Cam Fortems – Kamloops This Week
A B.C. Supreme Court justice has declined to issue an injunction to shut down a Provincial Winter Fair in Barriere, ruling to do so may imperil the 4-H event.
The Kamloops Exhibition Association is suing the Barriere-based Provincial Winter Fair Society, claiming the newly formed group stole the Provincial Winter Fair identity to organize a rival event. It sought an injunction in B.C. Supreme Court to stop the Barriere event, which has sewn up about 70 per cent of participants for the event in late September.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Rogers said issuing an injunction now would imperil the Barriere event.
“Put another way, the plaintiff (KXA) has not shown, absent an interim injunction, the defendants will ruin goodwill by converting its agricultural exposition into a rock concert or motor car race,” Peters wrote.
The lack of an injunction means the two fairs — one in Kamloops and the other in Barriere — are set to go ahead as competing events with the same name on the same weekend.
The KXA claimed it was ready to host the Provincial Winter Fair and asked for an injunction to stop the Barriere group. But Rogers said he is not certain the event can be successfully held in Kamloops at this late date.
“I have no confidence that if the interim injunction were granted that the plaintiff would, at this late date, be able to put on the same show as can the defendants,” Rogers wrote.
While the Barriere event can go ahead this year, the larger issues between the rival groups will be settled at a trial before the next event in 2017.
“No one here is in it for the money,” Rogers noted in the decision released this week.
The KXA filed the lawsuit against the Provincial Winter Fair Society and seven people earlier this year.
Six of them are former organizers with the KXA’s own Winter Fair committee, while a seventh is a former bookkeeper for the KXA. That society was formed early this year after a dispute between KXA board members and organizers of the 4-H event.
The fair was started in 1939 and operated in Kamloops until 2010, when the KXA lost its lease with the Tk’emlups Indian Band. Organizers then moved it to Barriere, with a long-term goal of eventually bringing it back to Kamloops.
After a split this year, however, the Barriere-based group organized the event independent of the KXA. It argues organizers through the decades owned the rights and goodwill to the event, while the KXA was a little more than a partner.
Despite the ruling, KXA president Gary Gray vowed Friday his group will host its own Provincial Winter Fair in Kamloops this September. He said language in the ruling makes him confident a trial judge will find the Barriere group has wrongly taken the identity of the Provincial Winter Fair.
“Short-term loss, long-term win,” he said.
The Kamloops event was slated to be staged at the city-owned Tournament Capital Ranch in Rayleigh, but Gray said those plans have changed.
“We haven’t finalized it yet,” he said. “We’re in the midst of negotiating a deal.”