Editor, The Times:
The Provincial Winter Fair Society would like to thank the community for their overwhelming support, and confirm that our fair [PWF] will be held Sept. 22 to 26, 2016, at the North Thompson Agriplex in Barriere, B.C.
Our fair is well on its way to being a successful celebration of 4-H youth and local agriculture. The Provincial Winter Fair Society is a group of volunteers determined to host a great fair in a transparent, community minded manner.
The majority of our group has been involved with PWF for many years, and represent 4-H clubs from the Kamloops, Barriere, Rock Creek, Westwold, Clearwater, Pritchard and Knutsford areas. Our group is based from a large geographical area and benefits from many members with multi-generational involvement in the fair. We respect the long history of PWF, and our group is united in the goal to host a community event that celebrates agriculture and youth.
Recently, we have had considerable change in our relationship with the KXA [Kamloops Exhibition Association]. Historically, the PWF Committee was formed in 1939 and hosted the Annual Provincial Christmas Fat Stock Show and Sale in Kamloops. They continued to hold an annual fair and changed the name in 1961 to Provincial Winter Fair.
In or about 1969, the PWF Committee entered into a lease agreement to hold the PWF at the KXA facilities. These facilities offered a great venue, and the fair enjoyed many successful years. During these years, the PWF Committee always planned, directed and operated the fair.
In 2010, the KXA and the Kamloops Indian Band were unable to resolve a dispute over the lease of the facilities and payment of taxes. The KXA was not able to provide a location for PWF, and the PWF Committee moved the fair to the North Thompson Agriplex in Barriere. The Barriere community has been very welcoming and we have enjoyed five successful fairs at this location.
Needless to say, the relationship between the KXA and the PWF Committee has become strained. The legal relationship between the two entities between about 1970 and present is currently a matter before the Courts. It is – as it always has been – our position that the PWF Committee was separate from the KXA and was never owned or controlled by the KXA. In the words of Mr. Justice Rogers:
“The evidence is not at all clear as to how the business of the (PWF) Committee and the business of the (KXA) became entwined. There can be no doubt, however, that the (PWF) Committee existed as an entity with a distinct purpose prior to becoming involved with the (KXA). There can equally be no doubt that prior to that involvement, the plaintiff did not run the PWF.”
Our position in regard to this dispute is a matter of public record; we do not believe it is necessary to summarize the issues between the parties that has resulted in need for the PWF Committee (and indeed six of our members personally) to defend itself in Court, nor do we feel that this would be fair to the 4-H clubs, participants, volunteers and sponsors whose time is properly spent focusing on the joys and benefits of the annual fair.
For those interested, our response to the KXA’s lawsuit and the decision of Justice Rogers quoted above can be obtained at the BC Court Registry under Action No. 52840.
We remain confident that we will be successful in defending this lawsuit.
Irrespective of the KXA’s lawsuit, we are steadfast and committed to operating a fair on the traditional weekend for years to come, and will consider relocating the fair to Kamloops if, and when, suitable facilities become available.
To this end, on July 7, 2016, Mr. Justice Rogers dismissed the KXA’s application to prevent the PWF Committee from holding a fair in Barriere.
We are pleased with Mr. Justice Roger’s interim decision and look forward to another successful year.
We have continued to plan the upcoming PWF as we have done for years with most of the same volunteers and community support we have appreciated in the past.
We understand the KXA will be hosting its own fair in Kamloops at Circle Creek Equestrian Center – we are sincere in our well-wishes to the KXA and are hopeful for their concurrent success.
Irrespective of any legal action, we strongly want to reassure the community that all sponsorship, entry monies and financial support is going directly to the fair events. Our legal fees are being covered separately by the volunteers named in the suit and by supporters of our society who directly request to support our legal team.
It is our commitment to the PWF history, 4-H youth, and local community that drives our intent to continue hosting our fair. We hope to provide a fair for the whole community to come together and celebrate our youth and local agriculture families.
We are ‘Striving to be Fair Minded’ and would like to invite everyone to join us in September!
Provincial Winter Fair Society PO Box 1082,
Barriere, B.C., V0E 1E0