As New Zealand continues to weather the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have found our daily lives affected and levels of sacrifice woven into the everyday.
The Association has continued to monitor the situation, with the necessary commitments of planning a November Show looming. With the future of the pandemic uncertain, the Association’s financial position fragile and the possible risk to public health considerable, it is with a heavy heart that we today announce that the Association has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Show. This is the first time that Canterbury will not see its biggest springtime event since World War II.
The Canterbury A&P Association have been proud guardians of the Show for 157 years, promoting rural excellence, bringing rural and urban audiences together and putting on one of New Zealand’s largest community events. It is without a doubt owing to the committed group of volunteers that so generously give their time that the Show has grown to the success that it is today. With over 500 individuals coming together each year, the Show proves a united front like no other. A community spirit and celebration of all things kiwi that must not be lost. The thought of continuing an event that welcomes just under 100,000 through the gates does not seem imaginable at the moment, with the risk it could place on public health and the continuously changing government guidelines potentially prohibiting it anyway.
What must be actioned, however, is fighting for the survival of future Show’s and a strong return in 2021.
It is with this in mind that we today launch the Show Saviour campaign. The Association is committed to returning all funds to businesses who have already invested in the 2020 Show, meaning we face significant financial impact this year with no option to recoup the funds with a Show. The Show Saviour campaign calls on anyone who has a connection with the Show to help us fight for survival. Whether it is a fond memory of watching the Shetland Steeplechase as a child, a family gathering to watch the formidable parade of animals in the Ballantynes Grand Parade or relaxing on the Village Green to the soothing sounds of our friends at the NZ Army Band, we all want to see our showtime favourites again.
Our Event Show President recorded the below message to show just why your support now is so gravely needed.
Whether it is big or small, your donation could just save the Show and ensure the community is back together in 2021.
The Association will continue to promote rural excellence and share information on the great achievements happening in our industry. Now, more than ever, we must push for community spirit.