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Plowing match secures provincial funds

Event expected to welcome 80,000 people over five days
20190906 international plowing match
International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (Supplied)

The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) has landed $240,000 in provincial funding to help Verner, located east of Sudbury, host the event Sept. 17-21.

Investments include:

  • $225,000 for infrastructure, including road surface treatments and installation of culverts, fencing, signage, bleachers and stages;
  • $15,000 for marketing, such as branding, as well as for shuttle bus services to ensure the event is accessible to residents in the West Nipissing region and neighbouring communities.

"This event helps make our province open for business and open for jobs by generating interest and investment in Northern Ontario's thriving agri-food sector."

More than 800 acres of farmers’ fields will be transformed into a tented city, competition plowing fields and a serviced RV park. Activities will include live entertainment, an interactive education area and more than 500 exhibitors and food vendors.

While the IPM will primarily showcase agriculture, it will also feature exhibits and displays that focus on Indigenous and Francophone culture, the forestry and mining industries, and tourism in Northern Ontario.

This marks the second time in its history that Northern Ontario has hosted the International Plowing Match, and the planning committee has been working for years to return the event back to the North.

In 2009, the event was held in Earlton, about two hours north of North Bay. 

"Hosting IPM 2019 is an historic opportunity for West Nipissing and I'm thrilled that the Province of Ontario is investing to help us capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime event," said Neil Fox, chairman of the IPM’s 2019 board, in the release.

"By stepping up to the plate and investing in tourism infrastructure as well as effective marketing and promotions, the provincial government is helping to ensure the social and economic benefits of IPM 2019 will last for many years to come."

The funding announced on Sept. 6 is in addition to earlier funding announcements of $250,000 from Celebrate Ontario and $564,075 in federal funding.

Over five days, the event is expected to bring $25 million in economic spinoff for the host community and surrounding areas.