TEXADA ISLAND, B.C. – The cancellation of Diversity Festival on Texada Island has been confirmed.
“When I last spoke with the event organizer, he indicated he would not be applying to host Diversity (Festival) in 2019, but either way Rec Sites and Trails has made the decision that we will not authorize the festival at Shingle Beach in the future,” said Jessica McKierahan, a recreation officer for Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.
Rec Sites and Trails B.C. is a branch of the provincial government’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.
“Our primary concern being the safety of the public,” McKierahan said, speaking on the event’s cancellation.
Last summer, a 23-year-old Prince Rupert woman died at Shingle Beach after an apparent drowning. McKierahan said that fatality was the second one in “the past several years”.
“We decided the site is just not suitable for safely hosting such a large event. It’s located in an area with several natural hazards, ocean cliffs, fast-flowing currents and at a considerable distance from the nearest hospital,” she explained.
She added that organizers were quite concerned about the festival after last summer’s tragedy.
“When I mentioned that Rec Sites and Trails would not be looking at authorizing Diversity Festival again, they were okay with that decision,” McKierahan said.
She added that any new location for a future Diversity Festival would have to be approved by the appropriate land manager.
As of now, the festival is not on the schedule for 2019.