In unprecedented times such as these, it is a challenge to hold an Annual General Meeting, however, beginning at 7:30pm on January 26th, just under 100 Shareholders participated in the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba’s 2021 AGM. Held via Zoom, the meeting went smoothly, with members able to ask questions, provide input, and receive information about what the Provincial Exhibition is up to as we begin a new year.
One of the biggest topics on attendee’s minds was the current financial situation. Don Simpson of BDO provided a breakdown from the previous year to Shareholders and ended with positive news: “Looking forward to 2021, we have assets to satisfy the operations, which gives this Board and the Shareholders the ability to weather the storm and make plans for 2021 or 2022 as public opportunities open again, and eventually carry out the activities of the Provincial Exhibition.” Ultimately, between the staff and Board of Director’s fundraising initiatives, as well as generous support from the community, the organization only saw a loss of $3,500 in 2020. This minimized loss provides a great deal of hope for the Provincial Exhibition, however, Directors stressed that we are “not out of the woods yet”. Large fundraising efforts are already underway with the recently launched “Love a Fair” campaign that is focused around a generous dollar-for-dollar matching pledge up to $100,000 made by the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg. To date, we have launched the “Your Name in Stone” brick engraving initiative and wine sale under the banner.
The rest of the meeting focused on Directors and committees, with new and re-elected appointees to the Board. Assigned for three-year terms are Jim Andry, Jeff Bieganski, Connie Bok, Karen Burton, Kathy Cleaver, Mitchell Eastly, Dan Karashowsky, Dallas Mennie, Angela Pearen, Bob Scott, Clarke Swain, and Rick Thomson. The spotlight was also cast on long-time Director, Dallas Johnston as the 2021 recipient of the Jim Figol Volunteer Award. Presented annually since 1991, the award recognizes a volunteer that embodies the same commitment, spirit, and dedication to all of the fairs and community as past Director and President James M. Figol. Johnston’s acknowledgment, made by President Greg Crisanti, was met with wide praise from attendees, as he has become a notable fixture at Provincial Exhibition events, especially the Manitoba Ag Ex that he chairs.
Overall, the tone of the meeting was hopeful. Presenting Directors remained optimistic about the future in their presentations, and attendees were left with upbeat parting words by current Vice President, Kathy Cleaver: “There’s lots of incentive to turn and run these days, and we have all hung in there, so thank you. I look forward to the ‘Love a Fair’ campaign because I see lots of engagement from the Directors; let’s go out and get it!”
For more information and to arrange an interview, please contact the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba.