Due to low winter precipitation, organizers have pulled the plug on the Puntledge River Paddle Festival, scheduled for later this month.
Posting on their Facebook page, organizer David Prothero said the decision was made as there is no rain in the forecast leading up to the event.
“This is a hard call as the Puntledge is a great river, but (we made the decision) in the interest of the community and water conservation. We hope for the next winter to (be) kinder with more snow on the hills, thus more water.”
The festival was scheduled for May 29-31.
BC Hydro works with the festival, ensuring the timing of the planned spill is part of water level management, not just for the festival but also to aid fish habitat.
Stephen Watson, stakeholder engagement and communications officer for BC Hydro on Vancouver Island, said he was first made aware of the cancellation when contacted by The Record, but added he will be meeting with organizers later this week.
“Our system is at 20 per cent capacity; we’re not getting any water in the reservoir – it’s full but we still essentially have another month to go,” he explained.
“We’re pursuing other avenues … it’s a challenging situation.”
Watson confirmed the festival has never been cancelled, and even went ahead last year, which was the driest year on record.
For more information, visit the Puntledge River Paddle Festival 2015’s Facebook page.