MHS Centennial Organization: Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba
Agriculture has been, and always will be, a foundation on which Manitoba’s economy is based. So it should not be surprising that, soon after the City of Brandon was incorporated, a group there formed the Brandon Agricultural Society to showcase their community and sell their products. In October 1882, local businessmen put up $200 and called for entries of cattle, horses, pigs, poultry, and grains. This led to the first of an uninterrupted series of Manitoba Summer Fairs. The need soon arose for a second annual fair and, by March 1908, the Brandon Winter Fair was born. Its purpose was primarily to promote the sale of livestock – especially horses, which provided farm “horsepower” – and to encourage improvement in the breeding lines and care of animals. An educational component – lectures and meetings – was added for the benefit of farmers attending the fair, along with displays by government agencies, implement dealers, and other manufacturers. The summer fair began at the corner of 10th Street and Victoria Avenue but soon moved to its present location along 18th Street. The two fairs were operated independently until 1967, when they were amalgamated under the umbrella of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba. A visit to the Winter Fair by Queen Elizabeth II in 1970 conferred royal patronage, and it was henceforth known as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. The latest addition to the Exhibition’s family was 1974’s Manitoba Livestock Expo, which started as a cattle show but, as the buildings at the Keystone Centre expanded, grew into a trade show and rodeo. Today, the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba operates these three fairs annually in support of its mandate of showcasing the province’s agriculture, and linking its urban and rural communities through education and awareness while fostering economic enhancement, entertainment, and community pride.
An MHS Centennial Organization Award was presented by President Gordon Goldsborough to the Mr. Jim Ferguson, President of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba on 23 April 2006.
Presidents (Provincial Exhibition)
Presidents (Winter Fair)
Presidents (Provincial Exhibition / Winter Fair)
Lawrence Stuckey Collection, S. J. McKee Archives, Brandon University.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 February 2023