Our District’s 2020 Vision Conference in Vancouver April 24 – 26 was expected to attract upwards of 350 registrations. With great regret District leaders have cancelled the District Conference in response to BC Health Minister Adrian Dix’s announcement on March 12 that the provincial government has banned all events with more than 250 people to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including sporting events, upcoming concerts and all religious gatherings.
Our District’s commitment to ensuring the health and safety of all conference attendees includes complying with any local health advisories as they arise and making firm decisions when and if necessary as we have now done.
We did not reach this decision lightly. Some of our fellow members have invested a tremendous amount of volunteer effort, led by Conference Chair Tom Smith, to make this year’s conference a tremendous success as it was promising to be. We had an outstanding list of speakers lined up. Thank you very much to all of you for your contribution.
This conference cancellation joins those in two of nine Districts in the Rotary Pacific Northwest Zone which have cancelled their district conferences in response to advisories from their local health authorities. Those, and other Districts, have also postponed local District events due to local concerns and health advisories.
To date our District 5040 has postponed some of the “Year Ahead 2020-21” sessions and has cancelled our District’s  Friendship Exchange to Russia, postponed from last year, and RYLA North and South. The District has also issued advisories to all outbound Youth Exchange participants.
District 5040 clubs are encouraged to follow the provincial government’s directive as they see fit for meeting groups under 250, and for other events bringing groups of members and community members together. The period for these cancellations should be determined in your best judgment. The BC Ministry of Health‘s advisory on the COVID-19 virus may be helpful.
Bala Naidoo
Rotary District 5040 Governor