Canada Day celebrations in downtown Victoria have been cancelled.

The annual July 1 event that included live entertainment at the BC Legislature and fireworks from the inner harbour will not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says one major factor is the entire province being under a health order banning gatherings larger than 50 people.

“I know that no festivals this summer will be hard for many people,” said Helps.

The Canada Day Celebrations is the latest large scale event to be cancelled or postponed on Vancouver Island and likely will not be the last. The TD Victoria International JazzFest which was to happen in the days leading up to Canada Day has already cancelled for the year as has the Comox Valleys Vancouver Island MusicFest.

Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest is currently scheduled for the same week as Canada Day and organizers are currently weighing options. The inaugural Crown of Sound festival in Langford and both of Lake Cowichan’s major music festivals, Laketown Shaketown and Sunfest, are also figuring out their best way forward.