• Home of the Barrie Fair


Welcome Barrie Fair Exhibitors!

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4h girlsWhat a rush! We have been busy working with 23 committees of the Barrie Fair to put together the 2016 Exhibitors Prize Book. The office has been a buzz and we are so happy to have such a wonderful group of volunteers who help make the Barrie Fair a success each and every year. 

If your household receives Farmview, you will have most likely already received the Prize Book as we were lucky enough to be able to print our book as an insert in the newspaper this year. We do have extra copies in the office and will be distributing them around Simcoe County at various businesses, so keep a look out. A big Thank You to Lisa Peterson for donating her time to layout the book this905922_10156323060735647_1250282800738801031_o year (a huge undertaking!!). 

Please take the time to read over the General Rules & Regulations of the Barrie Fair as there is important information for exhibitors. The information in this document will ensure you will be prepared when you arrive to exhibit. 

We have added some new and exciting committees to the fair: Gaited Horses, Miniature Horses and Meat Goats. We welcome some new Committee Heads this year: Carol McIsaac of Gaited Horses; Irene Wiles and Tracey Steeves of Western Games; Tracy & Cassandra Bishop of westernMiniature Horses and Becky Vissers of Meat Goats. It is always a pleasure to welcome new volunteers to the fair.

If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment to thank the committee head of your committee for helping make the Barrie Fair a success! It is the intent of the Essa & District Agricultural Society to make sure we can promote agriculture for another 163 years and we can’t do it without people like you.

One thing we love to see is all of the youth involvement in the fair, whether as an exhibitor or a volunteer. Perhaps you would be interested in applying to become the next Barrie Fair 2015 AmbassadorsAmbassador? The public speaking experience and scholarships are an incentive to apply! 

I know my kids will be entering their works of art in the Home Craft department this year as well as participating in the Lord Simcoe Series. There are so many great craft projects you can do with your children over the summer to enter at the fair and my kids have had fun looking though the book and dreaming up all of the things they can make.

 The staff and I at the Essa Agriplex are looking forward to welcoming you to the 163rd Barrie Fair,



Elizabeth McCowan
General Manager
Essa Agriplex
[email protected]


RCMP Musical Ride Press Release

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dome webThornton Ontario, April 20, 2016 – One of Canada’s most recognized icons, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Musical Ride, will be performing at the Essa Agriplex on August 27th and 28th, 2016.

The RCMP Musical Ride represents a colourful Canadian tradition. The troop of 32 horses and riders will perform a variety of cavalry drills choreographed to music. Working through a unique medium, they support the RCMP community policing efforts throughout Canada.

The Musical Ride was developed in 1876 by early members of the North-West Mounted Police to display their riding ability and entertain the local community. It has evolved over the decades into a uniquely Canadian performance enjoyed by tens of thousands of spectators every year.

boot-botte-lances web

photo credit: Bob Belfoy

Members of the Musical Ride are first and foremost police officers. They all have at least two years experience in active police work before volunteering for duty with the Musical Ride. Surprisingly, most have no prior riding experience.

For ticket information call Alyssa Turgeon at 705-726-1200. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to The Essa & District Agricultural Society.

For further information contact:

Host Organization
Essa & District Agricultural Society




The Essa Agriplex,

7505 Tenth Line, Thornton Ontario, L0L 2N0

705-726-1200 www.essaagriplex.ca

Photo credit: John McQuarrie

Volunteer With Us!

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The Essa & District Agricultural Society, a not-for-profit charitable organization, would like to invite you to become a volunteer at our many events throughout the summer! Volunteering is a great way to be involved in your community, be a part of promoting agriculture and make new friends! 


Students are able to gain valuable volunteer hours needed to graduate high school. Whether you can volunteer for a few hours or sit on one of the various committees, we’d love to have you! 

Check out the events calendar to see when you can help out! 

You don’t have to already be involved in agriculture to volunteer with us! There are many volunteer positions that do not require any livestock or agricultural experience! Perhaps you are interested in: event management; marketing; administration; public relations or maintenance… the list of volunteer interests is long! Make your summer count and volunteer with the Essa & District Agricultural Society. 

Give Alyssa or Elizabeth a call at 705-726-1200 or email us at [email protected]



Georgian College offers Farmers to Processors workshop

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Transition Smart – Farmers to Processors workshop

farmers to processors

February 20 and 27, 2016 at the Georgian College Barrie Campus or March 12 and 13, 2016 in St. Jacobs.

This workshop was developed through the strategic partnership between AMI and Georgian College. The focus is connecting farmers with the tools to become processors. Covering everything from operational planning, marketing, product development to pricing, distribution and sales. The workshop will focus on practical preparation tools that can be immediately implemented and identifying feasible value-added opportunities for your farming business.

For more information please contact [email protected] or visit our Food Entrepreneurship page.

Register now as space is limited or call for more information 705.728.1968 ext. 1605. The workshop is $179 plus HST.

Volunteer Christmas Party

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The Board and Staff at the Agriplex would like to take time this holiday season to thank all of the volunteers who help make the Barrie Fair and other events a success! Please join us on December 11th at the Baxter Community Centre, 7pm for a family style dinner and great company.

RSVP to [email protected] or call the office at 705-726-1200 to RSVP. 

christmas dinner invite2

The Barrie Fair Donates to Local Charities

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Community engagement was apparent at the 2015 Barrie Fair with local entertainers, service and community groups abound but after the event the organizers of the Barrie Fair continue to show their support to the community by donating the proceeds of the popular 50/50 draw to local non-profit groups. 

