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This article was published 18/8/2021 (241 days ago), the information it contains may therefore no longer be up to date.
The Manitoba Provincial Exhibition got a big helping hand paying off its head office mortgage on Tuesday.
Central Services Minister Reg Helwer stood outside the Dome Building in the afternoon to announce that the province has established a fund with the Brandon and Area Community Foundation that will provide the expo with up to 500,000 $ to repay his debt.
Every two dollars raised by the Provincial Ex will be matched with a donation of one dollar for the debt.
After borrowing money to renovate and restore the Dome Building in 2009, Provincial Ex still has to pay off about $1.2 million in debt.
Funds received through this process may also be used by the Provincial Ex to create an endowment fund for long-term maintenance.
The building, also known as Exhibition Building No. 2, is the last remaining structure of four built for the 1913 Federal Exposition held in Brandon. It is both a federal and provincial heritage site.
Speaking of the significance of the building, Helwer said it was the first place he played indoor hockey back when they used to flood the interior to make a skating surface.
“As we emerge into a post-pandemic Manitoba, I am confident that the Dome Building and the wonderful Manitoba Provincial Exposition team will play a key role in our province’s economic recovery while uniting our people and communities once again. communities,” says Helwer.
Speaking on behalf of the ex-provincial, President Greg Crisanti expressed his joy at receiving the funding.
“It’s going to get us closer to running out of this mortgage and our monthly mortgage payments,” he said. “We can continue to organize great events and keep this little piece of history alive.”
While Crisanti has acknowledged tough times are ahead when it comes to fundraising, the exhibit has already proven its ability in this regard by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to stay afloat after having to cancel most of its flagship events for two consecutive years.
When asked why his government decided to support Ex Provincial in this way, Helwer said there had been a lot of talk over the past 18 months about how to support organizations like this. . Crisanti later clarified that the province had approached the exposition to propose this arrangement.
Helwer said when the government was looking for a vaccination site in Brandon, there was interest in using the Dome Building for that purpose, but it just wasn’t big enough.
According to Crisanti, the goal is to raise the funds needed to pay off the mortgage within five years.
The minister said there have been conversations with the Minister for Sport, Heritage and Culture, Cathy Cox, about finding ways to support other small town fairs threatened by the pandemic.
Although federal government funding or assistance has been taken off the table during the current federal election campaign, Crisanti said he has no regrets about not working with the federal government before the writ.
“Our timing might be a little off,” he said. “We will have to wait about a month before we can contact the federal government, but we certainly hope to arrange meetings with our local government and with the federal government and we will take it from there.”
Attending the announcement was Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest, who called it a “positive development”.
“The Provincial Expo has certainly proven to be a very capable organization when it comes to fundraising, so with the Province adding this matching element…it will greatly improve their ability to attract funds and donors will feel much more inclined to make contributions knowing that it will leverage provincial funds that match their donations.”
With public health restrictions having been eased over the summer, Ex Provincial is currently working on preparations for Ex Ag Manitoba, which is scheduled to take place October 27-30.
It will be the organization’s first major live event since Ag Ex in 2019.