Agricultural societies play a significant role in the social life of Alberta towns, villages and rural communities. Throughout the year, they can be counted on to host community events from farmers markets and craft fairs to children’s programs and summer rodeos.

The 2023 Agricultural Societies Infrastructure Revitalization Program is granting $2.5 million to 34 ag societies to update existing facilities like community halls, arenas and rodeo grounds. Modern buildings and amenities encourage community involvement and growth.

“Agricultural societies play a key role in improving rural communities and well-maintained facilities support their continued success. With these funds, ag societies across Alberta will be able to expand programs and keep their spaces safe, modern and accessible. These facilities play an essential role in rural communities, offering residents and visitors opportunities to gather, build connections and engage with their neighbours.”

RJ Sigurdson, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation

Each year, Alberta’s government supports the work of agricultural societies through the Agricultural Societies Infrastructure Revitalization Program. Individual projects may receive funding between $10,000 and $100,000.

The most common types of facilities applied for under the program were arenas, curling rinks, community halls and grandstands. Some of the approved projects the funding will support include roof repairs, kitchen and bathroom renovations, window and door upgrades, and increasing accessibility.

“We’re pleased to see a strong uptake of this new capital grant by ag societies across Alberta. These facilities are gathering spaces for a range of activities, including farmers markets, rural fairs, team sports and rodeos. The facility upgrades that are now possible with this funding will immensely benefit rural communities.”

Tim Carson, CEO, Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies

“On behalf of the Madden Ag society, I would like to thank the provincial government along with the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies for their financial support to help maintain and enhance our wonderful community centre. This funding makes it possible to both replace the flooring in our commercial kitchen as well as upgrade our curling rink with newer energy-saving liners to help reduce operating costs and improve the overall quality of the ice.”

Dustin Helm, president, Madden & District Agricultural Society

Alberta’s government will continue to support agricultural societies through the Agricultural Societies Infrastructure Revitalization Program in 2024, with the intake opening later this year.

Quick facts

  • Alberta has 291 agricultural societies, the most in Canada.
  • Alberta’s agricultural societies own or operate more than 900 facilities and host more than 37,000 activities and events per year.
  • The oldest agricultural societies date back to 1879, predating the province.

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