Agricultural Societies are the lifeblood of communities across Alberta. They’re the focal point of many Alberta communities with numerous Agricultural Societies featuring state-of-the-art facilities such as rodeo and fairgrounds, display buildings as well as grandstands and concert bowls. Agricultural Societies such as the Camrose Regional Exhibition (CRE) are the center of so much social activity, and really have been at the heart of Alberta’s towns and cities since Alberta became a province in 1905.
Economic Boosters for Towns and Cities.
Something that many people may not realize is just how big an impact Agricultural Societies have on local economies. Agricultural Societies are also strong economic drivers in terms of the events they hold, and the people they attract to their towns and cities. Visitors to events at Agricultural Societies spend millions of dollars annually to support local restaurants, hotels, and stores contributing to the local economies, and helping boost local employment. These events also benefit local tourism as delegates and visitors often look for interesting sites to visit while they are at their event.
A Source of Pride for Rural Communities.
Agricultural Societies and the events they host are also pride points for many communities. The Annual Bull Congress at the CRE is an excellent example. The Bull Congress is now famous across Canada and draws visitors and vendors from well beyond the borders of Camrose. Going into its 36th Annual Year at the CRE, the Canadian Bull Congress has literally injected millions of dollars into the local economy, but more than that – its a tremendous source of pride for the Community of Camrose as well as the CRE. The Annual Canadian Bull Congress is just one of many events hosted by the CRE throughout the year. Whether it’s the tens of thousands of country music lovers who gather every August long weekend for Big Valley Jamboree, or the hundreds who flock to the Annual Acreage and Garden Show every spring, the events held at the CRE are important to the fabric of the community.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same. Thankfully.
The CRE originally began in September 1908, just 3 years after Alberta officially became a province. The CRE’s original objectives focused on encouraging improvement in agriculture, horticulture, and homemaking, resulting in an improved quality of life for members of the agricultural community. Much has changed in over one hundred years, however the commitment to the community for the CRE and many Agricultural Societies just like us, has remained the same. That’s one of the best attributes about an Agricultural Society – it reminds everyone of all that is good from our past – while focusing on the future and new generations who will bring innovation but still respect the values Agricultural Societies have brought to their communities.