The future of fairs such as Armstrong’s Interior Provincial Exhibition is in doubt because of COVID-19. Right now, the 121st annual IPE is still a go from Sept. 2-6. (Morning Star - file photo)

Armstrong IPE still on… for now

Future of 700 such fairs in Canada in question because of pandemic

The future of fairs and exhibitions such as Armstrong’s Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE) could be in danger because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

IPE general manager Yvonne Paulson is also the second vice-president on the board of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE) which has called on Ottawa to provide specific funding for the fair and exhibition industry, including support for agricultural societies, seasonal entertainers, vendors and suppliers.

“We are asking for funding to assist with the 100-plus fairs directly impacted at this point by the cancellation of their events,” Paulson said. “There are 700 fairs in Canada that are at risk if we have to cancel all fairs this year. Some may be able to rebound and others will close forever. This is very sad and there are fairs like us that have been around for 100 years or more.”

Paulson said the plan right now in Armstrong is to continuing planning for the 121st annual IPE Sept. 2-6, 2020.

READ MORE: Armstrong fair chooses 2020 theme

“We are extremely hopeful the fair will go on,” Paulson said. “We are monitoring this on a daily/weekly basis. We are all doing our due diligence to ensure social distancing. We are working remotely and at the office. Our office is closed to the general public. We are happy to assist and answer any questions you have by phone or email.”

Any questions about the IPE, you can contact:

Terry Hannah – Vendor Relations, Kids World – 250-546-9406 – email terry@armstrongipe.com;

Karen Buddo – Exhibitor Relations – 250-546-9406 – karen@armstrongipe.com;

Cathi Harrison – Finance – 250-546-9406 – cathi@armstrongipe.com;

Yvonne Paulson – General Manager – 250-546-9406 or Cell 604-989-5878 – yvonne@armstrongipe.com.

If the IPE has to be cancelled, Paulson said they will simply move everything they have planned at this point to next year, and more information will be provided if it gets to that stage.

“Please don’t start calling and asking about tickets you have purchased at this point, it’s too soon for us to make the decision to cancel the fair,” Paulson said. “We will provide full information to everyone that purchases tickets if we have to cancel our fair this year. Stay tuned for more information as we move forward.

“We appreciate your support of our fair and fairs in Canada.”

The release from CAFE can be found here.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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