West Niagara Agricultural Society holds Annual Meeting
By Ann Marie Chechalk
The West Niagara Agricultural Society was formed on December 1, 2012 as the result of the amalgamation of the Lincoln Agricultural Society (established in 1857) and the Smithville Agricultural Society (established in 1877).
The President of the WNAS, Russell Lowden made this report at the January 17, 2017 Annual General Meeting. “This past year has again been a challenging one but after five years of hard work the vision of the combined Lincoln and Smithville Agricultural Societies has finally come to realization with the completion of the West Niagara Agricultural Centre.
In the Fall of 2015 we successfully completed the build of our Livestock Building and Richardson Hall in time for the Fair. After taking a deep breath we started the push for the final building, the Community Hall. We also saw the Cyrus and Fred Lowden Building built for our sheep and goat shows. Both buildings were completed just in time for the 2016 Fair. With all our buildings now complete we are able to proudly showcase our facility to the community and our Fair attendees.
We can now put our business plan into action and start to promote and market our facility. Our last step for the Community Hall is the installation of kitchen equipment with a hopeful completion for the end of February, 2017.
I take this time to sincerely thank the General Manager, Secretary, Directors and volunteers of the West Niagara Agricultural Society who put in so many hours of their time into getting our facility to where it is today. The grounds continue to be a work in progress as we get comfortable with the “lay of the land” and work to accommodate potential uses of the facility.
We look forward to the year to come and anticipate that our Society will continue to be successful.”
“The past year was a busy one again,” said Secretary/Treasurer Anita Philpott, “but with a light at the end of the tunnel. We finally have a home! A real office! With storage and desks and chairs! It has been a long time coming.
The Society has been successful in keeping on track with the budget for the new project and can now move on to the maintenance phase. With the help of our new renters over the past year – Ontario Small Equine Association, Ontario Poultry Breeders, Poultry Fest Niagara, Burlington Kennel Club, open riding nights, and vehicle winter storage we have a good sense of how to operate the Livestock Building and the Richardson Hall. The Community Hall will be our new challenge in the next few years. Hosting the RCMP Musical Ride event was a financial bonus for us and combined with a successful Fair we count our 2016 fundraising as successful.
We had a good year for sponsorship as we are building confidence within the community. Some of our larger sponsors being the Niagara North Federation of Agriculture and Township of West Lincoln, continue to support us year over year. We are looking at adding some larger sponsors next year. A couple of local businesses stepped up to support the 4-H
group providing them with meals. Many smaller donations were made supporting displays and events throughout the weekend.
We continue to search out new sponsors looking to fit them with events that relate to their businesses. Also many in-kind donations are made by those that want to support our annual fall fair. Our fair flyer had added new supporters this year and we will work on expanding this on an ongoing basis.”
Sponsorship and volunteers, what it takes to make these beautiful grounds a site for numerous venue rentals; providing a much needed resource for both private and public events, such as conferences/meetings, competitions, shows, reunions and weddings. For more information contact the WEST NIAGARA AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY 7402 MUD ST., GRASSIE, ON
Meet the Board of Directors for the West Niagara Agricultural Society. They
are pleased to announce that the Community Hall is open for banquets, trade
shows, weddings and more. They are always interested in welcoming new
volunteers and sponsors.