Mayfest Postponed

Image description and transcript for the video “Update on OAD- Mayfest 2020”

[Image description: Donald Prong is wearing a black shirt with OAD Logo. He is wearing glasses and is in front of a grey background. He will be signing in the whole video]

Donald Prong: Hello everyone - Deaf Ontarians! Today is week 2 - March 23, 2020.

Last week was the first week of having many people staying at home Businesses, organizations, and services were also were closing with staff told to work at home.

I also did a vlog to update on what OAD was doing. I also mentioned that we were unsure about what will happen with Mayfest until March 23.

As you are aware, Mayfest is a large social event Medical experts are advising that with social distancing, we need to stay two metres away from each other. Of course, it is impossible to stay two metres away from each other so we have decided to suspend the event. Mayfest on May 8 and 9 is cancelled and will be postponed.

As for postponing the event, we don't know the details yet as we are still communicating with the venue, which is Mattamy Sports Centre that is under Ryerson University They announced last week that all of their classes and facilities are closed and closed to the public. They plan to provide online classes that will continue to the end of the semester, which will finish sometime in May. With Mayfest being on May 8-9, it's not possible to proceed.

We do feel disheartened about this, as the previous Mayfest last year was our 45th with this event happening for the first time in 1974 and taking place every year since then as a safe Deaf space for us to get together to feel good, interact with old friends and participate in various ongoings such as checking out different crafts, art and exhibits. Basically, it's about being in our own world.

So for the first time, we are putting on hold the 46th Mayfest but we feel this decision to be appropriate in our fight to beat COVID-19 by having people stay at home to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Some of you have said May is still some time in the future, which is true, but it is hard to know for sure about what it will look like in May, it is best to decide now to cancel it. It's the safe thing to do.

Thank you for watching this brief announcement.

We certainly will keep you updated if there is a new date or any new information regarding Mayfest.

Thank you.