The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the federal government is helping to ensure that Northern Ontario farmers will join the festivities. The fair is held at the Exhibition Place in Toronto and runs from November 4th to 13th. The event draws around 300,000 people and provides an excellent opportunity to showcase regional products while allowing northern agri-businesses to network with fellow producers and consumers.
The Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) announced $240,000 to the Economic Partners-Sudbury East / West Nipissing Inc. to establish a 7,500 square foot Northern Ontario Agri-Food Pavilion at the Fair.
“Northern Ontario’s agri-food sector is a key pillar of growth for our region’s economy and residents,” said Patty Hajdu, the Minister of Indigenous Services, and the minister responsible for FedNor. “Today’s investment will help local growers and producers participate in the Royal Winter Fair, where they will showcase their unique products and expand their markets.”
Neil Fox, the general manager of Economic Partners Sudbury East-West Nipissing—a not for profit organization based in Sturgeon Falls—mentioned that 50 agricultural businesses from the region will take part in the pavilion.
The federal grant will help cover travel and accommodation and provide funds to build the pavilion on the fairgrounds.
“It’s a fantastic project,” Fox said, “the agricultural sector is a priority for us in Northern Ontario.” The pavilion allows food producers to access new markets “much larger than what they would traditionally have.” Distributers come from all points to do business at the Royal Winter Fair, and the contacts made at the fair allow regional businesses “to further develop their markets across the province, country, and throughout the world.”
“There are so many unique products in Northern Ontario,” Fox added, “and this is our opportunity to showcase them to the rest of the province and the country.”
Minister Hajdu noted, “we are so excited to support Northern Ontario’s involvement in Canada’s longest-running agri-food exhibition through this investment from FedNor and to ensure the region is well represented.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.