Travel is still restricted across provincial and international borders, but the International Peace Garden is holding out hope that they'll get to see more Canadian visitors soon.

The Mother’s Day weekend is traditionally the kick-off weekend for the International Peace Garden (IPG) but because of COVID-19, Canadian visitors won’t be making the trip to the popular tourist spot south of Boissevain.

CEO Tim Chapman hopes enough people can get vaccinated so the Canada-United States border can re-open. He says that is crucial to getting the much-needed Canadian visitors back to the IPG.

“We have our brunch this Sunday but because of the situation, we aren’t anticipating any Canadians. We are still eager and waiting for things to get better so we can see our Manitoba friends as soon as possible.”

Chapman says it’s disappointing especially for the workers at the Peace Garden who are working hard to get the facility ready for another season. “It’s strange not seeing a lot of the regulars especially the folks from places like Boissevain, who spend a lot of time here and some of them we haven’t seen for more than a year. It’s strange but there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.”

More people are getting vaccinated and Chapman says that alone gives Peace Garden officials more optimism that things are getting back to normal and Canadian will be allowed across the border sometime this summer.

“We haven’t heard anything official but we are turning a corner. The IPG is looking great but we have a ways to go. Obviously we wont put any flowers in the ground until early June or maybe the last week of May.”

Seasonal staff is starting to join the Peace Garden work force and Chapman says they will carry a full compliment and that will be around 50 workers coming from both sides of the border.