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The Supercrawl cancellation is another disappointment in the year of COVID-19 cancellations

Community events are an important part of fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion in cities big or small. These events bring together people from all walks of life. Community events are often where many beloved traditions and treasured memories are created. 

In Hamilton, one of the largest community events is Supercrawl. However, on June 17, Supercrawl announced that due to COVID-19 it would be cancelling the festival which had been scheduled to happen in early September. 

On social media, many have also expressed relief that Supercrawl is willing to do their part to keep the community safe. However, it is still disappointing as the multi-arts festival is near and dear to the hearts of many Hamiltonians. 

For many first-year students, Supercrawl is their introduction to Hamilton and its art community, and an opportunity for them to connect with their peers.

“I went to Supercrawl last year, so in my first year at McMaster . . .  I found it to be a really great opportunity to get to know the Hamilton community and the art community. I feel like I got to see a lot of really, really cool performances and art pieces. It was just a really great opportunity to experience Hamilton culture . . . I think a lot of people in the McMaster community actually really love Supercrawl. I remember in my first year when it was coming up, a bunch of professors and a bunch of upper-years were really encouraging us to go,” said Andrea Chang, a second-year arts & science student.

I think a lot of people in the McMaster community actually really love Supercrawl. Like I remember in my first-year when it was coming up, a bunch of professors and a bunch of upper-years were really encouraging us to go,” said Andrea Chang, a second-year arts & science student.

Supercrawl’s organizers have opted to run a series of alternate events beginning Sept. 24, 2020 and continuing through to March 2021. When these events are scheduled to take place in person, there will be a cap on the number of attendees, who will all be screened prior to entry, expected to wear masks and instructed to respect physical distancing protocols. 

The first of these events, running from Sept. 24–27, is a ticketed concert series featuring Tim Hicks, Jessica Mitchell, Lee Harvey Osmond, Choir! Choir! Choir! and Skratch Bastid, among others. Supercrawl organizers will be setting up a temporary open-air venue for the event, at the top of the York Boulevard Parkade in downtown Hamilton. Both the concert performers and concert-goers are grateful and excited to still experience a little bit of Supercrawl.

However, due to the academic year being entirely online, many McMaster students are not in Hamilton and will likely not be able to attend any of the alternate events. For students, the cancellation of Supercrawl reflects the much larger sense of community that the pandemic has deprived them of.

[I]t’s disappointing to not have community events in Hamilton the same way anymore. But I also think that that kind of just translates to everything else that the McMaster community is facing. We’re stripped of in-person community in a whole host of ways and this is just one of them,” said Chang. 

[I]t’s disappointing to not have community events in Hamilton the same way anymore. But I also think that that kind of just translates to everything else that the McMaster community is facing. We’re stripped of in-person community in a whole host of ways and this is just one of them,” said Chang.

Community is an essential component to wellbeing and has typically been formed through in-person interactions. In larger cities, community-wide events like Supercrawl, often play a key role in facilitating these interactions and connections. However, by causing events like these to be put on hold, the pandemic continues to isolate students from their communities.

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