All the fun of the fair

St. Vital Ag Society’s annual display and fair returns


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This article was published 03/08/2022 (300 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.


The St. Vital Agricultural Society’s flagship event is back.

After a pandemic-induced hiatus, the society’s Annual Display and Fair returns to an in-person format for the first time since 2019.

Karen Fontaine and Debbie Innes are looking forward to the St. Vital Agricultural Society’s first in-person annual display and fair event since 2019.

The upcoming event will be held on Fri., Aug. 5 and Sat., Aug. 6 at the St. Vital Centennial Arena, at 580 St. Anne’s Rd. The theme of this year’s display and fair is Year of the Garden.

As usual, there will be something for everyone at the two-day event, including different competitions, demonstrations and exhibits. As well, there will be the society’s annual barbecue on Aug. 5, and a pancake breakfast and a hotdog lunch put on by the Winnipeg South Lions Club on Aug. 6. The second day will also feature a farmers’ and crafters’ market, as well as children’s activities.

Demonstrations will include topics such as tree care with Loressa Klassen, card making Karen Hartikainen, floral arrangements with Pam McFarlane, and there will also be two sessions about creating and appreciating bonsai, which will be facilitated by members of the Bonsai Society of Winnipeg. As well, on Aug. 6, younger visitors will be able to take part in a bumblebee floral design class that will be held by Esther Chen and Debbie Innes, where they will have the opportunity to produce a design that looks like a bumblebee.

Karen Fontaine, the society’s president, said organizers are thrilled to be able to hold the display and fair — the 111th edition of the long-running event — for the first time in three years. She said while organizers stayed connected virtually during the most restrictive times during the pandemic, there’s no replacement for in-person activity.

“Everyone’s spirits have been lifted like you wouldn’t believe,” Fontaine said. “We’re social beings, and it’s important to have that closeness between us. Members of the society are like-minded friends with lots in common, so it’s great to be able to share these experiences with the community again.”

In keeping with this year’s theme Year of the Garden, Fontaine said the fair and display will be a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions of everyone who helps make the annual event a success.

“First and foremost, it’s great to be able to honour and showcase the talents of people of all ages and celebrate everyone’s excellence, whether it’s artists, horticulturists, bakers or quilt-makers,” she said.

“A key part of this is the love of what we do and being able to create or make something we can be proud of, while learning about lots of different things like nature, climate and habitat.”

St. Vital Agricultural Society’s Debbie Innes (left) and Karen Fontaine are pictured at the Manitoba 150 Pollinator Garden on the Bishop Grandin Greenway recently.

Debbie Innes, the society’s vice-president said she’s proud of how hands-on and interactive the event has become, and how it appeals to family members from different generations.

“It’s so exciting to see what we can do,” Innes said. “It’s been great to see how the event has progressed through the years, especially in terms of reaching out to the kids.”

She also gave a shout out to all of the volunteers that make the event possible.

Go online at for more information about the display and fair, including a list of demonstrators and market vendors.

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at or call him at 204-697-7111.

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