Fourth Quarter - Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions
CANADIAN FAIR NEWS
Volume 15, Number 4
Taking in everything the 2011 CAFE Convention
had to offer was ...
Quite the balancing act!
Canada’s Fair and Exhibition Industry Magazine
A Publication of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions / Association canadienne des foires et expositions
Box 13161, Ottawa, ON K2K 1X4 Toll-Free: (800) 663-1714 Ph: (613) 233-0012 Fax: (613) 233-1154 E-mail: [email protected] Web: www.canadian-fairs.ca
Copyright © 2011 Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE) and its licensors. All rights reserved.
Editor: Mavis Hanna Production Manager: Mavis Hanna Graphic Design: Mavis Hanna
In This Issue
President’s Corner • 4
Pacific National Exhibition • Inside Front Cover
From Mavis’ Desk • 5
Bandaloni • 23
Delivering a Customer Experience That Rocks • 6
Craz-E-Crew • 7
D-Code wins CYTC top prize • 10
AuthentiGate • 24
The Tension Mounts • 10
Libbertt Concessions • 8
CAFE Director’s Spotlight - Carl Schlosser • 11
Kidomo • 21
Caravan Concessions • 28
2011 CAFE National Awards • 12
MAAS • 19
2011 Convention Connection • 14
Calgary Stampede • Outside Back Cover
Letter From 2011 Convention Host • 16
CAFE Director’s Spotlight - Brian Casey • 23
Gary McRae Inducted into IAFE Hall of Fame • 24
Fun is Good! - Mike Veeck • 25
CAFE’s Strategic Plan • 26
CAFE has a new mailing address!
Quoi de Neuf? • 29
Please update your records
North American Carnival Museum and Archives • 30
Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions
Box 13161, Ottawa, ON K2K 1X4
Phone: (800) 663-1714 Fax: (613) 233-1154
E-mail: [email protected]
by hiring our member entertainers,
concessionaires and services.
UR industry in Canada
Association of Fairs
en e des
es et ex
Looking to hire an act, concession or service that isn’t a CAFE member?
Encourage them to join.
We are stronger, working together.
realizes the commitment required to complete
the task. The Board would like to thank
everyone for your comments or suggestions which
have been incorporated into the plan. We are also
investigating other proposals that should be a benefit
to our membership. These activities help keep our
members strong and moving forward.
Hello to all again. The CAFE 2011-12 year is well
underway with the 2011 CAFE Convention and
AGM completed November 16 to 19 in London,
At the Convention, Peter Male presented the new
Strategic Plan for CAFE and the Board of Directors
continues to develop plans and objectives for the
organization and the benefit of the membership.
The 2011 CAFE Convention in London was again
one of the best we have prepared and attended.
The speaker program was excellent, the seminars
presented information and ideas that can be
incorporated within the attendees` organizations.
Again many thanks to our host, the Western Fair
District and the staff of CAFE for organizing and
implementing the completion of such an excellent
At the end of November, I attended the IAFE
Convention as your President. My 1st time, a
rookie. It was a pleasure and proud moment to be
in attendance as one of our own was inducted to
the IAFE Hall of Fame Award, Gary McRae, past
General Manager of the Western Fair District. I
am proud to count Gary as a personal friend. The
seminars and breakout sessions had similar topics
as the CAFE Convention. Both Associations have
similar successes and thoughts for the future.
Your CAFE Directors are working hard on
updating the Strategic Plan. Anyone who has
been involved in developing a strategic plan
Canadian Fair News - 4
As we all complete plans for this year’s functions, let
us remember that we are all in the same business,
working towards the same goals and not enemies.
We shouldn’t be afraid to talk to each other, share
resources and ideas as someone has usually tried
them by providing feedback on their successes and
Wishing everyone the best,
CAFE 2012 President
From Mavis’ Desk
provide an industry view on subjects of direct interest
to the Canadian fair industry.
It was time to change the process for review of
the CAFE Convention to include direct delegate
involvement. Delegates representing different
sectors of our organization were requested to rate
all aspects of the convention and submit a report.
Their reports are stimulating, informative and really
highlight the range of the 2011 CAFE convention.
Their input allows those not able to attend a summary
of the convention. We thank all the writers for their
As Canadians, I hope you are enjoying winter and
looking forward to an early spring and great year to
support our fairs. In 2012, the Canadian Association
of Fairs and Exhibitions looks forward positively to
a successful year. A new 5 year CAFE Strategic
Plan was introduced at the CAFE Convention and
featured within this CFN is an article written by
Peter Male. Take time to read Peter’s article as
it provides an excellent overview of the Canadian
Fair Industry and the direction required for success.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased
to announce Mr. Harry Emmott is the President of
the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions
for a 2nd term. Mr. Emmott is immensely qualified
to lead our organization as past President of the
Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies and the
President of the Canadian Guernsey Association.
With years of industry experience, Harry has
been a member of the Paris Agricultural Society
since 1978 holding the positions of President and
General Manager. Mr. Emmott was elected as a
board member of the Canadian Association of Fairs
and Exhibitions in 2006 and elected as President in
I sincerely thank the Western Fair District Board
of Directors, Staff, Convention Committee and
Volunteers for their support of the 2011 Convention.
