The 2020 Canadian Tire Mitchell’s Bay Open bass fishing tournament has been cancelled due to concerns with COVID-19.
“It is with painful regret, and after serious deliberation by the Mitchell’s Bay Area Association (MBAA) and the Bass Tournament Committee, and given the current Ontario Emergency Measures Regulations due to COVID- 19, a decision has been made to cancel the 7th Annual Canadian Tire Mitchell’s Bay Open scheduled for July 3, 4 and 5th, 2020,” Carol Ann Belanger and Tom Beaton, the tournament co-chairs, said in a statement posted on social media on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
“Our focus will remain on resuming the tournament in July of 2021.”
From the beginning, the tournament was designed as a community event meant to celebrate angling, showcase Mitchell’s Bay and Lake St. Clair as a prime fishing destination, promote the sponsors in this world of contingency budgets, engage and educate children through their children’s event, enhance tourism opportunities and bring the community of Mitchell’s Bay residents together, the tournament organizers said.
“It is all that we do together that makes the tournament more than just a tournament,” Belanger and Beaton said.
“In a recent meeting, members of the Tournament Committee reviewed all of the pressures that moving forward with this year’s event would place on our anglers, sponsors and volunteer compliment.”
“Firstly, our anglers. We understand that plans are made, vacation schedules and accommodations are arranged and that sponsors look forward to your tournament participation. We felt we needed to take a proactive stand on the pressures and considerations facing you and rather than wait to make a last minute call, it was in the best interest of all to give as much notice as possible.”
Information regarding the 2020 entry fees refund and having a place in the 2021 tournament will be posted shortly on the Mitchell’s Bay Open website at mitchellsbayopen.com.
“Secondly our sponsors. Many, if not all of our sponsors, are realizing a huge down turn in business. Revenues are down if not gone all together. Staff are being laid off and/or working under pressure in today’s medical crisis. Knowing our sponsors personally, we understand that it pains you to see how this pandemic has affected your employees,” Belanger and Beaton said.
“We are very fortunate to have a sound core of enthusiastic and supportive sponsors for this event. The last thing we want to ask of you is to support us financially this year. We felt that it was only right to respect your situation in this time of emergency measures and give you the time and space to deal with and recover from this extenuating circumstance.”
Belanger and Beaton added: “Finally, our volunteers. Without our 50 plus volunteers, the scope of our tournament would not be what it is. We take so much pride in hosting a tournament that sets itself apart from many other events. Our Angler’s Dinner, our Children’s Program, the compilation of our Tournament Booklet, the work of our photographers and the offering of support and assistance during the tournament are all designed to maximize the experience at the CTMBO. The scope and success of the CTMBO would be quite different if it were not for this greater experience and all of you.”
Tournament organizer said a quick review of the list of their volunteers reveals that most are retirees.
“Your health and safety is a priority to us,” Belanger and Beaton said.
“We are saddened by the cancellation of the 2020 tournament and hope that you can understand the necessity of making this decision at the present time. We welcome any comments you may have in regards to this announcement. We look forward to working together to host many more successful events in the future in what will be a changed world.”