August 14.2020 BRANDON, MB – The Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Manitoba Ag Ex.which was scheduled for the last week of October 2020.
“The health and safety of our community is of the utmost importance,” said Greg Crisanti, President.
Due to the current health concerns related to the global pandemic of COVID-19, as well as the provincially mandated regulations for public health and safety, the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba made this difficult decision.
Already having to cancel the Flagship event, Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, and Manitoba Summer Fair, as well as Midway Madness and numerous events in the Dome Building, our board decided this is the most fiscally and socially responsible action to take at this time. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic some hard decisions were made to change the format of Ag Ex for 2020, but we remained cautiously optimistic we would be able to proceed with some form of livestock show for Manitoba Ag Ex. We have worked closely with other fairs and our exhibitors to monitor the situation and adjust plans as we could. The current evolving situation and the regulations for public safety mean we must step back. The Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba will continue to monitor the evolving COVID situation and will update the public on the status of future events.
The cancellation of Ag Ex, our final event of the year, impacts the Cattle industry greatly. The opportunity to showcase and market cattle at this event is yet another hit to the cattle producers, the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba and the community as a whole.
“What’s even more difficult is this doesn’t just affect our organization. There are many businesses who rely on our events to generate revenue to support their families,” said Crisanti, “we are intertwined with the fabric of the community in so many ways. Everyone is hurting right now and while we want to help our community through celebration, we cannot commit to that right now.” The sponsors of all the events of the Provincial Exhibition are part of our community that have also been impacted tremendously by this pandemic. Our heartfelt thank you to every sponsor, every exhibitor and all the community members that support us, and our commitment to do all we can to be here to bring you the events our community needs when the time is right.
Crisanti added, “None of our events could happen without the dedication and hard work of the staff at the Provincial Exhibition, as well as the countless volunteers, so I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to each one of them.”
The Events hosted by the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba were expected to generate more than $18 million in economic impact for the community in 2020. These events and activities also create hundreds of jobs, including first-time job opportunities for many youths. The Provincial Exhibition is working closely with the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE) to advocate to the federal government for financial support to continue the legacy of events like this.
“Our industry has a very short seasonal window that has now all but passed. Events specifically have one shot to generate revenue for the next 365 days and we’ve lost that, this is particularly challenging operating as a non-profit,” says Christina Franc, Executive Director of CAFE, “this is why we are calling on the government to provide federal support to our industry. Recovery is going to start local, and that’s us so we need to make sure we are there and ready when the time is right.”
Nevertheless, the Provincial Exhibition will do everything in its power to continue to bring high quality community events for years to come, continuing to be an integral part of the community as we have been for more than 138 years.
“We are committed to producing the events our community needs, but when the time is right,” says Crisanti.