50th Canadian Western Agribition kicks off after pandemic postponement – CTV News

REGINA –

Agribition officially started Monday morning with the tradition of the burning of the brand ceremony.

Chris Lane, CEO of the Canadian Western Agribition (CWA), is pleased that the event can finally get underway after being postponed last year due to the pandemic.

“I think what’s interesting about Agribition is not only are we an entertainment and social event but we’re a key in the marketing calendar for these operations and these organizations,” he said. “So, it really is a business play here at Agribition and I think, despite COVID-19, the business of agriculture has never stopped.”

Given the reach the event has for attracting visitors, with multiple delegates from the U.K., Norway and Singapore already in attendance, Lane said he is confident that the CWA has made the necessary precautions in terms of the pandemic.

“We’ve worked on the safe event plan, so there’s anything from vaccine checks at the gates, negative testing is also acceptable,” he said. “We’ve got testing sites just off site available for anyone coming to Agribition. And of course, lots of signage and information, and encouragement around the masking protocols as well.”

The opening ceremony was host to representatives from the city and provincial government, who announced they’ve signed another sponsorship agreement with the CWA worth 250,000 dollars which will run for the next five years.

“Obviously we know the importance of this show,” said Minister of Agriculture David Marit. “Not only to the livestock industry, not only to the city of Regina, but to the province as a whole and to the whole industry right across western Canada.”

The schedule this year will include 96 events, around 300 vendors, as well as 2,500 animals over the course of the week. Entertainment opportunities will include jousting, sword fighting and falconry demonstrations, along with skating. The rodeo is set to begin on Wednesday.

“It’s hard to put into words how exciting and how meaningful it is to see all these people come back and be ready to enjoy Agribition again,” said Lane. “That really does become what we do it for and we’re excited to see some old friends and make some new ones.”

The Agribition is set to run until Nov. 27.