Royal Winter Fair Rolls Out the Red Carpet to Welcome the Country to the City

Toronto, October 8, 2008 ─ This November, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will roll into town, and roll out the red carpet to thousands of livestock, the biggest, giant vegetables you’ve ever seen, hundreds of farmers and competitors, and over a dozen Olympic equestrian riders, including Canada’s individual gold medallist Eric Lamaze and his incredible mount Hickstead, as well as Canada’s silver medal show jumping team members Ian Millar, Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs Friday, November 7 to Sunday, November 16, 2008.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is an experiential event that takes place in Toronto every November at Exhibition Place. The Royal is the largest combined indoor agricultural show and equestrian competition in the world, showcasing Canada’s best in agricultural products, technologies and competition.

“Simply put, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is one of the best events in the country. While our livestock competitions are truly amazing, The Royal has so much more to see and do including equestrian events and wine competitions, and showcases some of Canada’s best agri-food innovations,” said Bill Duron, chief executive officer, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. “The Royal is a one-of-a-kind event where adults and children alike can learn about food and where it comes from, as well as the environment in which it grows, and how to best preserve it.”

Now in its 86th year, The Royal has educated and delighted millions of Canadians on all aspects of agriculture; however, research shows that The Royal still has some work to do. Survey results indicate that a whopping 20 per cent of Canadians don’t know the difference between a sheep and a lamb. The top three incorrect responses included: ‘sheep is a group of lamb’, ‘sheep have wool, but once sheered, the animal is a lamb’, and ‘sheep are male, lamb are female’. The correct answer, of course, is that sheep are adults; lambs are young.

Lasting 10 days, The Royal could not come at a better time, as the survey showed that more than half of all Canadians (54%) feel that November is the dreariest of the fall months. Further, one third (34%) of Canadians are looking for entertaining and affordable activities in November. With a variety of special shows and feature areas at The Royal, including The Royal Horse Show, IAMS SuperDogs shows and education and agri-food innovation, guests will surely be impressed. This November, stick it to November. Come to The Royal to beat those November blahs.

Highlights of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

The Royal Horse Show
The most prestigious and important indoor equestrian event in North America, The Royal Horse Show continues to captivate audiences 86 years after its inception. This year’s show is no doubt going to dazzle audiences like never before with the presence of world famous riders, competing in all three of the Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage and The Royal’s own Indoor Eventing. Canada’s individual gold medallist Eric Lamaze and Hickstead will once again pair up – this time on Royal soil – to compete alongside their silver medal show jumping team members including Ian Millar, Jill Henselwood and Mac Cone.

Adding fuel to the competitive fire will be several members of the U.S. gold medal show jumping team, as well as riders from Europe who will be competing at The Royal in an effort to take back championship titles that, no doubt, they believe are their birthright.

More than 55,000 spectators are expected at this year’s ticketed events. Staged at the impressive Ricoh Coliseum, these performances will showcase the best in equestrian sport; combining the thrill of competition with family entertainment in a package not found anywhere else.

As one of the hottest shows, The International ShowJumping Competition brings together up to 23 of the world’s best show jumpers, including eight top Canadians. The horse and rider teams will compete for over $350,000 in prize money and the prestigious “Leading Rider” titles, working to clear jumps up to an impressive 1.6 metres high.

The IAMS SuperDogs Show 
The stars of the show Tad, Treasure, Slider, Sprint and Pot Roast, plus 40 other canines bow-WOW fair-goers with their antics and athletic feats. Watch them race around, up and over obstacles; launch themselves over high barriers; and even sing and dance; working as a team to put on a stellar performance.

Agri-Food Innovation at The Royal
Agri-Food Innovation is dedicated to educating visitors about the importance of the agri-food sector and how it impacts the everyday lives of Canadians through five essential components: healthy living, renewable energy, environmental stewardship, agriculturally based bio-products, as well as safe and locally produced food.

Education at The Royal 
As over 25,000 students visit each year, The Royal continues to be a popular group excursion for students of all ages – from cities and rural areas throughout the province. For many city kids, this is the first chance to see agriculture up close. School children who think milk comes from the grocery store are exposed to the behind- the-scenes development of milk by seeing that it in fact comes from a cow!

For additional features and events taking place at the Royal, please visit www.royalfair.org.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Details

Where: The Ricoh Coliseum, The Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place 100 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3C3

When:
Friday, November 7 – Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 7 & Saturday, November 8 - 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 9 - 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Monday, November 10 to Saturday, November 15 - 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 16 - 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Horse Show tickets and schedule. All horse show tickets include full General Admission to all areas of the Fair. Tickets can be purchased through www.royalfair.org, www.ticketmaster.ca, any Ticketmaster box office, the Ricoh Coliseum, or by calling Ticketmaster at 416-872-7777. For the horse show schedule, visit www.royalfair.org. Single Seat (adult, senior, child, youth) $36 to $70*
* Royal Horse Show ticket prices depend on date and seat location. Subscription tickets are also available.

General Admission:

Adult - $18
Senior (60+) - $14
Student/Youth (5-17) - $14
Children 4 and under - FREE
Family Pass (2 adults, 2 youth/child) - $40
Family Pass (1 adult, 2 youth/child) - $37
Extra Family Member with Family Pass Ticket - $14

Survey Methodology

Angus Reid Strategies conducted the online survey among a representative sample of 1,000 adult Canadians, on Thursday, October 2, 2008. Results are based on two-sided tests with significance level 0.05.

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For a PDF of this press release click here.

For more information, or to schedule an interview please contact:
Tiffany Fisher/Priya Sen
Whetstone Communications Inc.
Tel: (416) 595-9776
Email: tiffany@whetstonepr.com/priya@whetstonepr.com

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