Conditions in Yellowknife on the morning of September 23, 2023. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
The City of Yellowknife says Saturday’s planned welcome-home outdoor gathering at Somba K’e Park has been cancelled because of air quality concerns.
Residents ordered to evacuate on August 16 were allowed to come home on September 6, but the city’s air has hit the maximum – worst – rating on Canada’s air quality scale almost every day since.
Live music, entertainers, a kids’ zone and various stalls were scheduled to pop up around the Somba K’e Civic Plaza from 2-4pm on Saturday, welcoming residents home from their recent three-week-long evacuation.
Earlier on Saturday morning, the city had stated online that a call would be made about the event at 11am. “The safety of our residents, vendors, performers and staff is our priority,” the city wrote.
At 11:20am, an update read: “Due to the air quality currently in Yellowknife, the Welcome Home Gathering planned for today will be cancelled. While it’s an unfortunate outcome, the safety of everyone is our primary concern.
“Stay safe today, Yellowknife! Please stay tuned for more information about a potential future event in the coming weeks.”
City Hall is still backing a shop-local weekend with $100 gift cards available to be won. Details are on the city’s website.