Successful Agribition earns record profit as attendance rises

Canadian Western Agribition’s record-breaking year resulted in a profit of $270,411.

Chief executive officer Chris Lane said the show posted its highest-ever operating revenue in 2017 at $4.6 million.

However, it cost the show more to operate in the new International Trade Centre, so expenses were up as well to $4.4 million.

The non-profit organization also made its promised $1 million contribution to the construction of the ITC and spent $500,000 on improvements to other buildings, including the Commercial Cattle Barn.

“We’ve had years with more profit attached to it but we’ve never put nearly as much into the show as what we have in the past year,” said president Bruce Holmquist.

“That’s because we’re able to now, not a criticism of anything that was done in the past, but it’s taken time to get to the point where we’re able to have the funds available.”

Lane said the show was a success any way it could be measured.

“Attendance was up, livestock entries were up, revenues were up, sales of livestock were up, international sales and guests from other countries who spend money on livestock at Agribition were up significantly, a record setting amount,” he said.

More than 8,000 students went through, and more tickets than ever were sold for the rodeo and jousting events.

The highlight of the year was the move into the ITC, which Lane called “probably the biggest and most complicated logistical challenge in the history of the organization.”

Holmquist said organizers learned from how they used the new space last year and will address traffic flow for both people and animals.

The records set last year included $2 million in purebred cattle sales, more than 27,000 attendees at the evening events and 365 international buyers from 86 countries.

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