Calgary Stampede –
Started in 1912, is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The ten-day event, which bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, attracts over one million visitors per year and features one of the world’s largest rodeos, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuck wagon racing and First Nations exhibitions.
The event’s roots are traced to 1886 when the Calgary and District Agricultural Society held its first fair. In 1912, American promoter Guy Weadick organized his first rodeo and festival, known as the Stampede. He returned to Calgary in 1919 to organize the Victory Stampede in honor of soldiers returning from World War I. Weadick’s festival became an annual event in 1923 when it merged with the Calgary Industrial Exhibition to create the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.
Approximately 120,000 people visit the Calgary Stampede each day, making it the third largest city in Alberta for 10 days each July. It takes more than 2,300 volunteers sit on the Stampede’s 47 committees to put on this event. Stampede officials estimated in 2009 that the city of Calgary had a gross economic impact of $172.4 million from the ten-day event alone, with a wider provincial total of $226.7 million. In terms of economic impact, the Stampede is the highest grossing festival in Canada. Included in this estimated economic impact is the sale of more than two million mini donuts (arguably the most popular Stampede food) are served throughout the 10-day fair, which Tin Lizzy is part of supplying this demand. To make this event such a success over 20,000 Stampede posters are distributed around the world every year.
K-Days, formerly known as Klondike Days and Edmonton’s Capital Ex, is an annual 10-day exhibition held in Edmonton, Alberta, usually near the end of July. In recent years it has attracted between 700,000 and 800,000 visitors each year. The exhibition is held at Northlands, (formerly Northlands Park), south of Rexall Place.
The Edmonton Agricultural Society organized the first local exhibition on the original Fort Edmonton site on October 15, 1879. This was the first event of its kind ever held in what was then known as the North-West Territories. The exhibition brought about the name Klondike Days in 1962, with the theme revolving around the Klondike Gold Rush. The public embraced the theme with relish, dressing up in period costumes for the Klondike Days opening parade
In 2004, Northlands Park celebrated the 125th anniversary of the fair exhibition. The Klondike Days Parade was also themed to commemorate the City of Edmonton’s 100th anniversary in the same year. Fair attendance continued to climb upward, breaking the 800,000 attendance mark in 2005.
Before the 2012 event, Northlands announced that the Capital Ex name would be retired, and a new name would be chosen by public vote. Event goers had six options to choose from, with K-Days being selected as the new name for the fair.
The economic impact of Klondike Days was estimated to be $54 million during the 10 days.
Regina – Buffalo Days
It all began on two crisp fall days in 1884 on a site which is now Victoria Park in downtown Regina.Regina’s first fair was held on October 2 and 3, 1884 under the guidance of the volunteer-based Assiniboia Agricultural Society. Townspeople, homesteaders and agricultural entrepreneurs came from miles around to exhibit their livestock, seeds, vegetables, handcrafts and manufactured goods.The first Territorial Exhibition was held in 1895, and it garnered enough interest and support to be worthy of some generous financial contributions.
On April 3, 1907, the newly created Province of Saskatchewan enacted legislation incorporating the Regina Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition Association Limited, as a non-profit volunteer based organization which is the forefather of the Regina Exhibition Association Limited, or IPSCO Place as we know it today.
In 1914 World War I broke out and the exhibition site was expropriated by the Canadian Government to house troops and serve as a training base.
In 1966, the City of Regina established a Centennial Committee whose responsibility was to develop new programs and projects for ’s Centennial in 1967. The Centennial Committee decided upon a gala city-wide summer celebration that was to end with the Summer Fair. In honor of Saskatchewan ’s pioneers, the celebration was to be called Buffalo Days.
Buffalo Days takes place in Regina at the End of July/beginning of August and attracts over 200,000 visitors over the 5 days.
Saskatoon – Saskatoon Ex
The Ex is an annual fair that occurs on the site each August. This includes amusement rides, product exhibitions, music, shows and displays. Normally occurring at the same time are chuckwagon races at the Marquis downs facility.
