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Canadian Western Agribition reports $321K loss in 2021

This year's Canadian Western Agribition celebrates 50 years of running and also a return from last year's hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moises Canales-Lavigne / Global News

The Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) announced on Wednesday that they are dealing with an operating loss of $321,000 from its 2021 event.

Last year marked the 50th edition of the Canadian Western Agribition and the first after being postponed due to the pandemic. CWA CEO Chris Lane says that despite the financial loss, he considers last year’s event a success.

“Finances aren’t the only measure of success,” Lane said. “To be able to bring together 85,000 people over six days and return to a place of excellence for agricultural promotion and a marketplace…50 years of Agribition, I think was a big win for us.”

According to a release from the CWA, the organization still made over $4 million last year, despite the losses.

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With less limitations this year, Lane says they’re hoping the upcoming Agribition will push them back into the black.

“The good news is that Agribition’s business model is strong and has been strong, so we really are in a position to continue to grow the show and even with the loss, continue to build the show for 2022 and years beyond.”

The CWA also announced that there will be a shakeup in leadership coming this year, with Lane departing from his role and president Chris Lees’ term expiring.

This year’s Agribition is scheduled to run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3. Lane says that the CWA managed to work through the COVID restrictions last year, but they’re aiming for more of a return to normal this year.

Click to play video: 'Set up underway for return of Agribition next week in Regina'
Set up underway for return of Agribition next week in Regina

“In 2022, we really are planning a show that’s at the core of what Agribition’s known for,” Lane said. “A professional rodeo, full trade show, full education program returning again, as well as a full slate of the livestock.

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The 2022 event is also said to include a renewed food experience, expanded bison programming and Agribition beef supreme. Lees says he’s excited to welcome visitors back this year.

“Dust off your boots, put your hat on and come to town because we’re ready for you,” Lees said.

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