Agrifair deficit lessens in 2012

Abbotsford's country fair lost about $7,000 this year, but that's down from the previous deficit of $20,000.

The 2012 edition of Agrifair got close to break-even, despite soaring temperatures that discouraged fairgoers, and organizers of the city’s summer fair believe they are on the right track.

It was “a very successful fair even though we lost a little money,” president Ernie Silveri told the recent Agrifair annual meeting.

The 102nd edition of the country fair lost about $7,000, which was an improvement over the 2011 fair, which generated a deficit of just over $20,000.

Agrifair general manager Pamela Brenner blamed the small loss on a drop in attendance caused by the extreme heat wave which occurred during the fair. West Coast Amusements was forced to shut down its rides at one point, because the metal around the seats was hot enough to burn riders.

“Weather will always be a factor in how well a fair does,” Brenner said. Most years, Agrifair attracts 36,000 fairgoers.

The loss in gate revenues was offset in part by a $13,000 increase in sponsorships.

“I fully expect the 2013 Agrifair to be in the black,” Silveri said in a press release. “We are receiving incredibly strong support from the City of Abbotsford and the increase in sponsorships shows the local business community is also rallying behind the fair.

“Our goal is to move Agrifair from being the ‘best little country fair’ to a ‘big country fair,’ ” Silveri said.

To ensure the fair meets that lofty goal, Silveri invites the community to submit their ideas to the board so they can be incorporated in the planning.

“We want everyone’s input because everyone is important to us. This is not our fair, it’s Abbotsford’s fair.”

Suggestions and comments should be sent to agrifair@telus.net.

Members of the board who were re-elected at the AGM include Silveri, Don Curtis, Lea Reisig, Neil Watson and Jared Webster. The group also welcomed back former director John Durham and elected Keith Nash as a new director to the board. Directors then elected their 2013 executive, consisting of Silveri as president, Al Philps as vice-president, Susan Krochter as secretary and John Durham as treasurer. Reisig and Watson were added to the executive as directors-at-large.

The 2013 Abbotsford Agrifair will be held Aug. 1-5 at Exhibition Park.2012-11-09

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