April 10th 2020
Following a recommendation of the Quebec Government issued through the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation, the Agricultural Exhibitions Association of Quebec (AEAQ) announces the cancellation of all agricultural fairs in 2020.
This decision was made after in-depth discussions with our partners, including the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec and other provincial agencies. The Quebec government has made it clear that the social distancing measures that require people to remain at least two metres from one another will be in place for many months to come. This makes it impossible to hold events that gather several thousand visitors at the same location.
The AEAQ is aware that this decision not only impacts the 28 nonprofit agricultural societies and organizations that put on the events, but also service providers, vendors, artists and visitors. However, we believe it is essential that Quebec fairs play their role in reducing the spread of COVED-19. This can only be achieved by cancelling our events which will eliminate the risk of contamination for our visitors, our staff and our exhibitors.
In some cases, our members fairs have been in operation for more than 100 years. This will be the first time in history that they are not in operation. Agricultural fairs started as small events where producers and farmers could exchange on best practices for raising animals and growing food products. Then the competitive aspect was added and animal judging became part of the festivities. Depending on how well an animal placed, it could fetch a higher price at auction for reproductive purposes. Today, many fairs have developed into multidisciplinary events whose objective is to educate visitors on how food makes it from the farm to the table while allowing producers to network and offer entertainment to visitors.
Below is a list of the fairs that are members of the AEAQ:
Once this pandemic is behind us we remain optimistic that the agricultural fair industry will rebound with the help of its financial partners, exhibitors and visitors.
Each year, from May to October, AEAQ members welcome more than 600 000 visitors. They generate revenues of almost 8 million dollars and provide significant economic benefits in the regions where they take place.
For more information, please contact Lee Patterson, Director of member relations and partnerships with the AEAQ.
- 30 -