CANSEC 2020 Cancelled Because of COVID-19
(April 1, 2020) The military equipment trade show, CANSEC 2020, has been cancelled because of novel coronavirus.
The show was expected to attract around 12,000 visitors to the EY Centre in Ottawa. CANSEC 2020, organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries or CADSI, was supposed to take place in May 27-28.
CADSI president Christyn Cianfarani said Tuesday that CANSEC will proceed next year. That event will take place June 2-3, 2021, she added.
In the past, CADSI organizers have boasted CANSEC attracts thousands of Canadian government representatives and military personnel, as well as hundreds of VIPs, including generals, Canadian senators and cabinet ministers. In addition, delegations from around the world attend.
“It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our businesses, communities and our families close to home and around the globe,” Cianfarani said in a statement. “Today, I announce that we have made the difficult decision not to host CANSEC in 2020. As a result, we are now working hard to make CANSEC 2021 — which will take place June 2 and 3 at Ottawa’s EY Centre — the best CANSEC ever.”
Cianfarani acknowledged her decision took longer than CADSI members and CANSEC exhibitors had hoped for. “We took the time necessary to explore every possible option with the City of Ottawa, our partners, contractors, and suppliers to mitigate losses to our community and secure the long-term viability of CANSEC, which needs these partners and suppliers to be successful,” she added.
CADSI brings in around $10 million into the Ottawa economy.
Cianfarani told this newspaper March 12 that CADSI intended to proceed with CANSEC 2020 because of the interest in the trade show.
As a result the organization, World Beyond War, started a letter-writing campaign calling for the cancellation of the trade show. “Weapons dealers should not risk the health of the people of Ottawa in order to market, buy, and sell weapons of war, endangering the lives of people around the world with violence and conflict,” it noted.
Cianfarani said a second CADSI-sponsored conference about defence procurement, originally set for April 7-9, will be postponed until sometime in the fall.
Other military related events and conferences have also been cancelled or postponed because of the pandemic.
The European Union delegation to Canada cancelled its March 24 security and defence symposium in Ottawa because of COVID-19.
Canadian Army commander Lt. Gen. Wayne Eyre also canceled the Army Ball, a military social event held each year in Gatineau. It was supposed to have taken place on April 4.
Air force commander Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger postponed the inaugural Royal Canadian Air Force Ball, which was to have taken place in Ottawa on March 28.
A number of international defence and aerospace trade shows have also been cancelled because of the pandemic. Those include Eurosatory which was to be held in France June 8-12 and draws more than 100,000 visitors and participants and the Farnborough Air Show in July which attracts more than 200,000 visitors.
Important Notice about CANSEC 2020
OTTAWA (March 31, 2020) — Christyn Cianfarani, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, today issued the following statement regarding CANSEC 2020.
It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our businesses, communities and our families close to home and around the globe. Over the last few weeks, CADSI has been working hard to determine what this means for our community and the events we produce for you.
Today, I announce that we have made the difficult decision not to host CANSEC in 2020. As a result, we are now working hard to make CANSEC 2021 — which will take place June 2 and 3 at Ottawa’s EY Centre — the best CANSEC ever.
CADSI staff have begun reaching out to our members, specifically exhibit managers and sponsor reps, as well as partners and suppliers to provide details on next steps. Please stay tuned to your inboxes for more information. If you do have questions, please email email@example.com.
We are all hands-on deck to manage your inquiries, but it may take us a few days to get back to you. Please continue to be patient with us and we will respond to every inquiry as soon as we can.
As you can imagine, this was a difficult but necessary decision. We know how important CANSEC is to our members, to our government and military partners, and to the broader defence and security community. It’s more than a trade show; it’s a time for us to come together as one and strengthen the community tasked with keeping Canada and the world safe.
We also understand that this decision has taken longer to make than some would have liked. Let me share why. CANSEC is a large event with many moving parts. It has a $10 million impact on the local Ottawa economy and provides significant revenue for dozens of loyal suppliers that are struggling to deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19. Many of them are small businesses that rely on CANSEC as a key source of income. We took the time necessary to explore every possible option with the City of Ottawa, our partners, contractors, and suppliers to mitigate losses to our community and secure the long-term viability of CANSEC, which needs these partners and suppliers to be successful.
We also took the time to think about our membership and the struggles it will face over the coming months. CADSI’s prudent plans and budgets in recent years have placed us on a solid financial foundation for the situation we find ourselves in today. For this reason — and for the good of our community, our suppliers and our members — CADSI will refund 100% of CANSEC purchases paid by members to CADSI (e.g. sponsorship, exhibits, meeting suites), while respecting timely payments to our suppliers.
Irrespective of whether CADSI will incur losses and changes to our business as a result of this decision, our commitment to our members remains the same. We are doubling down as the best advocates we can be for you in these tough times. We are also working hard to make CANSEC 2021 the best CANSEC ever.
Thank you to all stakeholders who came to the table in the spirit of partnership as we made this decision, and to our members for your patience and understanding in this time of uncertainty. Many of you have been busy contributing to Canada’s response to COVID-19 here at home and around the world. You have made us proud, and we cannot wait to reconnect with you — in person — at CANSEC 2021.
Christyn Cianfarani, President & CEO, CADSI
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