Agrifair returns to Abbotsford Exhibition Park this Friday to Sunday (Aug. 3 to 5) with plenty of displays and attractions to suit everyone.                                (Abbotsford News file photo)

Agrifair returns to Abbotsford Exhibition Park this Friday to Sunday (Aug. 3 to 5) with plenty of displays and attractions to suit everyone. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Agrifair manager confident 2018 will be 3rd profitable year in a row

Despite turbulent finances for several years, operator says attendance, sponsorship up; expenses down

After two years of profits, the operator of the Abbotsford Agrifair is feeling confident going into the 2018 event.

Agrifair had posted a $51,000 deficit in 2015, with losses ranging from $7,000 to $25,000 in previous years, but fair manager Melanie Kish said the annual fair has now posted two straight years of profits.

Related: Contract not renewed for Abbotsford Agrifair general manager

“Going into this year with the new attractions – the RCMP, the Dolly and Spanky Show, the dog show, the logger competition – we’re looking forward to another positive (money) flow,” Kish said. “We’ve changed to a three-day fair from a four-day, so not being open on the holiday Monday reduced expenses. And without having the rodeo, which was a $90,000 program, that also reduced expenses.”

Related: Abbotsford Agrifair posts $38,000 profit

The fair had posted a $17,000 profit in 2016, and last year marked a second consecutive profitable year, at $38,000 in the black.

“We’ve refocused on branding ourselves as a family event and the community seems to be liking it,” Kish said.

In particular, she noted the creation of a free family space plays a role in bringing in family attendance, especially when it provides families some relief from extreme heat as in years past, along with free entertainment.

Related: Rodeo cancelled at this year’s Abbotsford Agrifair to save money

Kish said there is room to bring the rodeo back, but it would take a big surge in revenue for that event, which typically only brought about $30,000 in advertising.

“If someone writes me a cheque for $90,000, I am happy to work on bringing the rodeo back. But I am not putting the fair in the red for one event.”

This year’s Agrifair runs from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 3-5.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

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