Canada’s Farm Show 2020 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organizers say that barring a miracle, it will be outright cancelled.
The event was supposed to take place from June 16-18 in Regina. However, the Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) and Canada’s Farm Show advisory board announced the postponement on Monday. A rescheduled date has not been confirmed, but REAL president and CEO Tim Reid said it’s unlikely there will be one.
“We don’t think it would be responsible to push this show into a later month,” Reid said. “Our position right now is the next Farm Show will happen in 2021, and we won’t see an event in 2020.”
REAL president and CEO Tim Reid said they were disappointed about having to postpone the show, but added that it was more important to keep people safe. Saskatchewan residents and leaders have done a great job minimizing the effects of COVID-19, he said, and Farm Show organizers didn’t want to jeopardize that hard work.
“The last thing we would want to do as a community driven not-for-profit organization is elevate that risk by inviting a whole bunch of people here, even if that was allowed,” Reid said. “We’re driven by the public health order that’s in effect. That public health order limits the size of gatherings, and there’s nothing that suggests that will be lifted to a degree that would allow us to do something of significance.”
Reid said most producers were saddened but unsurprised by the news. Once the Calgary Stampede was cancelled last week, most producers and attendees expected Canada’s Farm Show to suffer a similar fate.
Realistically, Reid said they wouldn’t be able to hold a show without the government lifting the gap on mass public gatherings or reopening international travel. The three-day gathering typically attracts hundreds of international guests from more than 50 countries. Reid said it’s unlikely the government would lift restrictions barring those guests from visiting before the end of the summer.
Typically, the Canada Farm Show serves as an unofficial kick off for the summer farm season. Reid said he hopes producers will still feel welcomed and valued, even if they can’t gather in Regina.
“We’ve always been part of celebrating a new agriculture year in Saskatchewan and Western Canada, and we want to recognize that in these times of global pandemic and crisis, we’re all thinking about where our food comes from,” he said.
“We want to recognize everybody in the agriculture industry. We want to wish them an incredible season this year, and more importantly, we want to thank them for the food security and sustainability we get to enjoy as Canadians. Without them, we wouldn’t have the opportunities that we do.”