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Canadian Western Agribition reports significant loss in 2020, plans 2021 return

CWA announced its 2020 results at its Annual General Meeting Thursday, reporting an operational loss of $773,989 attributed to the postponement of its 2020 show. Germain Wilson / Global News

Canadian Western Agribition reported an operational loss of $773,989 for 2020 after having to postpone the event due to COVID-19, but is planning its return to Regina for 2021.

CWA announced the news at its Annual General Meeting on Thursday.

“Despite the obvious financial challenges, this past year showed how resilient and innovative the agriculture industry is,” said Chris Lees, CWA president in a press release Thursday.

Read more: Canadian Western Agribition’s 50th show in Regina postponed until 2021

“When it was obvious we couldn’t deliver Agribition, we built new programs designed specifically for our exhibitors and saw impressive participation.”

CWA introduced more than a dozen online programs in 2020 which included the Agribition Evolution Series, Canada’s first-ever multi-breed virtual cattle show.

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The programs provided marketing and competition opportunities for hundreds of exhibitors.

Its new Virtual Education Program — a program available year-round — has already reached more than 1,400 students .

“The last year will go down in Agribition history as the most difficult,” said Chris Lane, CWA CEO said in a press release Thursday.

“But, thanks to our partners, volunteers, and agriculture community, it will also go down as one of the most innovative. Most importantly, we are still here and ready to get back in the saddle for our 50th show in 2021.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Canadian Western Agribition postpones 2 upcoming events in Regina

CWA said it’s setting its sights on a November return, featuring a full week of rodeo, shopping, livestock competition and the country’s largest indoor trade show.

The 50th show will be headlined by 12 national breed shows which will be the only time all breeds have held their national competitions under one roof.

The event will also include Western Canada’s newest culinary tourism attraction, the nationally sanctioned Agribition Supreme BBQ Championship. The winners will earn a spot at the World Championships in Kansas City.

“We are pleased to see that Canadian Western Agribition is planning to return to an in-person show in 2021 and we have the utmost confidence that our vaccination rollout will continue to lead the country and make an in-person show possible,” said David Marit, Saskatchewan’s agriculture minister in a press release Thursday.

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Read more: Canadian Western Agribition announces free admission deal with Roughriders

“CWA is an internationally renowned showcase for the world-class genetics that Saskatchewan producers are known for. We look forward to seeing CWA’s plans to protect the health and safety of all attendees and cannot wait to once again attend such an important event for our province.”

More announcements will be made in regards to family entertainment and 50th-anniversary programs in the coming months.

“It will have been 24 months since the last Agribition and we’re ready to get back to business in November,” Lane said.

“We’re working on a plan to welcome as many people as possible, host as many events as possible, and do it all safely and respectfully of any guidelines.”

The show is set to take place from Nov. 22-27.

Click to play video: 'Canadian Western Agribition kicks off in Regina' Canadian Western Agribition kicks off in Regina
Canadian Western Agribition kicks off in Regina – Nov 25, 2019

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