The Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) has cancelled the 2020 Annual Charity Golf Tournament that was set to take place later this month at St. Eugene Golf Resort.
The decision to cancel the event was made in response to ongoing concerns over potential COVID-19 transmission, according to Kathryn Teneese, the Nation Chair.
“The cancellation complies with the order of the provincial health officer on mass gatherings issued in March,” Teneese said. “We were hoping, as were many others, that the tournament could happen this year, but the pandemic has shown it has a different agenda for everyone.
“Moreover, even if we were able to organize the tournament to facilitate current physical distancing guidelines, there would be no guarantee of protecting the health of participants, resort staff and the ʔaq̓am community posed by such an influx of golfers all at once.”
Teneese said the event, which had been set for June 25th, would have been the 20th annual tournament that was originally started to bring more people to St. Eugene Golf, Resort and Casino. Over the years, the focus moved to support the Nation’s Traditional Knowledge and Language sector, which does important work in many areas, including Ktunaxa language renewal.
“The golf tournament is one of our biggest, most successful and most-loved events, as it brings people together in a spirit of camaraderie and lets us share that ‘we’re here, this is who we are, and this is how we are,” Teneese said. “It’s one of the highlights and we’re disappointed to have to call it off.”
Cindy Soukoroff, Head Golf Professional at St. Eugene, said the golf course is still open, as the resort has taken steps to ensure small parties of golfers are abiding by current guidelines.
“The course is open and we are celebrating our twentieth season,” Soukoroff said, “We encourage people to take advantage of the great course conditions to visit in small parties and practice physical distancing on the links.
“We’re hoping to be able to host larger tournaments later in the year, but that will depend on provincial guidelines.”