The health and safety of our attendees, volunteers, speakers, sponsors, and staff are of the utmost importance to FITC. For that reason, we’ve made the very difficult decision to cancel the April FITC Toronto 2020 event. We are unable to proceed with the event as planned.
We did not come to this decision lightly. For the last 20 years, we’ve put our everything into bringing the design and tech community together, and it all started here in Toronto with the first event in 2002. Every year, we work tirelessly to honour our commitment to bring our flagship event to life, giving a stage to homegrown talent and global change-makers. But with each day brings more news that tells us there is no way forward with this event, including today's: 'Ontario's top health official recommends events with over 250 people be cancelled' - https://bit.ly/2U7f8Of
At this time, we cannot realistically reschedule it to a later date for many reasons; the largest one is we have no way of knowing what the COVID-19 situation will be for Toronto and the world in the coming months.
We've had to make some tough decisions this week, including laying off 50% of our already small team, and we've been in meetings with banks, the Hilton, our landlord, our accountant, our insurance company (no, we don't have pandemic insurance) and every sponsor and company we work with. It has been an unbelievable week.
We have been overwhelmed with support all around. We are humbled and in debt to so many people who have helped us through the crisis this week, who have all agreed to work through this with us over the coming months. It's been an incredibly emotional time for all of us here at FITC.
As we look for a way forward to continue on, we ask for your understanding as we navigate this unprecedented and unexpected change, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We know we are not the only company or industry to be impacted by this virus, and we hope that you all see as much support and goodwill as we've seen this week.
Shawn Pucknell, Director
and the entire FITC crew