Agribition boosts attendance, revenue

The non-profit association that runs Canadian Western Agribition has posted a 14 per cent increase in revenue from the major fall farm show for 2008 over 2007.

During its annual meeting this week in Regina, the CWA board heard show revenues, including admissions, tickets, program sales and food sales rose 14 per cent to $1.029 million for the November 2008 show over the 2007 show’s revenues.

The CWA’s total revenues for its fiscal year ending Jan. 31 were $3.06 million, from which the group reported a profit of $18,080.

“Attendance, a key factor in achieving revenue projections, saw an increase in 2008 to 142,500 visits, up from 137,500 visits the previous year,” the CWA reported.

“CWA increased our revenues significantly to compensate for rising external costs,” Agribition CEO Jason Pollock said in a release Friday. “The overall profitability of our organization is achieved by effectively balancing the cost to deliver high quality service and atmosphere with an appropriate expectation of revenues.”

Outgoing CWA president Shannon McArton outlined changes planned for the opening weekend prior to the traditional CWA schedule for the 2009 show, which will run Nov. 21-28 at Evraz Place (formerly Regina Exhibition Park).

Agribition, billed as Canada’s premier international livestock show and marketplace, will open Nov. 21 with an “acreage-themed trade show” in the Agribition Building and Ag Ex Pavilion.

CWA also plans to expand on the Ranch Rodeo it introduced last year, and also expects to introduce a Cowboy Arts and Western Heritage themed trade show, featuring traditional cowboy arts and artisans.

Also this week during CWA’s annual meeting in Regina, purebred Hereford producer Marilyn Charlton of Weyburn, Sask. was elected CWA’s new president, replacing McArton. Charlton is also known as general manager of the Saskatchewan Hereford Association, and an 11-year CWA director.

McArton, from Dilke, Sask., remains on the CWA executive as past president, joining first vice-president Bryan Hadland of Weldon, Sask., second VP Reed Andrew of Regina, and executives at large Grant Royan and Stewart Stone of Regina.

New directors named to the board this year for a two-year term include Stewart Stone, Tim Wiens, Dale Claypool and Cory Schaeffer of Regina, plus Don Harder of Clavet, Bruce Holmquist of Kinistino, Ross Macdonald of Lake Alma, Arnold Manske of Coronach and Barry Young of Carievale, Sask.

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