20 March 2019

Perth & District Historical Society March Meeting

“The Fair Deal”

Our Society can expect to have a fair appeal to all who attend the March 21, 2019 meeting.  Loree Tannett returns, but with a different topic from her previous visit in February 2017.  This time, she takes us on a trip to the annual fall fair.

Fairs, in one form or another, have been around for centuries.  While they may exist for many reasons, it is the annual agricultural version we are most familiar with in our area - and the theme for our presentation.  Fairs in Canada are governed by the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, the umbrella group for the provincial organisations – for our province, the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies.  These local fairs can be large and extend for several days, or small, and measured in hours. 

When we were young, the annual fair was exhilarating, magical, fascinating – a feast for the senses.  For the adults, the fair was an opportunity to see the results of the year’s labours, whether for agricultural or the domestic arts.  The competitions touched on every imaginable category, from best in class farm animal or crop to the top product from the kitchen or the sewing basket – and they could be lively.  The fair was also a social activity, providing the opportunity to catch up on the latest news or gossip in the community.  Not least, the fairs helped the younger generation to develop, and receive recognition for, their skills through the 4H programmes. 

Loree, who has a longstanding interest in local fairs, has frequently entered the competitive fray with her own work, often successfully.  For her presentation, she will look at the background, history and evolution of the rural/agricultural fair found throughout Ontario and Canada.  It will also touch on a more recent attraction to the annual fair, the “Midway” - how it has altered the perception of the fair and has become so commonplace in the fairs of today.  A major challenge for modern-day fairs is ensuring that they remain relevant, and, while recognising the community’s roots, also adapt to changing times and attitudes. 

Please join us
Thursday, March 21, 2019- 7:30pm
at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion,
26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, (Toonie Donation).

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