Canadian Western Agribition plans to be back with a full, live event in Regina this fall, despite the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and posting a significant loss in 2020.
Chief executive officer Chris Lane said during the show’s annual general meeting last week that work has begun for the 50th show.
This will include 12 national breed shows, the first time that all breeds will hold their national competitions under one roof.
“Today we are announcing that Agribition will be home to Canada’s newest national barbecue competition, with champions at Agribition qualifying for the world champions in Kansas City,” he said.
Regular programming, including professional rodeo, will be back.
“Why are we confident in our ability to return to an in-person Agribition? Well, we do have some work to do but we are confident in the vaccine rollout plans and time is on our side,” Lane said.
The show is scheduled for Nov. 22-27.
Lane said work has begun to deliver a event safety plan that will accommodate any guidelines or restrictions if any exist.
“We are not done with COVID yet but we do see a path towards Agribition,” said president Chris Lees.
When COVID-19 forced the 2020 show to go on-line only, Agribition created a number of platforms for exhibitors, buyers and sellers to connect. Lane said the online programs resulted in 1.2 million impressions from 86 countries and nearly 52,000 total engagements.
At the AGM, he announced Agribition Connect, a virtual and online international marketplace, was up and running.
The show did experience its most significant loss in history last year, reporting a loss of $774,000.
Lane said not holding the in-person show resulted in a loss of $4 million in revenue. Total revenue for the year was $464,000, compared to expenses of $1.1 million.
Let’s get back in the saddle!
— #CWA50 (@Agribition) April 22, 2021
Nearly $200,000 of new money came in to support the programs Agribition did deliver, and the show qualified for nearly $320,000 in federal wage subsidies.
Agribition is also taking a large capital asset writedown worth $368,000. Lane said this means the show is taking full amortization of more than 20 capitalized assets.
However, despite the challenging year the show’s contingency fund of $500,000 was untouched.
Lees, from Arcola, Sask., was re-elected president during the meeting, as was Kim Hextall, of Grenfell, Sask., as vice-president. Executive members at large are Levi Jackson from Sedley, Sask., Curtis Kuchinka from Regina, and Michael Latimer from Olds, Alta.
Elected to serve two-year terms were: Kuchinka; Latimer; Courtney MacDougall, Regina; Kim McLean, Regina; Stephen Scott, Calgary; and, Barry Young, Carievale, Sask.