Cedar Heights, Christian Horizons and Youth Haven were this years recipients of the proceeds, each receiving a cheque for $430.00. The Essa and District Agricultural Society will continue their commitment to building strong communities.

Congratulations to the winning tickets! All winners have been contacted and have received their prize.

August 26   575017

August 27   575081

August 28   575324

August 29   676615

August 30  576516


4H Celebrates 100 Years!

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The Barrie Fair is gearing up to celebrate 100 years of 4H! 

Alumni will have fun watching the 4H day while participating though fun games and other activities. Masterfeeds will be cooking up a country breakfast for all 4H participants to start off the celebration from 7-9am!


4Hers will then begin showing their Dairy Cows, Sheep and Horses at 10:00AM. 

Birthday Cake and Game Shows will include current and past members and will surely be a fun event! 

If you have any photos or stories that you would like to share, please contact [email protected]

A Big Thanks to Georgian College for sponsoring the day.Georgian_EventProudlySupported_Tile

You can find Georgian College in the vendor area of The Georgian Pontiac GMC Barn. 

June News Letter – Ring upgrade

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Agriplex News:

Attention all riders! This year the Agriplex has decided to embark on improving the quality of its outdoor riding rings. Over the past few weeks, we have had the pleasure of working with Harry Meredith who has worked his magic by giving a couple of our outdoor riding rings a facelift. The changes that he has made will improve the ring’s drainage, as well as their overall riding quality for both the horses and riders. Our goal is to have him come out and make these same changes to all of our rings in the future, as we work towards hosting more horse shows on our beautiful 100 acre property. We look forward to having more horses and riders visit us here at the Agriplex!

July News Letter – The Essa Canadian National Draft Horse Exhibition

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Agriplex News:

It’s that time of year again! The Essa Canadian National Draft Horse Exhibition is happening this year August 1-2 at the Essa Agriplex, showcasing majestic horse breeds such as Belgians, Clydesdales, Percherons, and Shires. This two day event will be running a multitude of classes, with the addition of the new 8 horse hitch class occurring on Saturday August 1st. We will also have the Horse pull on Saturday, the Commercial horses on Sunday, and the North American Classic Six Horse Hitch Series running both days. Come out and experience the thrill of watching these gentle giants demonstrate their power, and beauty this summer at the Agriplex! For more information visit us at www.barriefair.ca.


News Letter – Year End 2014

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News Letter – Year End 2014

Agriplex News:

2014 has proven to be yet another busy year here at The Agriplex, and we would first like to thank all of those who’ve made this year such a great success! We’ve had many exciting events take place at our new location, starting with the Dominion Rabbit & Cavey Breeders Association show in April, and ending in September with Barkfest and the Harvest Fall Fair, with demonstrations from the OPP Canine Division. We’ve also had the pleasure of lending our facilities to the Essa Equestrian Riding Club, the Native Friendship Centre, the first Essa Canadian National Draft Horse Show, the September International Plowing Match, and let’s not forget our very own 161st Barrie Fair at the end of August!

pic1Furthermore, this year we had the privilege of hosting the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies AGM at the Living Faith Presbyterian Church in November. This brought in a large number of attendees, giving everyone the opportunity to share ideas for future improvements, as well as promote the Ambassador Program to our youth and community. Moreover, in our efforts to stay green our facility has added solar panels on all 5 barn roof tops, and we planted an abundance of trees along the entrances.

Lastly, we hope that everyone had the chance to come out and support the Agriplex as we participated in four Santa Claus Parades: Cookstown November 14th, Angus and Barrie November 15th, and Alliston November 22nd. We hope that everyone had a great experience at all of these fantastic events, and look forward to seeing both new and familiar faces in 2015!


161st Barrie Fair

This year’s local officials who graciously helped with the opening of the 161st Barrie Fair included, Mayors Dowdall, Lehman, Baguley and Hughes, MP Stanton, Deputy Mayors and Inspector Cockburn, OPP. Following the opening ceremony, Christine Handy officiated our first Ambassador Competition with judges selecting our Senior Ambassador, Amy Stuart and Junior Ambassador, Robyn Handy.


pic2More good news happened at the 2014 Barrie Fair, as we were thrilled to add three new shows: the East National Goat Show, the Poultry show, and the Western horse show. Also the Draft Horse Show has expanded, now including Commercial Drafts which promises to bring more spectators. In addition to all of these great shows, Home Crafts did an exceptional job displaying their quilts, unique crafts and local crops, drawing a lot of public interest. Other great attractions included the Kids Zone, Midway, the Craze Crew BMX stunt shows, Barrie Kempettes, K9, the Royal Chef Challenge, Marshall Dane & Hotel California performances, as well as The Knights of Columbus who hosted the Beer Gardens. Some of our other popular shows comprised of the local vintage tractor pull, the Simcoe County Holstein show, various 4H shows, Hunter and Jumper competitions, and finally the Demolition Derby and OPPTA pull.


We would also like to note our key sponsors for the 2014 Fair: Honda Canada, Barrie Chrysler, Telequip, Spring Tree Farm, CRS Contractor Rental Supply, Georgian Chevrolet Buick GMC, Church’s Farm Equipment, Richards Equipment, Campbell Amusements and Johnson Insurance. We are sincerely grateful for their support and invite other community partners to step up to ensure the future of the Fair and its benefits to this county. In addition, we would also like to thank all of our employees and volunteers for helping the 161st Barrie Fair be a great success!