Fairs of District 5
Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies

2022 AGM in Woodbridge

District 5 AGM 2022

The meeting was very productive with good conversations around inclusiveness and diversity.  More meeting notes to follow.  In the meantime, please have a look at the summary of Table Discussions.  Thank you Lorna for transcribing the list of  ideas which came from all the groups of attendees.

Check out the photo gallery of 2022 attendees.


Table Discussions

District 5 AGM

Table Discussions!

Note: the following are compilations of what was recorded by scribes at each table.

Thank you to the scribes for their in-depth recording of what was being talked about at each table.


  1. Did other fairs have midway challenges this year?
  • No midway. Rented inflatables *x3
  • No rides for older kids or adults x2
  • Long line ups x2
  • Midway had trouble getting safety passed
  • No problems x4
  • Fewer companies available and they went to larger fairs x3
  • Don’t pay in advance
  • One fair has a 10-year set price guarantee, another a 5-year contract
  • Potential new midway company called ACE
  • TSSA inspectors picketed, challenges in inspecting rides x2
  • No ferris wheel
  • Owner died no passwords
  • Negotiated fair contract at convention
  • Contract changes
  • Gates were up all around
  • Midway competition between two D5 fairs for same company
  • Wristband pre-sales went well x3
  • Wristbands might be a hard sell if people didn’t like previous rides


  1. It would be interesting to know how other fairs managed with Assist Expo
  • Limited use
  • Only some people have training in using it, better training needed
  • Fair management software with registration, judges’ sheets, cheques
  • Not an intuitive software, doesn’t follow standards
  • Lack of competition forcing fairs to sign up
  • No support or help (doesn’t answer phone)
  • Better than excel, but not great; proprietary, not open source
  • Replaces a lot of manual work and provides immediate results and reports x3
  • Requires better computers
  • User unfriendly, make app more useful to user
  • Works best on laptop or computer
  • Membership fees
  • Long learning curve x2
  • Expensive
  • Tech averse
  • Good!
  • Deals with fairbook well!
  • CRM for homecraft
  • Great for entry tags


  1. Fairbooks, paper or online?
  • One fair did not print, only posted online x2
  • Many fairs did both x5
  • Less paper copies x2
  • Errors in printed copy cannot be corrected, hard to update
  • Used library, senior centres etc. as pick-up points.
  • Would like to see more online
  • Print on demand
  • Concerns that non exhibitors picking up printed copies


  1. What interesting additions were offered for visitors at your fair?
  • Backyard hobbies (gardening, chickens, honey, maple syrup)
  • Giant pumpkin contest
  • Band
  • Farmers market x3
  • Invite community groups
  • Childrens’ parade
  • Cow patty bingo
  • Midget wrestlers
  • Sheep herding demonstration
  • Truck pulls
  • Euchre club competition
  • Drag show in the beer tent
  • Cornhole, pickle ball tournament
  • Horseshoes
  • Artisan building
  • Paw Patrol visitor


  1. . do you advertise current year sponsors one year later (i.e. in your prizebook)
  • Yes x4
  • No x6
  • Banners with company names in main pavilion
  • Sponsors allowed to bring own banners during fair
  • Sponsors recognized with dinner x4
  • Sponsors recognized in are they are supporting
  • Signs, lots of signage
  • Paid position (% of sponsor dollars collected)


  1. Do fairs have one coordinator for indoor activities and another of outdoor so one person isn’t trying to manage it all.
  • Separate jobs/ committees x10
  • Sharing knowledge between volunteers, teaching, training volunteers
  • Manager and committee chairs, all committees must have co-chairs
  • Lost committee chairs due to retirement, struggled this year
  • No separate coordinator x2
  • Sign up chairs and volunteers at Ag Society AGM
  • One person responsible for vendors, both indoor and outdoor.
  • Lack of people wanting to be in charge
  1. Our indoor exhibits were down. How do we get the number back up
  • Invite previous exhibitors to come back
  • Have email addresses on file
  • Remove classes with two or less entries
  • Use social media to promote
  • Grant from Canada Post, workshops during the summer
  • reach out to schools, find teacher willing to promote
  • waived some Homecraft rules for this year only
  • email blitz
  • social media
  • Promote, promote, promote
  • sign up book for emails for updates and other notifications.


  1. Feedback from Fairs who used contactless gate admissions.
  • Used debit machines, worked well and was very easy
  • Cash
  • Online and debit, credit machines
  • No online
  • Used square for admissions, went very smoothly
  • Moneris, Eventbrite for presales
  • Advanced gate sales went well
  • Many fairs had online sales
  • All accepted cash at gate



*x means number of fairs who had similar comments





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