The exhibition will be held July 31-Aug. 4 and will include the Southwest Nova Art and Cultural Extravaganza, which helps draw new people to the fair and gives artists a venue to show what they do, says Bonnie Hall, president of the agricultural society.
With fewer farms in the local area, she said, “We’re trying to diversify (the exhibition) and to bring things in that will appeal to a larger audience, as well as keeping agriculture as our main focus … It’s phenomenal the response we had last year.”
West Nova MP Greg Kerr officially announced the funding May 5 on behalf of James Moore, minister of Canadian heritage and official languages.
“I am pleased to see our government continuing to support the culture and heritage of our community,” Kerr said. “This investment will help make this year’s exhibition one to remember.”
Grateful for the federal government’s support, Hall says exhibition organizers are looking forward to a great event this summer.
“We’re still in a little bit of the planning stages and trying to finalize things,” she said. “It’s going to be exciting.”
Interviewed about what will be the 153rd edition of the exhibition, she spoke about the artistic and cultural component of the fair.
“It allows local artists and artisans to come in, show their work to the general public,” she said. “It’s really great exposure, when you (consider) we have 25,000-plus (people) come through the gates in five days and get to see this.”
She added, “We’re going to kick that whole thing up a notch this year. Everybody’s on board and the local artisans and artists are just phenomenal.”
As for the exhibition in more general terms, she said organizers have been pleased with the crowds, although she acknowledged that a couple of rain days dampened things a bit last year. People who take in the exhibition this year can expect a great one, she said.
“The volunteers have worked really hard,” she said. “We started the planning of this back in September. It’s a year-long process. It’s time-consuming to try to find entertainment that’s going to appeal to a wide variety of people … and have something for everybody.”
The federal grant announced Saturday by MP Kerr was made available through the federal government’s Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program.