The 2021 Fleece to Fashion Awards Gala event, which was due to be held at Deeargee Woolshed, at Uralla, has been cancelled.
Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions in place, Fleece to Fashion chairman Lachlan Fulloon of Cressbrook Merinos Armidale said the board had taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 event as COVID-19 restrictions placed significant uncertainty for the organisation.
But he said the pandemic had proven how important events like this were for regional tourism in a statement released on Wednesday morning.
"Our gala event seeks to bring together several hundred patrons from all over the country to celebrate the compelling story of Australian merino wool production and its esteemed presence within the top fashion and textile manufacturing capitals across the world," Mr Fulloon said.
"This is no easy feat during a global pandemic."
Mr Fulloon said they had hoped that by this stage in the year, the COVID-19 restrictions may have relaxed somewhat, allowing events like theirs to proceed in a normal fashion.
"We believe the right thing to do is to refocus our attention on the 2022 awards and look to hold a most impressive celebration of wool fashion here in the New England, when guests, sponsors, entrants, and the wider agricultural and wool fashion community can gather in person as we had always intended," he said.
The Fleece to Fashion team remains dedicated to bringing a superb event to life in 2022.
Mr Fulloon said there has been a great deal of enthusiasm in Fleece to Fashion's proposed black tie gala 'night of nights' in the famous Deeargee Woolshed, which will remain a drawcard for next year's awards.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has proven just how important events like ours are for regional tourism, bringing visitors to the beautiful New England and promoting what is on offer here," he said.
"As wool producers, to encourage demand for our wonderful product, wool fashion events are so important to promote the many facets of wool as a fibre to work with.
"Watch this space for an announcement on our 2022 gala event."
The Fleece to Fashion board of directors would like to sincerely thank its sponsors and entrants, past and present, for their understanding of this unique set of circumstances impacting the organisation and wider industry.
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