Costs, lower attendance lead to loss for Agribition

Record revenues in 2010 for one of Canada’s biggest livestock shows were topped only by its record expenses, leaving Canadian Western Agribition with a loss of just over $200,000.

Agribition on Thursday reported a loss of $204,769 on revenues of $3.12 million for its fiscal year ending Jan. 31, down from a profit of $1,361 on revenues of $3.05 million in the previous year.

A “significant part” of the loss can be attributed to weather-related issues which softened the Regina event’s attendance significantly, outgoing Agribition president Marilyn Charlton said in the non-profit organization’s release.

Revenues fell short of trade show sales projections, admissions and ticket sales, the organization said. Cost control measures were put in place but “due to the committed cost of show operations, the organization was unable to make up the difference.”

Agribition’s expenses, covering both the annual fall Agribition livestock show and the 2010 Spring Ag Show, reached a record $3.325 million in 2010.

Agribition’s board and executive “recognize that (Agribition’s) strategic plan calls for a fundamental shift to adapt the show to meet the demand and demographics of the industries it serves,” the organization said.

Also, the organization said, “steps have and will continue to be taken to ensure that revenue and expense projections are set taking recent patterns into account.”

The strategic planning process is also expected to ferret out operational efficiencies and “key program adaptations” to produce a “more focused, profitable organization.”

Outgoing Agribition CEO Jason Pollock, paying his respects to the organization’s volunteer  base, said that “without this valuable asset, CWA would not be able to function nor would it be the organization it is today.

“However,” he added, “the volunteer base is in need of a new set of processes and parameters aimed at attraction, retention, recognition, and reward.”

A “significant revitalization” of Agribition’s volunteer program has already begun, the organization said.

The 2011 edition of Canadian Western Agribition will run Nov. 21 to 26 at Regina’s Evraz Place.

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