Contract not renewed for Abbotsford Agrifair general manager

Pamela Brenner has been GM of the annual fair since 2007

The 2015 Abbotsford Agrifair was held from July 31 to Aug. 3.

The 2015 Abbotsford Agrifair was held from July 31 to Aug. 3.

The board of Abbotsford Agrifair has announced that it has not renewed the contract of general manager Pamela Brenner.

President Ernie Silveri thanked Brenner, who first became the GM in 2007, for her “many years of loyalty” to the association.

“She is an amazing person and an outstanding administrator,” he said.

Silveri said the “difficult decision” was made in order to reduce expenses – Brenner’s salary is about $68,000 – after Agifair, which ran from July 31 to Aug. 3, experienced “another disappointing year” due to extreme weather conditions.

He said the event has experienced severe heat the last three years that has impacted attendance, which tallied 41,553 in 2013, 37,276 in 2014, and 35,883 this year.

Silveri said he didn’t yet know the financial deficit for this year’s fair, but expects to have that figure in the next day or two.

Each year from 2011 to 2014, Agrifair has received a $90,000 grant from the city, and Silveri said the board will ask for the same amount later this year.

In 2011, the fair ended with a deficit of $25,000, but almost broke even the following year, when it lost about $7,000.

In 2013, the fair recorded an $11,000 profit, but was again in the red last year, when its losses amounted to almost $16,000.

Silveri said the board of directors is “regrouping and restructuring” in time to have the year-end financials completed and presented to its membership at the association’s annual general meeting in early November.

“Following this, the newly elected board of directors will begin the process of reshaping the 100-plus-year-old community event and ensuring Agrifair’s future,” Silveri added.