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Royal Winter Agricultural Fair to run virtually this year

Northern Ontario Agri-Food Pavilion vendors to focus on growing e-commerce business
20191119 royal winter fair wide trina
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will go ahead as a virtual event this year. (File photo/Trina Turl)

After announcing in June that the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair would be cancelled this year due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the organization has instead opted to hold a virtual version of the event Nov. 10-14.

Thirty vendors are expected to participate in the Northern Ontario Agri-Food Pavilion, with a focus on growing business through e-commerce.

Despite the change in plans, FedNor has said it will continue to fund the pavilion for 2020 and 2021, announcing $598,520 to support the endeavour.

“We are delighted to partner with FedNor for what will be an exciting new venture this year to establish a virtual Northern Ontario Pavilion,” said Neil Fox, general manager of Economic Partners Sudbury East/West Nipissing Inc., in a Nov. 3 news release.

“Our pavilion has always been one of the must-see attractions and we’re looking forward to welcoming new and familiar visitors to our digital site, which will help participating businesses to boost online sales, enhance their competitiveness and create employment across the region.”

Registration to attend the virtual event is free of charge.

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Hosted annually at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, the Royal is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition.

Each fall, the event brings together hundreds of competitors, thousands of animals, and upwards of 300,000 visitors to celebrate the best in agriculture, local food, and equestrian competition.

The Northern Ontario Agri-food Pavilion is the largest exhibit at the fair and 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.

The funding was announced in a Nov. 3 news release by Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, on behalf of Mélanie Joly, minister of economic development and official languages and minister responsible for FedNor.