COVID-19 Update

April 23, 2020

Dear Friends of Fur-Eh!

On March 12, we issued guidance regarding the status of Fur-Eh! 2020 in light of the COVID-19 crisis. At that time, we indicated that we would make a final decision regarding whether our event would go forward with an announcement on May 1, 2020.

Since mid-March, things have changed rapidly with new and expanded restrictions on public and private gatherings. Many, many people also have been affected by closure of business considered non-essential. We have been monitoring these developments closely and our staff recently met looking at options regarding Fur-Eh! 2020.

As we have stated previously, the health and safety of our Guests, Staff, and Volunteers is always our top priority.

For that reason, we are saddened to announce that we will not be holding Fur-Eh! in 2020.

To answer just some of the questions you must have, we are happy to provide you with further details below.

Q: Why are you cancelling now and not waiting longer?
A: Recent comments by public health officials and government officials lead us to believe that the current physical distancing guidelines are likely to last for an extended period. Even if the restrictions are lifted by the end of May, we believe that there is too much uncertainty to be able to hold an event of our size in mid-June. By cancelling the event now, we are giving everyone the opportunity to cancel their hotel & travel reservations (if applicable) without having to rush to do so. As well, this allows us more time to process the disposition of all registrations for Fur-Eh! 2020.

Q: Why did you not just postpone to a later date this year?
A: We had limited options as far as dates available to move Fur-Eh! 2020 to. While there was a date that may have worked for us, the concern was that there is a strong possibility that even if the current social distancing measures are relaxed by mid-summer, that a re-introduction of such measures could occur at any time. There was simply too much uncertainly to allow for us to hold the event when so many of our attendees come from outside of Edmonton and must make travel arrangements. Furthermore, we are mindful that there are other furry conventions still scheduled for August including two fellow Canadian conventions. Out of respect to them, we would not wish to move our event to a date that conflicts with theirs.

Q: What will be your new dates in 2021?
A: We have tentatively moved Fur-Eh! into July of 2021. Currently, we are scheduled for July 15-18, 2021.

Q: I’ve already registered and paid for Fur-Eh! 2020. What do I do now?
A: As a default action, anyone who has already paid for their registration will have their registration carried over to FurEh! 2021. We are offering two additional options for all our previously paid registrants. If you prefer one of the below options, be sure to let us know by completing our form located here.

  1. A full refund. This will be processed as a refund to your original method of payment (via PayPal) whenever possible. If not, we will issue refund by other means including Interac Email Transfer (for Canadian residents). We expect to process any refunds within 45 days from today.
  2. You may also donate your registration to Fur-Eh! ensuring our continued ability to hold events for our wonderful attendees! As with other events of our type, some expenses have already been incurred for 2020. While Fur-Eh! does have a contingency fund to help cover these costs, any donations will be greatly appreciated and used to stabilize our contingency fund. We will also be donating 20% of every donated registration to our charity partner, Underdogs Rescue Society as their ability to hold fundraisers has been severely limited due to Covid-19.

Q: I’m a Dealer. How will I be looked after?
A: On the form mentioned, there will be a separate section just for you. As with the event registration options above, you’ll be able to carry over your table fees and registration as a credit towards next year, get a full refund or donate your fees to Fur-Eh! If you were accepted as a vendor for Fur-Eh! 2020, you will automatically be given a spot in Fur-Eh! 2021 if you still want it even if you do request a refund.

Q: How do I cancel my hotel reservation?
A: If you registered to stay at the Edmonton Inn in our room block (either online or by phone), you will not have to do anything. Your reservation will automatically be cancelled. If, however, you did NOT book in our room block you must request a cancellation yourself.

Q: How do I cancel my travel reservation?
A: All airlines and most other transportation providers have instituted flexible cancellation and/or change policies as a result of the COVID-19 situation. Please contact your travel provider directly or, if you booked your travel through a thirdparty travel booking site (e.g.: Expedia, Flight Hub), please contact them.

Q: How does this affect our charity partner, Underdogs Rescue Society?
A: We are Underdogs single largest source of donations on an annual basis. This cancellation will surely affect their ability to help dogs in need. We highly encourage donating to Underdogs directly by visiting their website at http://www.underdogsrescue.com. As mentioned above, we are donating 20% from each registration that is donated to us to them. We are also investigating conducting an online fundraiser for Underdogs later this year.

Q: What does this mean for our Guest of Honour, NicNak?
A: We want to thank NicNak for everything she has done for us already this year. We would be pleased to have NicNak return as one of our Guests of Honour for Fur-Eh! 2021 and she has indicated that she is available to join us then.

Q: Will you carry over your theme (Mardi Paws) to 2021?
A: Yes! If nothing else, we know you’ll all want to celebrate the return of Fur-Eh! next year and we can’t think of a better way to do so than to continue our theme of Mardi Paws into 2021.

Q: I was an approved panelist. What happens to my panel submission?
A: Thank you for submitting your panels previously. We will have a new programming submission form open for 2021 at a later date. All 2020 submissions will be cancelled.

Q: I applied to be a DJ. What happens to my application?
A: Thank you for applying to be a DJ previously. We will have a new DJ Application form open for 2021 at a later date. All 2020 submissions will be cancelled.

Q: I entered the Dance Competition. What happens to my entry?
A: As nothing had been decided regarding the Dance Competition, all entries will be cancelled and you will need to re-apply when the Dance Competition entry form opens again.

Q: I applied to be a volunteer. What happens to volunteers?
A: Volunteers help make Fur-Eh! possible and are valued members of the Fur-Eh! family. Any volunteers who have already applied to be a volunteer will be contacted at a later date to see if they are available for our new dates in 2021. As well, there are potentially other opportunities to volunteer including our Christmas Party which we hope will still go ahead in December.

Q: Will this be the end of Fur-Eh!?
A: Absolutely not. Fur-Eh! is more than just one event or just one person. Fur-Eh! has the fortune of being able to use our contingency fund to ensure the continued success of our organization so that we can continue to bring you a world-class event. (You can help top up that contingency fund by donating your registration rather than rolling over or requesting a refund.) We also have a sense of community that many cons do not have. In our Telegram chat, for example, we have over 450 members which is more than many chats for conventions significantly larger than ours. This is a testament to our attendees and we thank you for your year-round support and engagement.

As well, we are planning on holding a “Town Hall” session where you can ask questions directly to Thallanor, our Convention Chair and bcbreakaway, our Guest Experience Manager. This will be an opportunity to ask questions not included above that may be of particular interest to you and we’ll do our best to answer all questions. There will be an online form to ask questions and get answers in advance and, during the Town Hall, we’ll get to as many of your questions as we can. More details on this to come!

We have two favours to ask of you:

  1. Please follow the direction of our public health officials when they ask you to practice social distancing measures. The available science indicates that the best way to get our lives all back to a sense of normalcy is to break the chain of transmission of the virus. And, the best way to do that is to stay away from other people as best as you can. This will not only protect your own health, but it protects the health of everyone else, particularly the most vulnerable. Plus, it will help to ensure that our hospitals are not overwhelmed which is good for everyone!
  2. Please be kind to one another. Check in remotely on your friends and those who maybe feeling socially isolated. Understand that many people are under extreme stress currently, unsure of their financial situation, their health or the health of their family members or their job prospects. Take a moment to reach out to those who have few social contacts to make sure they’re okay. If we all take care of one another, we can get through this together.

Be safe, stay healthy and we’ll see you soon.


Regards,
The Board of Canadian Anthropomorphics Inc. Edmonton, AB

Connect With Us