Chamber changing focus from April trade show to July long weekend

February 20, 2013, 2:02 am
Adam Wightman


For years, the biggest event on the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce's annual calendar has been the Home Farm and Leisure Show in late April.

This year the chamber has decided to cancel the annual trade show, and will look at reinstating it as a biannual event starting in 2014.

Meanwhile, the chamber is looking at putting on an event to draw shoppers to town, and to provide a bit of fun, on the July long weekend. The Moosomin Chamber of Commerce discussed the two events at its Tuesday, Feb. 12 meeting.

Because of the demands placed on volunteers and declining interest from local businesses-some of which are short staffed and have a hard time finding time or staff to take part in the show-the chamber agreed to give its organizers and local businesses a break from the event for this year. The Home, Farm and Leisure show has gone on every year over the last decade. It's purpose is to showcase local businesses and the services available in Moosomin. But over the last couple of years there was increasing interest from out-of-area businesses and declining participation for local businesses.

"It was communicated at the executive meeting that perhaps we should show the show every other year," said Ed Hildebrandt, the president of the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce. Our observation of last year's event was, we had less and less participation of local businesses. The businesses that were there were predominantly out of town."

"We're receiving a message that perhaps we need a break." So, instead, the chamber will be focusing its efforts on helping to make this year's Canada Day weekend in Moosomin one to remember. At the Tuesday meeting the chamber laid out a blueprint for the events that will take place on that weekend, in conjunction with other events put on by the Moosomin Armoury and the Moosomin Regional Park.

The Chamber had looked at doing a business promotion and street dance on the July long weekend last year, but didn't move forward with the idea because it would have conflicted with McNaughton High School's graduation ceremony.

This year, grad has been moved to May, and the Chamber will move ahead with its plans for Saturday, June 29.
Chamber secretary Kevin Weedmark said he checked with other groups to ensure the chamber's plans wouldn't conflict with any other group's plans. Because Moosomin Regional Park is marking its 50th anniversary this year, the park board is planning special events each long weekend this summer leading up to the fireworks show on the August long weekend. Because the Chamber is planning its events for the Saturday of the July long weekend, the park board plans to hold its events on the Sunday.

The Armoury Committee, which held some small events for Canada Day last year, is planning some events for Monday, July 1, and Borderland Co-op has looked into putting on an outdoor movie or similar event on the Friday of that weekend. "We've talked about working together to promote these events, and we'll end up with a whole weekend of events, with the Chamber responsible for the Saturday," Weedmark said. Chamber executive member Kari Murray said the chamber had come up with the idea of a business promotion and a street dance both to promote local retailers and to provide a fun event for Moosomin residents.

Pansy Taylor of the Moosomin Armoury Committee spoke to the chamber about the events the armoury is hosting on Monday, July 1. They are planning to have an open house at the armoury and Taylor said that the open house will hopefully have a display of students' artwork, with possibly a horseshoe toss, a card tournament and other games.

She said the armoury is looking at the plausibility of hosting a free public-swim, a barbecue, and potentially some events like face-painting, a watermellon-eating contest, a bubble-blowing contest, a baby crawl, and a three-legged race.

They will also be having a parade on Monday. Murray said that anyone with questions regarding the parade should talk to John Turnbull, the owner of Fisherman's Wharf, who will be one of the main organizers of the parade.