2020 Rotary’s Ribfest Cape Breton Postponed

April 14, 2020

CAPE BRETON, N.S – This summer’s Rotary Ribfest, originally scheduled for July 17-19th in Open Hearth Park will not be held this year. In light of the current COVID-19 crises, the decision has been made to pull in the event in the interest of public health and safety.

Already well into the planning stages, the Rotary Ribfest planning committee felt that too many uncertainties prevented the planning of a safe and successful event. “This decision was not made easily or lightly,” said Co-Chair Gord Card. “We are naturally disappointed but Rotary believes in putting community first.”

Rick McCarthy, Acting CEO of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, and one of the featured charities, said they are on board with the decision. “We, along with Caleb’s Courage, have been very fortunate to be the featured charities for this event for the past two years, and it’s been a great partnership. Like Rotarians, we believe the health and safety of our community has to be the priority, and we’ll look forward to the event in 2021.”

For the past five years, the event has been one of the summer’s most attended events. It has raised more than $300,000 for local charities and $64,000 for the four Rotary Clubs in CBRM, who sponsor the event.
We want to thank our sponsors, our volunteers, the vendors, the ribbers and of course the people of CBRM who have so enthusiastically supported us over the years,” said Gord Card. “We truly hope we can count on that same support when the event comes back in 2021.”

Rotary’s motto is ‘service above self.’ That has never been more important given today’s climate. Rotarians are asking all Cape Bretoners to stay home and stay safe. Heed the advice of public health officials, practice physical distancing and remember to be kind to one another.


The Rotary Clubs focus on contributing to projects that make a difference in communities. Members of the Rotary Clubs of CBRM (Sydney Sunrise, North Sydney, Sydney and New Waterford) have been sharing skills, resources and time to create this annual event for the past 5 years. For more information, please visit: