Organizers of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair have announced the event will return to an in-person format in 2022 when it will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
Citing the “international impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” organizers said the 2021 event would be hosted online, similar to the format adopted in 2020.
“Initially, we were optimistic that we would be able to gather at Exhibition Place this year to celebrate Canadian excellence in food, agriculture and equestrian sport. But as the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continues to create havoc around the world, it became clear that we weren’t going to be able to host The Royal in a traditional way,” Charlie Johnstone, CEO at The Royal, said in a July 14 news release.
“Our exhibitors and competitors put everything they’ve got into the pursuit of a championship, and we owe them a world-class showcase for their efforts. We’re simply not in a place to guarantee the stability and assurances necessary to plan their paths forward to compete at an elite level.”
Held every fall at Toronto's Exhibition Place, The Royal is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world.
It annually attracts upwards of 300,000 people to take in its sporting events, livestock shows, tradeshows, family attractions, and equestrian competitions.
Of particular note is the Northern Ontario Agri-food Pavilion – the largest exhibit at the fair – which provides participants from across the North with opportunities to establish new business contacts and expand their businesses.
In 2019, more than 50 Northern Ontario producers were featured at the pavilion.
Last year, with support from FedNor, Northern Ontario exhibitors participated in a virtual pavilion, with a focus on e-commerce and boosting their online sales.