For more than a century, the Interior Provincial Exhibition has been something that families can look forward to but for their 121 year, organizers are looking to support the community a little differently during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were really saddened when we had to cancel the fair and saddened for the non-profit organizations in Armstrong Spallumcheen and Vernon communities that normally come to our fair and it’s their largest fundraising event of the year,” said Yvonne Paulson, I.P.E. general manager.
Non-profits such as church groups, the Armstrong Legion, girl guides, Vernon Army Cadets and the Kin Club and more are taking a loss of up to $100,000 according to Paulson.
“We brought a lot of people out there they would shop in and amongst the community. It’s a $6.2-million economic spin-off as a result of the I.P.E.,” said Paulson.
The Kin Club of Armstrong runs the beer gardens on the grounds and would have raised at least $10,000 to invest back into Armstrong area.
“Last year we were able to donate $32,000 back into the community, the year before was a better year, the profit from anything we do goes back into the community,” said Martin Rendell, Kin Club member.
To recoup a small portion of the funds, Paulson and her team are coming up with ways to keep the community together while social distancing.
There is a 50/50 progressive draw each week where tickets are $2 and funds raised will go toward the next I.P.E., there will also be a 4H B.C. Auction on Aug. 29 at O’Keefe Ranch and kids can participate in a colouring contest details are on IPE website.