As central community gathering hubs and hosts of major events, agricultural societies continue to feel the cost of COVID-19 restrictions. During the pandemic many agricultural societies found new ways to serve their communities, while following public health guidelines.
Alberta’s government is recognizing the innovation and resilience shown by Alberta’s agricultural societies with a new award to celebrate this great work. There were many exceptional submissions, and I’m pleased to congratulate the inaugural recipients of the Alberta Agricultural Society Innovation Award:
- Bezanson Agricultural Society
- Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society
- Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural & Exhibition Society
We saw many societies step up with creative and innovative ways to support and connect their communities. Some examples of new initiatives this year included:
- running online fundraisers
- creating virtual programs and fairs
- offering contactless catering, meal pickup and delivery
- organizing outdoor drive-in concerts, events and movies
I commend all of the volunteers that helped agricultural societies find new and innovative ways to deliver programs and for your work in strengthening your communities.
Devin Dreeshen served as Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from April 30, 2019 to November 5, 2021.