Organizers behind the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) have revealed that the future of the beloved Toronto fair is in jeopardy after cancelling this year’s event resulted in a whopping $6 million loss.
Organizers said that the the CNE suffered a “significant financial loss” when they cancelled the 18-day event because of COVID-19. “On any other Labour Day weekend, the CNE would typically be drawing out record crowds during its final stretch, packed with visitors soaking in the last days of summer and Air Show fans lining the lakeshore,” a news release explained.
The CNE also experienced an estimated 95 per cent drop in projected revenue, making for over $35 million lost in earnings after the cancellation.
CNE’s future in doubt after $6 million loss https://t.co/ua5qxOVQX0
— Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) September 3, 2020
The CNE has only ever been cancelled one other time in its 142-year run, and it was cancelled because of the Second World War.
“Government relief programs have largely excluded fairs, exhibitions, and agricultural societies, and have not considered the unique challenges of our industry – most important of which is that fairs rely on 90+ per cent of its annual revenue on a few days or months of the year,” executive director of the CNE Darrell Brown explains.
Organizers revealed that the CNE is trying to secure a business loan to “bridge the financial gap,” as non-profit organization The CNE Association would not be able to cover its annual operating costs through 2021 without it.