Outdoor rodeos may have a path forward to action later on this spring and into the summer. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Outdoor rodeos may have a path forward to action later on this spring and into the summer. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Rodeos may return this summer with limited fans

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association is hoping to move ahead with the 2021 rodeo season.

On its website, the members say they have had positive conversations with Alberta Health and the province about rodeo returning – potentially with fans this summer.

According to the CPRA release, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw indicated that between April and May, there will be no fans allowed.

In late May, rodeos can expect 15 per cent of seating capacity to a maximum of 100 fans outdoors. By late June, they could have 50 per cent of fixed seating capacity to a maximum of 500 fans outdoors and 15 per cent of fixed seating capacity to a maximum of 100 fans indoors.

In late July, capacity restrictions could be lifted.

“Efforts to work with the Alberta government and health authorities to move ahead with a return to Rodeo competition – hopefully with a live audience before long – are progressing as well. Messaging from the government is becoming a little more optimistic as we move toward summer,” the release notes.

The CPRA approves 55 events annually.

A rodeo event not associated with the CPRA has been planned later this month in Bowden. A Facebook post by Northcott Rodeo Inc. on March 26, indicates Bowden will be home to a “No More Lockdowns Rodeo Rally” on the last weekend of April.

The event boasts three days of rodeo action.

Currently, sporting events are not permitted under the provincial government’s path forward plan.

According to the province’s reopening plan, Step 4, which will take place when the province has 150 or declining hospitalizations, includes sporting events, tradeshows, concerts and other big gatherings. Alberta is currently in Step 2 of its phased reopening plan.