Organizers of the Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition, one of the province’s major summer agricultural fairs as well as the province’s “only professional rodeo,” have cancelled the event for 2020.
In a letter posted April 21 on the event website, Norm Gauthier, president of the Valley Agricultural Society, said, “it was clear the health of our sponsors, guests, performers, exhibitors and volunteers could not be guaranteed with the running of a major event” during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual event, which for 2020 had been scheduled for July 16-19 in Morris, typically draws 20,000 to 30,000 people on average and is one of the stops on the Canadian Rodeo Tour.
The not-for-profit Valley Ag Society, which dates back to 1895, has operated the stampede since 1964.
In his letter, Gauthier assured ag society volunteers their “efforts are not in vain” as the organization will continue to plan for the July 2021 event and “all that has been done up to now will carry over into the next year.”