Agricultural exhibitions probably began as bazaars or fairs. Through the centuries these gatherings diverged somewhat from their original function and became primarily competitive showplaces for livestock and produce and settings for the display of new agricultural technology, as well as social events. Canadian agricultural exhibitions derive much of their character from the agricultural fairs of England and Scotland. North America's first such fair was held in NS in 1765. Fairs continue to make important contributions to Canada's rural society by providing social and educational opportunities, and for all Canadians by helping to improve agriculture through competition.
Canada’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Canada’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has connected industry leaders, innovators and consumers for over 9 decades.
Contemporary agricultural exhibitions vary greatly: the majority are country "fairs" lasting one or 2 days and featuring a cross-section of agricultural products and local crafts. Regional exhibitions, lasting 3-4 days, are less common, encompass areas served by several local fairs and satisfy the desire for larger events featuring greater competition. A third type of fair, the provincial exhibition, draws exhibits from a still larger geographic area and tends to be more "commercial" in that dealers in farm machinery and other farm technologies display their wares. On the interprovincial or national level, Toronto's Royal Winter Fair, probably Canada's best-known agricultural exhibition, serves a great cross-section of the industry. Other well-known exhibitions are the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair at Brandon and the CALGARY STAMPEDE. Most recently, large, specialized shows have appeared. For example, well over 1000 head of cattle are exhibited at the annual Agribition in Saskatchewan and Ag-Ex in Manitoba. The Annual Farm Progress Show in Regina represents another type of specialization: agricultural equipment worth millions of dollars and representing the most modern agricultural technology is exhibited.
Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. A sight of the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair.
The main agricultural product exhibited in most of the regional, interprovincial or national exhibitions is livestock, although grain, fruit, poultry, pets, vegetables, flowers and crafts are important features. The spirit of competition of these events has contributed to improvements in livestock breeds. The horse show is an important livestock exhibit because of its entertainment value and the quality of product displayed. Exhibition activities have been largely responsible for the development of keen national and international equestrian competition. Standards of desirability in the appearance of commercial livestock (eg, cattle, sheep, hogs) change as consumer diet preferences change. Swine, for example, have been bred over a period of many years to be long and lean rather than short and fat, as consumers opt for less fat in their diets. Similarly, size and breed of beef cattle have changed to reflect perceived production efficiencies assumed to be inherent in the more rapid weight increase of larger breeds.
Exhibitions have played a special role in personal development through the promotion of 4-H CLUB programs. The 4-H movement really started when, early in the century, exhibitions began sponsoring livestock competitions for youth. Exhibitions continue to change along with the public's desire to observe new developments in the agriculture and food system, to remain current in standards of excellence and to enjoy the opportunity to socialize with people from a cross-section of the community at large. See alsoCANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION; AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION.
This site is dedicated to Seager Wheeler, an award winning prairie farmer who developed new strains of wheat, unique farm implements, and other agricultural innovations.
Canadian National Exhibition
The website for Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition, the largest annual fair in Canada. Check out "About the CNE" for more on the fair's history.
Memories of the Ex
View a selection of archival photos depicting the Central Canada Exhibition. From the ottawacitizen.com.
Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute
Check out this website for information and reports about current issues impacting on the productivity and competitiveness of Canada's agri-food sector.
Absolutely free, with over 40,000 articles in French and English, The Canadian Encyclopedia is the ultimate online resource for all things Canadian, from history, sports, arts, science, technology, and much, much more. Get started at www.TheCanadianEncyclopedia.com
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...
Browse the rich visual resources of The Canadian Encyclopedia through thematic galleries of Canadian Art, History, Nature, People, and Science and Technology.
Illustrations, lively text, animations, sounds and games help make learning about Canadian history, art, geography, architecture and other topics entertaining as well as informative.
The ultimate test of your knowledge of Canada, trivial and otherwise. You can choose from more than 60 dynamic quizzes with visual or text clues. Your scores depend on the speed with which
you answer and the number of clues you need. Results are sent to you by email and high scores are posted on the site.
This unique resource includes more than 6000 events from Canadian and world history. It can be searched by era, subject, keyword or date. To find out what happened on your birthday, select
the month and day of your birth.
100 Greatest Events
This selection of the 100 "greatest" events in Canadian history was made by editor in chief James H. Marsh to draw attention to events that have left an indelible memory in the minds of