“There needs to be upgrading.”
– DORIS FLETCHER, MAAS PRESIDENT
Agricultural socie-ties will share $94,500 in provincial grants in 2009-10 to help cover costs of much-needed upgrades such as paint and repairs to barns, grandstands, bleachers and signage.
The provincial government announced the grant last week.
“These organizations support and encourage the exhibitions and fairs that are key enter tainment and social events for rural and urban communities and an excellent opportunity to showcase volunteers contributing to their communities with homegrown competitions and displays,” Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said in a news release.
The cash is much needed and will be well spent, says Doris Fletcher, president of the Manitoba Association of Agricultural Societies (MAAS).
Virtually every ag society needs cash to repair buildings and facilities, many of which are badly in need of repair, she said. “There needs to be upgrading,” she said.
Bonnie Kaspar, secretary for the Gilbert Plains Agricultural Society, which is receiving a grant this year, said continuous upkeep is required to maintain facilities such as a racetrack and grandstands.
Manitoba’s two Class A fairs, the Red River Exhibition and the Provincial Exhibition in Brandon, six Class B fairs and 15 Class C fairs are receiving infrastructure grants this year.
Manitoba has a total of 59 agricultural societies.