© Times-Herald file photo by Katie Brickman
The 431 Air Demostration Squadron, the Snowbirds, took flight on July 4, 2013 as part of Sidewalk Days in Moose Jaw.
The Snowbirds will only be performing shows north of the border this year.
“It comes down to money,” said Capt. Thomas Edelson, Snowbirds spokesman.
The team had its yearly flying rate hours reduced for this current fiscal year. As a result, four shows in the United States were cancelled.
“We had to look at where and how we can use the hours that we were given. Naturally, it’s a priority to stay in Canada,” Edelson said.
Shows are usually planned more than a year in advance. Until the release of the final schedule, shows are only tentative.
“It’s really unfortunate the American shows learned about it fairly close to their season. We’ve always had a great time going down to the States. It’s always been a highlight of the season,” Edelson said.
The Canadian Press confirmed that 10 days ago the Snowbirds cancelled a September show in Oregon.
He said there are new members of the team who haven’t been on the road and will miss that experience.
Edelson said the budget cuts don’t influence any other aspect of the Snowbirds’ season. “It’s a very small percentage. It’s four shows, at the beginning and at the end (of the season),” Edelson said. “We still have all our Canadian shows. It’s in the neighbourhood of close to 30 locations in Canada during the summer, so we still have a very full season. We’ll just get on and make the most of it.”
Edelson expected the finalized schedule will be released this week.