Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive experience that was planned for the city this holiday season, has been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19.
The contactless, vehicle-only drive-thru experience at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point was a 25-minute fully immersive experience made up of projections, animated lights and video screens.
The show was slated to run from Dec. 7 to 31, however, due to the latest restrictions from Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix, the event organizers say it will have to be postponed indefinitely.
“We are classified as an event, so therefore we’ve been left with no option but having to postpone,” said Graham Meckling, co-founder of Victoria Wonderland.
“Even if [Dr. Henry] was to lift the restrictions on Dec. 7, we’d still need weeks to build the event, so we’d be pushing it into the new year.”
At this point in time, Meckling said the event will have to be indefinitely postponed until more information is learned about the COVID-19 landscape in British Columbia.
According to Meckling, Victoria Wonderland had already implemented many necessary COVID-19 safety measures in preparation for the event, but new restrictions have offered no “clear way forward” to operate in the coming weeks.
“We had a 10-page COVID plan, a COVID ambassador, all those things, but we still have to respect the decisions that Bonnie Henry is making for us,” Meckling told CHEK News.
For event-goers who purchased tickets in advance, Meckling says that refund options will be made available by Dec. 7.
The Victoria Wonderland co-founder says customers will have the option for a full ticket refund or to donate a percentage of it to charity – something the event was built around.
Partner charities include Victoria Hospice, Power to Be, Make a Wish Foundation and Victoria Women’s Transition House.
Meckling says the event had already sold out, with 8,000 tickets purchased.
“My inbox has been filled with amazing people and amazing support from the city, which has been really really beautiful…some of their frustrations that the event isn’t going through, but also their positivity that there was something to be hopeful for,” Meckling added.
Victoria Wonderland was aiming at raising $60,000 for local charities, but Meckling says whatever they can manage to donate “will be a great thing regardless.”
Ticket purchasers can expect more information on refunds in the coming days.
Meckling notes that further decisions will be made following Dr. Henry’s update on restrictions, expected on Monday.
Other Chrismas season staples, including Victoria’s iconic Santa Claus light parade and truck light convoy, have already been cancelled this year due to the pandemic.