Camp Alexandra in Crescent Beach was to host the 46th annual Alex Fest celebration next weekend. (Lynne Kelman file photo)

Pandemic cancels 46th Annual Alex Fest in South Surrey

New accommodation program aims to help self-isolating essential workers

Pre-pandemic, officials with Alexandra Neighbourhood House in Crescent Beach would have been gearing up to welcome hundreds of people to its annual Alex Fest this Saturday (May 30).

But for what is believed to be the first time in the event’s decades-long history, that isn’t happening, as it – along with so many other events around the Lower Mainland and beyond – was cancelled due to COVID-19.

In a newsletter shared last week, ANH executive director Penny Bradley said 2020 would have been the festival’s 46th year.

READ MORE: SLIDESHOW: Alex Fest draws a crowd

Noting it has been “the heart of my work” for the 14 years she has been at the neighbourhood house, Bradley said the festival has been a local favourite, even in inclement weather – “an integral part of defining our place in community, from grassroots entertainment, to artisan wares, to engaged volunteers.”

While there was some thought to rescheduling it for the fall, “given where we are all at with COVID-19 it is a bit challenging,” Bradley told Peace Arch News by email Friday.

However, there is more to ANH than the festival, Bradley noted, and that includes programming and initiatives that have been driven by the pandemic.

Among those initiatives is one focusing on essential workers who need to self-isolate between shifts in order to continue working.

The Respite Accommodation for Essential Workers offers local frontline workers – including social workers, first responders and childcare providers – temporary, no-cost accommodation in ANH’s retreat and events centre.

The program – made possible through the Community Response Fund – requires an employer or manager referral, according to information on the organization’s website. For more information, call 604-535-0015 or visit alexhouse.net



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

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