Original Article Chatham Daily News www.chathamdailynews.ca
Published on: April 21, 2020 | Last Updated: April 21, 2020 2:34 PM EDT
With what organizers are calling “painful regret,” the seventh annual Canadian Tire Mitchell’s Bay Open slated for July 3-5 has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Mitchell’s Bay Area Association and the Bass Tournament Committee made the decision, which was announced on Tuesday, based on the current provincial emergency measures. The focus will be on resuming the tournament in July 2021.
A media release on its Facebook page, signed by tournament co-chairs Carol Ann Belanger and Tom Beaton, stated the event celebrates angling, showcases Mitchell’s Bay and Lake St. Clair as a prime fishing destination, promotes sponsors, engages and educate children, enhances tourism, and brings the community together.
As for the decision being made in April, organizers noted that participants make plans, such as arranging vacation schedules and accommodations.
“We felt we needed to take a proactive stand on the pressures and considerations facing you and, rather than wait to make a last-minute call, it was in the best interest of all to give as much notice as possible,” the release stated.
Information regarding entry fee refunds and the 2021 tournament will be posted soon on the Mitchell’s Bay Open website at mitchellsbayopen.com.
Organizers cited the importance of the event’s sponsors and the financial impacts they’ve suffered, along with their staff.
“The last thing we want to ask of you is to support us financially this year,” the release stated. “We felt that it was only right to respect your situation in this time of emergency measures, and give you the time and space to deal with and recover from this extenuating circumstance.”
More than 50 volunteers are involved in the many facets of tournament, such as the angler’s dinner, children’s program and tournament booklet.
“We are saddened by the cancellation of the 2020 tournament and hope that you can understand the necessity of making this decision at the present time,” organizers stated.
“We look forward to working together to host many more successful events in the future in what will be a changed world.”