SASKATOON -- After more than 63 years, the German Cultural Centre in Saskatoon has made the decision to close indefinitely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of people have expressed a sense of loss on the centre’s Facebook page, and the closure is creating a ripple effect on events and the event planning industry.

“We've been in business for 22 years so we have done multiple events there so we're really sad to see it close,” said Crystal MacLeod, owner of RSVP Event Design in Saskatoon.

The centre was a popular setting for weddings, with a capacity reaching up to 600 people, and MacLeod says the closure is causing new booking issues to go with the ones created by the pandemic.

“There's some venues that are booked solid for 2021, you can't find a Saturday so people are moving to Fridays and Sunday afternoons and we even have one client book a Tuesday wedding, because they just really wanted to get married in this year, and they just couldn't find an available venue.”

The effects of the closure will be felt longterm, MacLeod said, because the German Cultural Centre was one of a kind in Saskatoon.

“It had a little bit of a small-town hall feel in the city, which is great,” she said. “

“Some people are looking for that experience of just being it a little bit more small town. They have great food there, maybe back to that downhome Ukrainian—they serve great pirogies and cabbage rolls and things like that, and not a lot of venues offer that in Saskatoon, so it does leave a gap in the market for that type of wedding and that type of client.”