Kathryn McCourt examines some of the items at one of the table displays at last year’s Summerland Fall Fair. The annual agricultural fair will not be held this year

Kathryn McCourt examines some of the items at one of the table displays at last year’s Summerland Fall Fair. The annual agricultural fair will not be held this year

Organizers consider streamlining Fall Fair

While the Summerland Fall Fair will not take place this year, organizers are considering the 2016 fair.

While the Summerland Fall Fair will not take place this year, organizers are considering the 2016 fair.

In late May, the fair’s board of directors voted not to hold the annual fair in September, but Tim Broesch, president of the fair, said he is looking ahead to next year.

The fair has been held each year since 1909.

“We want to have a very high quality event in 2016,” he said. “We’re going to make some changes to the fair so it will be more self-sustaining and easier to plan.”

Broesch said efficiencies at the board level will make it easier to plan and run the fair.

He said the committee has typically spent 12 months to plan and organize the two-day event.

“To me, that seems very excessive,” Broesch said. “It should not take 12 months of planning.”

By streamlining the process, he expects to be able to start planning the 2016 fair in February of that year.

Some of the existing board members will remain for next year and another three to four will be needed, he added.

The fair also requires plenty of volunteers to serve as convenors, judges and to help set up and take down the exhibits.

“We have more than enough volunteers for the weekend,” he said.

In addition to the plans for the next fair, Broesch said the directors are making other changes.

The website will be updated to include a message that the fair has been cancelled for this year.

The fair is also in the process of closing its office space on Kelly Avenue.

Broesch said the cost of rent, telephone and Internet was several thousand dollars a year.

The board will put the trophies and records into storage, while historical information may be taken to the Summerland Museum.

Earlier this year, the fair faced difficulties because of finances and volunteers.

The financial challenge came when the B.C. Gaming Commission audited the fair. This delayed a $20,000 gaming grant.

In addition, the fair’s board of directors was reduced to just eight members. While this number of directors satisfied the fair’s requirements, it was not enough to adequately plan the fair for this year, Broesch said at the time.

Mayor Peter Waterman was disappointed with the move to cancel the fair for this year.

“I think it’s unfortunate that they came to that decision,” he said. “The fair has been well received by the community.”

He added that organizing the fair has been a difficult task for the volunteers on the board.

“Big efforts like the Fall Fair fall on a few shoulders,” he said.

 

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