The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is one of Western Canada’s oldest and most prestigious agricultural events. Brandon’s first Winter Fair was held in 1906 and in 1908, organizers built a permanent home for the fair, which was already a favorite event of both the city folk and rural farmers as well.
From the very beginning, Brandon’s Winter Fair was the agricultural show of the west, drawing spectators and exhibitors even from the larger cities like Winnipeg. The livestock exhibits and the agricultural demonstrations were the cornerstones of the fair, and while the promotion of agriculture is still the primary goal of the organizers and volunteers, the fair continued to evolve along with Canada’s agricultural industry and fair goer’s desires. It eventually included displays of mechanized farm equipment, musical entertainment and world class equestrian events.
The Winter Fair continued gaining popularity and prominence, and in 1970 was given Royal designation by Queen Elizabeth II, making it one of only three exhibitions in the world to receive Royal patronage. This gave the now titled Royal Manitoba Winter Fair national and international attention.
Presently, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is one of the largest indoor agricultural events in Canada, taking up more than 12.5 acres of the Keystone Centre, and attracting nearly 120,000 patrons each year, the exhibition has an enormous economic impact on the city of Brandon.
Composed of both the traditional livestock and equine shows, but with additional attractions such as a large trade show, and world class entertainment such as the Super Dogs, the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair offers something for everyone, young and old.
One attraction that proves to be popular year after year is “Thru the Farm Gate”. This area follows the process of agricultural production from the farm all the way to the consumer. Educational demonstrations include; chicks hatching, milking, baby pigs and a seed show. A petting zoo is also included for some up close interaction with the animals. “Thru the Farm Gate” helps to demystify agriculture while entertaining kids of all ages.
While there is a variety of new attractions and entertainment every year, the main draw continues to be the evening Show Jumping programs. Large crowds fill the seats each night of the fair to watch the best horses from all over North America converge in Brandon to compete for honour and glory. Judges and course designers of the event include world famous Olympic participants from all over the world.
Another big attraction at the fair is the Heavy Horse Shows, and many fans of these gentle giants insist a fair just wouldn’t be a fair without the glistening and jingling of the heavy horses as they maneuver around the show ring! The thundering hooves of the draft horses entering the ring sends a shiver up your spine. The three minute, eight horse hitch drive with 20 tonnes of true horsepower is one of the most talked about events at the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair. This one of a kind event is a spectacular demonstration of strength, skill and finesse and is featured throughout the six days of the Royal during the matinee performances.
The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is just one event hosted by the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba, established in 1882. Other annual events include the Manitoba Summer Fair and the Manitoba Livestock Exposition.
For more information contact;
Craig Ebbers, Communications & VIP Coordinator
Phone: (204) 726-3590 ext 1007
“The Provincial Exhibition, a registered agricultural society, is a nonprofit charitable organization with the purpose of showcasing agriculture and linking urban and rural through education and awareness while providing entertainment, community pride and economic enhancement of the region.”