We have received a number of calls and emails over the past day, asking for more details on our plan for event cancellations. We wanted to provide everyone with the same information, so we have laid it out for you here.
First and foremost, we are operating on the same guidelines as the Province of Manitoba is. We will get concerned when they close things like the Convention Center and the casinos. If the aren’t worried about those venues being open, we aren’t worried about our much smaller space.
That said, we do understand that people are wondering what will happen with their events during this time period. All of our rentals have a number of options, based on the state of the virus at the time of their event. The five options are as follows:
1) Postponing Your Event – The first option that our rentals have is to postpone their event to a later date. If you choose to do this, we will transfer the full amount of your deposit to the new date for you. Your new date must occur within six months of the date you call to postpone your event. This means that, if you called us on April 3rd to postpone your event, the new date must occur on or before October 3rd, 2020. In addition, your new date must be selected before we can fulfill your postponement request. We want to be able to provide our postponing events with the best possible selection of dates, but we do still have new rentals looking to book the spaces as well. Choosing a new date quickly is in the best interest of your party, since you will have more choices than you would if you don’t choose a date for a month after your initial call.
We cannot hold dates for groups to decide on, and we cannot guarantee that we have another space that perfectly matches your current party. Groups postponing their events may need to look at changing things like the day of the week, the time, or whether or not they have kitchen access. We are fully booked through most of the summer, we do have very limited dates to work with, especially Saturdays. For our socials, if you are planning on postponing your event, you will have to be okay with your new date being a Friday evening. We do not have any Saturdays left that are appropriate for a social, they all have events on them already. Shannon will do her best to ensure that you are found a new date that fits the needs of your individual event, but we cannot guarantee that it will be an exact match to your current event.
2) Cancelling Your Event with NO Government Legislation - As with all of our events, you are welcome to cancel your event at any time. If you do this, you will not receive a refund of your initial deposit, and are held to all rules and regulations signed when paying your deposit. This includes the cancellation policy, which requires a minimum of 48 hours’ notice to avoid additional fees. If you have prepaid any additional funds towards your event, those will be refunded to you via cheque within two weeks. We cannot have refund cheques for monies paid on balances ready sooner than that. We understand the need for some of our groups to cancel during this trying time, but we are acting as if our events are business as usual at this point in time. Please be aware that the current recommendations are not a legal mandate, and do not qualify events for a deposit refund. Events that cancel prior to government legislation being passed will not retroactively qualify for a refund of their deposit.
3) Scaling Back Your Event due to Government Legislation – If your event is one that falls above the government’s legislated number restrictions, our rentals do have the option of scaling back their parties or events to come in under the mandated numbers. For socials, we can scale back your packages at a moment’s notice. This means that you could turn your 500 person social into a 250 guest social right up to the day before the event, if the need arose. This means that you would still be able to have your event, albeit in a smaller format. We understand that a lot of time and money goes in to planning large events like birthday parties and socials, and in some cases it is better to have a smaller event than not have the event at all. Events would only be responsible for the costs of the smaller event, and would not be tied to any of the costs for the larger event.
4) Cancelling Your Event due to Government Legislation – If the government escalates their recommendations to actual legislation, groups will be able to receive a refund of their initial deposits, provided that they meet the following criteria:
a) The event must be something that would be forced to cancel due to the government legislation. If the government legislates that the maximum number of guests at an event is 250, a party of 100 would not qualify for a refund.
b) The event must occur within two weeks of the date of cancellation. This allows us to adapt to the ever-changing landscape that the virus is creating. We wish we were psychic and could tell where we would be at two months from now, but we aren’t. That means that we’re stuck playing the ‘wait and see’ game just as much as our events are.
Refunds of deposits will be done by cheque, within two weeks of the date of cancellation. We can only run our cheques every other week, we have no option to make it go faster. We will do all that we can to make sure that your cheque arrives as quickly as possible.
5) Forced Cancellations due to Building Closure – This is our most feared circumstance. Our staff are doing all that they can to remain healthy and able to run your events as planned. We cannot predict if/when our staff will become sick, and it may not ever happen. Should the worst happen, and we are forced to close the building due to illness among the staff, all rentals directly impacted by the closure will be entitled to a full refund of all pre-paid fees.
These are the only options for rentals at this point in time. We have had a lot of people calling and asking us why we won't refund their deposits due to the circumstances. Our staff are starting to feel very overwhelmed by the number of people asking for refunds and becoming upset when the staff explain that we cannot give refunds when the cancellation is optional. We are trying to give our rentals as many options as we possibly can, including scaling down their events or postponing them. We wish that we could offer our renters everything, but we can't. We are doing our best to make things right for everyone, but refunds will not be issued to voluntary cancellations at this point in time.