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Ontario Provides $19,708.05 to Agricultural and Horticultural Societies in Niagara

Smithville – The Ontario government is providing $19,708.05 to support agricultural and horticultural societies in Niagara. Today’s news was shared by Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. This investment will help these organizations continue to operate and support their important efforts to educate people about the value and significance of agriculture in the province.

“Local agricultural events like the West Niagara Fair and Wainfleet Fall Fair are seasonal highlights for many farm families across Niagara,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.

“This additional funding for local agricultural and horticultural societies in Niagara is an important step to seeing a return to our festive fall fairs.”

The funding is part of the Agricultural and Horticultural Support and Recovery Funding Initiative. Locally, the Grimsby Garden Club, Lincoln Garden Club & Horticultural Society, Pelham Horticultural Society, Smithville Garden Club & Horticultural Society, Wainfleet Agricultural Society and West Niagara Agricultural Society will receive provincial support.

This new funding builds on previous investments of more than $7 million to assist these organizations across the province over the past two years.

There are two streams to this round of funding:

  • Base Support Funding will be issued to all eligible Agricultural and Horticultural Societies through funding payments of $1,000 as a means of supporting their continued incorporation and activities.
  • Hardship Funding for eligible agricultural societies will provide additional support which will be based on reported gate revenues from 2019. This will help off-set operating losses, liabilities and fixed overhead costs related to land and buildings.

“The West Niagara Agricultural Society is grateful for the acknowledgment of the Ontario government of the impact Covid-19 restrictions have had on agricultural societies,” said Annette Van Marrum, President of the West Niagara Agricultural Society.

“This second round of funding will help towards successfully hosting the 2022 West Niagara Fair this coming September after having to cancel for two years.”

“This is great news from the Ontario government,” said Albert Witteveen, Councillor for the Regional Municipality of Niagara.

“The funding will support our grassroots rural agricultural community in Niagara, including organizations like 4-H Canada, who compete at local fairs.”

“Ontario’s agricultural and horticultural societies have long-enriched communities throughout the province and we look forward to them continuing to make significant contributions, from main street beautification projects to hosting the long-standing tradition of agricultural fairs, throughout the province in 2022,” said Hon. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“These investments reflect the value of the societies’ contributions and our government’s recognition of the pandemic-caused pressures these organizations have been weathering.”

Agricultural and Horticultural Societies play a critical role in educating Ontarians on the importance of agriculture and celebrating a rural way of life. Supporting this important sector, at this time, will ensure the long traditions and economic contributions of the societies will continue and strengthen as the province manages the impacts of COVID-19 and moves forward into the future.