Peace Country Classic Agri-Show. — 1986-1998. — 9 cm of textual records.
The response to the concept of a Peace Country Classis Agri-Show was strong in 1985 when the first show was launched to showcase the agricultural community in the Peace Country. It operated under the auspices of The Grande Prairie and District Agricultural and Exhibition Society. By 1986, the three-day event at Evergreen Park was a combined agricultural show including a seed fair, a bull and female show and sale, a trade show, craft exhibitions, a farmer’s market, and offered informal seminars and meetings. Always held in March, the show was a way to kickoff the spring farming season and included a social aspect with a pancake breakfasts, beef-on-a-bun lunches and a banquet on Friday night. There were always major draws for trips as well as give-aways.
The 1986 show hoped to see 5, 000 people attend; by 1998, the 13th annual show expected 25,000 to attend, appealing to a more diverse audience including school children and city folk as well as farmers and ranchers. To draw the larger crowd, organizers had added horse events, increased the machinery and commercial displays, offered two full days of demonstrations and seminars and added a family pavilion and a Farm Family Award. But, by the end of the decade, what had become the largest agricultural exhibition in northern Alberta also refelcted a more somber tone, indicative of the changes happening to farm life. The 1998 President reflected that the displayed new innovations and ever larger machinery were only a dream to most farmers. The reality was that most small operators were having to work off the farm to offset a shrinking farm income. His hope was that the show would continue to acknowledge the significance of agriculture to the prosperity of the entire region and allow farmers to view what the future holds in the changing world of farming.
The records were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives Dec 15, 2004, by Gwen Richards, past president and volunteer with the Peace Country Classic Agri-Show.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of posters, programs, special agri-show editions of the Peace Country Farmer, invitations and advertising placemats, pages of history and features of some of the agri-shows and a scrapbook of newsclippings.