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Continued closure of Fort Gibraltar causing changes for soon to be married couples

The closure of Fort Gibraltar following the collapse of an elevated walkway that sent 16 students and one teacher to hospital has left some couples scrambling to find a place to get married.

The fort was closed indefinitely after 17 people were injured during a school field trip. Now, the fort's caterer says they've been working around the clock to find new venues for their clients.

Shawn Brandson runs the catering business at the fort, hosting multiple weddings a week. He said what happened last week was traumatic for everyone.

Following the incident, he thought the area of the fort they use for weddings would be back open. That wasn't the case.

"We should be fine because it's not out area, it's the palisade," Brandson originally thought about the closure.

The weddings that were planned for last week were moved with little notice.

"Not knowing when we can re-enter into our space is a little stressful."

With the venue not reopening, Brandson began to scramble, looking for new venues to host weddings for his clients.

He was able to move two weddings to the St. Norbert's Art Centre, with only 24 and 48 hours until the couples walked the aisle.

"Completely bare bones, so we had to actually move our full kitchen, move all our staff, move all the food. Move everything."

For bride Desiree Penner, she said panic set in for a few minutes.

"Our first reaction was concern for the kids. We have a ten-year-old and we're teachers," she said.

Following the shock, she had to plan a wedding for the next day at different venue, across the city.

After dealing with some panic, she was able to call and re-route guests and decorations were put up.

"It was more beautiful then you can imagine. We are so grateful, the work that they did," said Penner.

Brandson said some clients have had to postpone or cancel their plans because of the closure and he has given back retainers which are supposed to be non-refundable.

"If we're closed for much longer, you know, another month or two months, it will probably put us into bankruptcy," said Brandson.

Festival du Voyageur, who leases the fort from the city, said there is no update at this time on when it could reopen. Top Stories


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