Canadian Western Agribition has reported a loss for 2021 but believes it was valuable to final stage their 50th show.
Past President Chris Lees says it's always difficult to report a loss, but notes COVID played a big part in the $321,000 deficit.
"You know, we were down 25 to 30 per cent on livestock entries and, the same at the gate coming in. We've been somewhere in the neighbourhood of 120,000 to 125,000 people come through the gates. Last year we had 85,000."
He notes the good news is they were able to finally put on their 50th show.
"By all reports and what have you it, it may have been one of the best shows that we've ever had in 50 years, simply from the fact that finally got people back together. The atmosphere and the barns and what have you is extremely positive to just people getting back to somewhat normality."
Despite the loss, the 2021 show did record more than $4 million in revenue.
CEO Chris Lane says they knew it wasn’t going to be an easy return to business, but in spite of the challenges, exhibitors, partners, and fans showed up in a big way.
"It was important to be here for the agriculture and western entertainment industries, and we’re already planning the next show."
The 2021 show marked the last show as president for Chris Lees who now hands the reins over to Kim Hextall, of Grenfell, who moves into the chair. Michael Latimer of Olds, AB is the new vice-president.
Latimer has been a board member since 2015, while Hextall has been on the board since 2014.
One of the first duties of the new executive will be finding a replacement for CEO Chris Lane, who after almost six years in the role is moving on to other opportunities.
Meantime, the board and staff are busy finalizing plans for this year's event, which runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3.