The Swift Current Ag & Ex is preparing for the new year after reviewing 2022.
In their annual general meeting (AGM), the Swift Current Ag & Ex looked back on all they accomplished last year and offered a peak at what is to come in 2023.
Stan Aikens, the Finance Chair and Commercial Exhibits Chair for Swift Current Ag & Ex attended the meeting and was pleased to look back at a year filled with challenges that were overcome.
"Just putting it on after years of not being able to with covid restrictions," said Aikens. "That was a big success."
They were able to discuss the struggles they faced with their trade show. As the restrictions forced trade show vendors to find other means of selling or other avenues of living, they weren't as eager to sign up as exhibitors. There were also some who experienced trouble finding enough staff to come to work the venue.
"On the other side, with Discover the Farm, it was just amazing that we were able to put something on and keep things going," added Aikens. "We were fairly restricted with the avian flu outbreak."
The avian flu going around then meant that producers couldn't bring their livestock for show. Instead, Swift Current Ag & Ex found a workaround by setting up virtual animal shows and bringing in other animals for the in-person features.
"We were quite pleased, and I think the community appreciated it, especially the schools."
Looking ahead at this year, Frontier Days will be experiencing some changes. The biggest one that will affect most of the people attending will be the increase in gate prices. For adults, the price will go from $5 to $7.
"That was a difficult decision for us to make," said Aikens. "We've had the same price now for 14 years. With increased costs for us, for many things, we just felt we had to do that."
Last year the losses incurred by Ag n Ex during Frontier Days exceeded their expectations. As the supply chain was freshly ruined and prices were skyrocketing for nearly everything, they took a hit of $24,676 in net losses.
"We recognize that this past year was the first year after covid that we could open things up, and people were really wanting to get out," Aikens noted. "I think there's still that need in the community to do that."
Last year wasn't entirely a bust by any means. It was their most significant year for event attendance ever, and this year, they hope to keep the steam going and are planning for an increased presence again with bigger shows, events and even new features.
"We're again looking to put on a new event this year with a bull riding type of thing in the fall and or later summer, in conjunction with Taking it to the Streets," revealed Aikens. "We hope that we'll continue to grow. We'll provide a good deal of entertainment for the community and surrounding area."