Has Exhibition Park Outgrown Its Present Location?

Exhibition Park has been part of Lethbridge for over a century. In 2007, it estimates that it contributed more than $80 million dollars to our local economy and provided entertainment and knowledge to over 850,000 visitors. Since 1998, the organized activities it hosts have grown by nearly 50% to 570 events including Whoop-Up Days, which is the most prominent. Quality space is now at a premium for the ever-expanding needs of exhibitors. It is only a matter of time before some business is turned away.

With facilities aging, infrastructure in need of repair and empty space for expansion nonexistent, Exhibition Park is at a crossroad. Should it make do, repair and maximize existing space, or does moving away to a larger parcel of land with room for growth make more sense? But how much will it cost and who will pay for it?

Speakers: Georgina Knitel and Rudy Friesen

Georgina Knitel is the President of Exhibition Park. She was born and raised on a farm in Northern Alberta and holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from U of A and an MBA in Agriculture from the University of Guelph. Georgina is a partner at Cox Wealth Management, specializing in succession planning for agri and small business. She also mediates for the Provincial Civil Court in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, primarily for cases regarding agricultural will and estate issues. Georgina is in her second year as President of the Lethbridge and District Exhibition, after being elected to the Board in 2001.

Rudy Friesen is the General Manager of Exhibition Park. He was born and raised on a farm south of Saskatoon. After attending the University of Saskatchewan, he worked six years in radio and then for two different non-profit organizations dealing with agricultural education and advocacy. His career in the exhibition industry began in 1993 in Saskatoon, first with Prairieland and then as General Manager of the Swift Current Exhibition. In 2002, he accepted the position of General Manager at Lethbridge’s Exhibition Park. Rudy is the current President of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions.

Date: Thursday, May 1, 2008 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM

Location: Country Kitchen Catering (lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S. Cost: $10.00 (includes lunch)

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