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Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier perform during the closing gala at the Skate Canada International in Kelowna, B.C., on Oct. 27, 2019.

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Skate Canada International has been cancelled amid concern of rising COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

The Grand Prix event was scheduled for Oct. 30-31 in Ottawa in front of no fans, but the decision was made to scrap the competition in consultation with the City of Ottawa and the provincial government on Wednesday.

Skate Canada CEO Debra Armstrong said with the recent 28-day shutdown of recreational facilities, among other venues that host large gatherings in the province’s hot spots including Ottawa, and the “continuous shift in requirements across the country,” it became clear it wouldn’t be possible to host the event.

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Skate Canada International is one of six Grand Prix events around the world that kick off the figure skating season. The Grand Prix circuit has become primarily domestic competitions due to travel restrictions around the global pandemic, and therefore only open to skaters who live and train in the host countries.

It would have been the first competition for Canadian skaters since COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the world championships in Montreal, just days before they were scheduled to open on March 16.

Ontario reported 807 new cases on Monday and 746 on Tuesday, the third-highest count of cases in the province since the global pandemic began.

“This year is unlike any year before and we’ve seen significant challenges on the operation of competitive events due to the global pandemic,” Armstrong said in a statement.

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