Agassiz fair board makes case for financial support

Kent council says it will now reconsider grant application

The Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival is the highlight of the event calendar in Agassiz, with attendance rates that temporarily double the population of about 5,000.

It’s the weekend when families and graduating classes hold their reunions, taking in the fair festivities annually. It’s a major event in any 4H member’s calendar, and one of the only fairs in the Fraser Valley to host a parade, a barbecue, a logging show and a large midway.

And in the last 13 years, it’s been voted as the best fair no less than eight times.

But that still wasn’t enough to secure a grant from the District of Kent in this year’s round of grants in aid. The fair is run by the Agassiz Agricultural and Horticultural Association, who are asking for $1,560 from the District. It’s the same amount they’ve asked for, and received, for the past few years.

When they didn’t make the cut, they decided to approach council as a delegation on Monday night to plead their case again. Association president Victoria Brookes outlined the fair’s long community history, while mentioning the many community organizations the association supports throughout the year. Many groups are able to use the association’s Agricultural Hall free of rent, including the Boy Scouts group, high school graduation dinner and choir festival.

Brookes said the organization would have to look at ways to cut back costs without the grant, and said that one way will be to remove the Centennial Trophy from the winners’ trophies this year. That prize has been given out in honour of the District of Kent since the 1970s.

“We don’t make a profit, nor are we subsidized,” Brookes said.

Ken Schwaerzle, a fair director and past councilor in the District of Kent, said the fair draws in people from outside the area, and has become synonymous with Agassiz.

“This two day event is not probably, but is, the biggest and best event held in the district of Kent every year,” he said.

Most people outside of Agassiz say … the city of Agassiz sure has a good fair, which I guess some of us know that better than others.”

Council made a motion to reconsider the decision and move the issue back to the budget process, which is not yet complete.

However, the annual grant in aid is not the only support the District gives to the fair.

The Observer has learned that the District of Kent annually provides support to the Agassiz Agriculture and Horticulture Association in costs paid for facility rentals, grant-in-aid, and/or in-kind services through the payment of utilities (water and sewer) and public works labour during the Fall Fair.

In 2008 this support totaled $29,548.28. In 2009, this support totaled $28,415.79; and in 2010 this support totaled $28,486.84.

The numbers for 2011 have not yet been finalized.

Brookes said the association runs a tight financial ship, and are simply hoping to continue the partnership they’ve enjoyed with the District for so many years.

“We’re not trying to get more, we’re just trying to get the same,” she said. The fair operates with the assistance of more than 200 volunteers.

This year’s Agassiz Fall Fair runs September 14 and 15 and has a theme: “You would have to be nuts to miss it.”

Brookes passed out small bags of Agassiz-grown hazelnuts to each of the council members and staff at the meeting during the presentation.

Just Posted

Fire breaks out at mushroom composting facility on Lougheed Highway

First responders were responded to the blaze near the Skawahlook First Nation Tuesday

Kent STR approval delayed after public hearing

Staff will be taking the bylaw amendments back for a closer look before final adoption

Kent Harrison Emergency Support team honoured for work during 2017 wildfire season

The volunteer group was activated for 254 days in a row to help evacuees

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

40 cats, kittens surrendered in apparent animal hoarding at Vancouver home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Plane veers off runway, into ditch at Langley Airport

Fire, ambulance, and police are on scene

Okanagan RCMP bike patrol rolls up on alleged stolen vehicle from Burnaby

The driver, a 30-year-old Kelowna man, has been held in custody and is facing possible charges of possession of stolen property and obstructing a police officer

Man arrested after pimping investigation in Whistler

A 44-year-old man has been charged with procuring and benefiting from sexual services

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

White Rock council opts for compromise in waterfront parking fee hike

Amendment calls for hourly rates of $3.75 instead of $4 from April to September

Province to increase parking, pilot First Nation stewards at busy Joffre Lakes

Two-hundred more parking stalls will bring total spots to allow 450 cars

Most Read