Alberta Agricultural Society Innovation Award

The Alberta Agricultural Society Innovation Award  was created to recognize agricultural (Ag) societies

for their innovation and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2021 WINNERS 

 

Agricultural Society Innovation Awards

As central community gathering places and major event hosts, agricultural societies continue to be adversely impacted by COVID-19 event closures.  However, during this time many agricultural societies have found new ways to serve their communities, while adhering to public health orders and guidelines.  The Ag Society Innovation Award program was created to find a way to recognize the innovation and resilience shown by Alberta’s agricultural societies during COVID-19.

A selection panel reviewed 29 applications and choose winners in 3 categories:

  • Smaller primary Ag Societies with communities under 1000
  • Larger primary Ag Societies with communities over 1000
  • Regional Ag Societies

Some wonderful examples of new initiatives that ag societies have undertaken this year include:

  • Running online fundraisers
  • Creating virtual programs and fairs
  • Offering contactless catering, meal pick-up and delivery
  • Organizing outdoor drive-in concerns, events and movies
  • Finding new ways to connect with and engage communities, and
  • Maintaining existing partnerships despite the challenges.

 

Here are the inaugural recipients:

  • Smaller primary Ag Societies with communities under 1000

Honourable mentions in this category go to the Ardrossan Recreation & Agricultural Society for their version of the Reverse Parade and the Eaglesham & District Agricultural Society for their Christmas Spirit project.  These initiatives had a tremendous influence on their communities that will continue to benefit them in the future.

 

Congratulations to the Bezanson Agricultural Society the winner of this year’s award for finding new ways to positively impact their community through initiatives that include the Freezin’ Hub and Creating Connection.  With everything at a standstill, they were still able to develop new opportunities and programs to meet the needs of the community through a diversity of ideas and collaborations that resulted in job creation and focused community engagement.

  • Larger primary Ag society with communities over 1000

Honourable mentions go to the Stettler Agricultural Society for various programs including a year round farmers market and youth clinics; a collaboration of the Crossfield/Madden Agricultural Society for their skill development program and Helping Hands Produce Box; and High River Agricultural Society for developing their first farmers’ market and Summer Series Junior Rodeo.

 

Congratulations to the Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society the winner of this year’s award for their Virtual Fair, Online Fundraising and Christmas Market.  Their creativity and ingenuity during the pandemic has evolved their “business as usual” practices to incorporate new processes that will benefit them and their community for years to come.

  • Regional Ag Society

Honourable mention to Lloydminster Agricultural Exhibition Association for their Virtual Fair, Reverse Parade and innovative use of existing facilities and volunteers.

 

Congratulations to the Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural and Exhibition Society for continuing to serve their community through various engagements that include an outdoor movie theatre, a grad ceremony that gave each grad a special experience, outdoor concerts, fundraising opportunities for various organizations, dog-sled tours, modified horse racing and many more initiatives that provided the community with unique and safe experiences.