The Ex held over 6 days in August gets over 200,000 visitors
PNE – Vancouver
The Pacific National Exhibition is a non profit organization which hosts an annual 15-day summer fair, seasonal amusement park, and arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It usually begins in mid-to-late August, and ends in early September, usually Labour Day.
The exhibition has been held in Hastings Park since it first took place in 1910. It was opened by then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier as the Industrial Exhibition. The biggest attractions of the two-week fair are its numerous shops, stalls, performances, a nightly fireworks show, and the PNE Prize Home. The highest attendance the fair has recorded was 1.1 million in 1986 most likely due to Expo ’86 that was occurring at the time. The PNE was once the second largest fair after the New York State Fair.
The PNE has played an important role in the history of Vancouver. From its beginnings as a showcase for the region’s agriculture and economy, it has grown immensely. This growth has resulted in many questions about the fair’s future at Hastings Park. Beginning in 1997, the city has restored a large portion of the park. Many old fair buildings have been demolished and replaced by a more natural character. Although land was purchased in Surrey that was to become the fair’s new home, the PNE has since transferred ownership from the province to the city of Vancouver and will remain at Hastings Park. The PNE is a registered charity.
From 1942 to 1946 the PNE was closed and like the Canadian National Exhibition served as a military training facility for the duration of World War II. During this time, the PNE barns, used to house livestock, were used to intern & process Japanese Canadians from all over British Columbia. Here, they were imprisoned, and/or shipped off to other internment camps throughout British Columbia, and Alberta. The Momiji (Japanese word for Maple) Gardens, on the PNE grounds, serve as a reminder and memorial, for this dark chapter in Canadian history. The barns themselves are still used to house livestock during the annual fair, and serve as storage area to house some of the PNE’s property the rest of the year.
PNE by the numbers
700,000 – 900,000 number of visitors to the Fair
17,000 – average number of steps taken per day by a PNE employee
5,000 + – approximate number of items returned to the Lost and Found
100+ – age of this year’s Fair
8 – number of hours spent by the average family at The Fair
1 – number of Emmy Awards brought to The Fair at the PNE
300,000 + – total sales for the 4-H auction
400+ – total participants in the 4-H auction
250+ – number of chicks born at The Fair
20 + – dumpster loads of dung taken away from the livestock barns
8 + – number of calves born at The Fair
200,000+ – number of people who watched the Superdogs show
1,000 – number of seats in the Beer Garden (Vancouver’s largest outdoor patio)
860 – pounds of food consumed by the Superdogs
45 – number of pooches in the Superdogs show
18 – number of Superdogs trainers
4,500,000 + – number of Kernels popped at for Kettle Corn
3,000,000+ – number of mini donuts sold
50,000+ – pounds of dough used to produce mini donuts
13,890 – number of lemons used at the lemonade stand
5,000 – number of food-related jobs created for the Fair
15,000+ – pounds of potatoes used to make Wiggle Chips
80 – number of food vendors at the Fair
2 – number of tablespoons of sugar in a large cotton candy
250,200 – number of stuffed animal prizes won at games annually during The Fair
19,000 – number of annual plays on the Playland Midway Dart Game
3,270 – number of bottles broken at the Bottle Break Game on the Payland Midway annually
PNE Prize Home
1,300,000 – dollar value of the PNE Prize Home
121,000 – number of people that went through the PNE Prize Home
2,000 – number of times per day a PNE Prize Home ticket seller says “Win a house, win a car”
80 – number of years the PNE has been giving away a PNE Prize Home
8,160 – number of times the Wooden Roller Coaster went around the track during the Fair
218 – height in feet of AtmosFEAR, the tallest ride at the Fair
90 – number of seconds per ride on the Wooden Roller Coaster
90 – age of oldest person to ride the Drop Zone
54 – number of rides at The Fair
2,070 – number of kilograms of organic matter diverted from the landfill
165 – number of kilograms of mixed containers diverted from the landfill
120 – number of kilograms of solid waste diverted from the landfill
94.9 – percent of the day’s waste diverted from the landfill