Earlier in the year, the Canterbury A&P Association made the difficult decision to cancel their annual New Zealand Agricultural Show for 2020. With the uncertainty the country was facing owing to COVID-19, and the financial demands of the 2020 Show rolling in, the Association made the decision based on their financial and moral obligations. Even with stopping the planning of the 2020 Show early on in the year, the Association was still hit with a financial impact, and turned to its members, competitors and public visitors for a helping hand.
A ’Show Saviour’ campaign was launched and messages of support and kind donations flooded in, from those not willing to say goodbye to an event that showcases Canterbury’s community spirit. The campaign generated the Association just under $100,000, meaning they were able to meet all their obligations, save some money and look positively towards utilising the remainder for planning a triumphant return in spring next year. Event Director, Geoff Bone, never fails to be surprised by the care shown by the community for the Show.
“We were overwhelmed by the support and encouragement shown for the campaign. I know for many it was hard to comprehend why a decision had to be taken so early, but for an Association with such a fragile history, progressing was a risk we just could not take. The love shown by our community has shown that preserving the future was the right call to make. It really is a special group of people who take part in the Show. We even had the incredible team at Silverstream Charolais donate the proceeds of a bull…It was just incredible. We are so thankful to everyone who donated.”
Along with the monetary and innovative donations the Association received, there was message after message showing just why this Show needs to remain a part of Canterbury’s future.
“My husband and I are retired and have lived in Rolleston just over 2 years, relocating from Auckland. Our friends brought us to the A&P show, the first year we arrived. We were very impressed and have continued to come, now bringing our family, who moved a year ago. We now have the third generation visiting the event and we would like to do so for many years to come”
“We love NZ and absolutely adore this show. As a show horse judge, this event is one I am always honoured to be invited to judge at. The whole event, from the organisers, to the hospitality, exhibitors, to the close friends we have made via this incredible, much loved event. As Australians, it is very much an event which is very close to our hearts. Love to you all – and we look forward to more wonderful times & attending the show in the future.”
“Well done team on making an early decision – not easy but certainty is important for everyone at this time and one year of no NZ Agricultural Show over the period of 157 years, while significant right now, is no show stopper. Wish you well in managing your way through this.”
“I’m in Auckland but in 2015 I came to the show. It was awesome. Want it to keep going 2021 and beyond because I’ve always intended to come back down with my growing family.”
“At 81 and to the best of my memory I have never missed a a Show, As an exhibitor for 30 odd years, and as part of the Corriedale show section, the Show has been a major part of our lives, which we will miss this year.”
Since the decision was taken, the various CAPA Committees that come together each year to activate the livestock competitions at the Show have spent the time reviewing whether to progress with smaller events of their own. Although some decided to hold back and return in 2021, many have decided to press on and looked into innovative ways to activate for their community this year. The Association received further support for these events this week, in the form of funding from the The Domestic Events Fund (DEF). Funding received from the government has ensured the Association can keep a core event team on board in order to activate plans for this year and to progress with planning for next.
With regards to 2020, from on-farm dairy & shearing events to indoor Mighty Mix Dog Trials which were held last weekend, there is no doubt the level of competition will remain high.
The events hosted at the Park will remain closed to the public with exhibitor only access. There is the opportunity to follow the on-farm dairy competition, with further details to be provided shortly.
The Association will also be working with ChristchurchNZ to bring a little bank holiday fun to the CBD too, by hosting a ‘City Farmyard’ in the CBD.
“The Hazlett Farmyard is one of the highlights for our urban visitors, giving them a chance to get a hands on experience with farmyard animals and learn from those who work with them daily. It was only right if we were looking to put on events for our exhibitor community that we looked to do a little something for our visitors too.” Geoff Bone, Event Director.
The City Farmyard, Brought to you by the Canterbury A&P Association, will be held on Gloucester Green in Christchurch’s CBD on Friday the 13th of November. There will be tasty treats and free live music on offer, alongside a ticketed farmyard. The team behind the Let There Be Meat BBQ Comp held at the Show, the Smokin Que Crew, will also be onsite serving up delicious low and slow BBQ and giving some pointer to anyone who may fancy their chances in the BBQ comp at the Show next year. Further details on where to buy tickets will be released shortly.
Canterbury A&P Association 2020 Competitions
Mighty Mix Dog Trials
To be held in the RDA building at the Canterbury Agricultural Park on 22 & 23 August.
CAPA Equestrian Competition
We are happy to announce we will host dressage, showing, hunters and show jumping events at the Canterbury Agricultural Park on 12 & 13 November.
CAPA Shearing Competition
The Shearing Committee will be running a competition at Marble Point on 5 & 6 November.
BBA Boar Competition
There will be an exhibitor only pig event on 13 November, at the Canterbury Agricultural Park.
The 2020 Vero Cattle Competition, brought to you by the Canterbury A&P Association
We are very pleased to announce that entry forms and schedules for the Beef, Dairy and Youth Sections will be available on-line shortly. Dairy will be hosted on-farm with prize giving at the Park on 13 November. All other events will be hosted at the Park.
Judging to be held on the following dates: Fleece – Monday 2 November, Breed – Friday 13 November at the Canterbury Agricultural Park.
NZ Aromatic Wine Comp
To be Chaired by Jim Harre and held on 10-11 October. Entries are open now and close on 7 October.