added: “All other regular functions will continue to take place at the [Ross Street] Gurdwara. During these functions the guidelines established by the Ministry of Health will be adhered to.”

The annual Surrey Vaisakhi Khalsa Parade that draws more than 500,000 guests and that had been scheduled for April 25 by Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar was cancelled on March 12 “until further notice or a significant change in the transmission of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.”