Hay River’s annual music, arts and cultural festival will not take place this summer, according to a statement from the organizers.

The Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise confirmed in a news release on June 9 that the Hay Days Festival will not be taking place this year due to a decline in active membership in the club.

“Following four very successful, exciting and expanding festivals, it is with heavy hearts that the management committee of Hay Days Festival — ‘the South Slave’s premiere music, arts and cultural festival’ — have made the decision to postpone hosting the next festival until 2023,” the statement reads. “This additional time will allow the Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise to actively recruit new membership and fill a number of key management roles that were vacated earlier this year.”

The club says the decrease in membership is due to multiple factors, including aging demographics, Covid-19 restrictions that discouraged and complicated community involvement and vacant management roles. In particular, the club’s president, Peter Magill, passed away in April.

“The management committee has unwavering pride and belief in this festival and the benefits brought to the community and region as a whole, and with that in mind wants to ensure the same diverse and high quality series of events for future celebrations,” the June 9 statement reads. “This gap year will prepare and bring all committee members up to speed with the organizational, financial and personnel requirements required for continued success in the future.”

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