Their dedication, creativity and spirit were
instrumental in the success of the convention.
The 2012 Convention is scheduled for November
14 to 17 in Winnipeg, Manitoba with our host the
Red River Exhibition Association. Information will be
We are excited to announce the Canadian Fair
News will include a “Member’s Spotlight.” Articles
will spotlight a fair or a service member; share their
history, their current situation, and their future plans
and goals. If you wish to be featured, please contact
the CAFE office.
Each edition, we require articles directly related to
our industry. Please submit an article for publication.
Remember this is your CFN.
Executive Director, CAFE
PS. Due to a series of technical issues, this issue of
the Canadian Fair News was delayed. You can look
forward to receiving your next edition in April.
Our Board of Directors has committed to submit
industry articles for the CFN. This issue features
articles from Brian Casey, Maritime Representative
Director and Peter Male, Director. The articles
Canadian Fair News - 5
Delivering a Customer Experience That Rocks - 6 part series
This is part one and two of a six-part series that
investigates some of the fundamentals necessary
to deliver a differentiated customer experience by
Part 1 - Four Essentials Every Employee
Needs To Deliver Exceptional Customer
In this series, we’ll discuss techniques that you
can implement to improve the customer service
performance of your employees -- always with an
eye firmly fixed on improved profitability
Every employee needs to demonstrate 4 key
elements before they can provide superior customer
service to the people they come into contact with
on a daily basis, whether it’s on the telephone or in
The content is based on six articles that were
written for Bill’s monthly e-zine in 2011, where we
examined different aspects of delivering exceptional
customer service and how it leads to increased
Parts three and four will be featured in the next
edition of the Canadian Fair News with parts five
and six in the following edition.
Bill Hogg is recognized as the Performance
Excelerator™ because of his uncanny ability to
create profound change and deliver extraordinary
results with the most demanding organizations.
He works with senior leaders to inspire and develop
high performance teams that create long-term,
profitable relationships with your customers and
excelerate performance and productivity with
leaders and employees.
As a senior executive with over 25 years experience,
he has worked with national and international clients
that include; The Bay, Canadian National Exhibition,
InBev, Lever Canada, Lexus, McNeil Consumer
Products, Ontario Place, Procter & Gamble, State
Farm Insurance and the Province of Ontario.
Bill is passionate about results and works only with
clients who share that passion -- ready to take steps
to achieve immediate, significant and continuous
improvement. By drawing on real-life experience,
his message is inherently credible and incorporates
practical applications that change attitudes and
Whether working with boards or operations
teams and employees, his no-excuse approach
breaks down the silos and gains consensus
and clarity throughout the organization -- which
inspires behaviour change and ultimately drives
transformation across the organization.
Attitude Is The Key
A positive attitude cannot be taught -- it is part of our
hard-wiring. Employees need the right attitude when
they’re at work because a negative attitude is like a
cancer that spreads quickly. A positive attitude can
also spread quickly but that’s a good thing.
Your attitude affects the work you do and your
relationship with fellow workers, customers and
management. If your attitude is bad, then you’re not
going to do well in any service environment.
Don’t let other people’s bad attitude rub off on you
either. It’s easy to let it happen if they’re particularly
loud or overbearing. Keep things light and you’ll
reap positive rewards, maybe not today, but down
Customer service is a people business. Some of
them may be angry or upset, but it is our job to deal
with those emotions. Keeping a positive helpful
attitude will help.
To help customers get what they want; we first need
to empathize with them -- to put ourselves in their
shoes to better understand what they want. We need
to treat every customer as an individual instead of a
number. We need to treat every customer as if they
were the only one for the day.
You may have dealt with 30 customers before this
one but they don’t know that. Nor do they need to
know it because it’s not their concern.
Show them you care about their problem; that you
are there to help them achieve a successful outcome
for themselves. Without this key characteristic,
an employee can never be taught how to provide
exceptional customer service.
Continued on page 7
Canadian Fair News - 6
Delivering a Customer Experience That Rocks (continued from page 6)
Regardless of who is at fault concerning a customer
issue -- if anyone -- each employee must accept
accountability to deal with the issue. Customers
don’t care who made the mistake -- they simply
want things fixed or their problem solved.
Accountability isn’t about blame; it’s about finding
resolution for a customer who is unhappy with your
product or service. Often a simple apology on behalf
of the organization if the customer is unhappy will
start the process of customer recovery -- then the
employee can take action to correct the situation.
As the representative of the organization, the
customer is counting on each employee to make
things right. Even if the employee can’t personally
resolve the issue, they should be able to make sure
the customer gets to speak to the person who can.
Product Knowledge and Training
The first thing all employees must have before they
interact with your customer is the appropriate onboarding training and product knowledge. It doesn’t
matter if they’ve worked for a similar company or
industry before, they’re now representing your
business -- and resultant, should do things in a
manner that reflects your values.
behaviours is also essential -- as are the stories that
are shared across the organization about how we
treat one another and our customers.
Understanding the values that informed your
decisions when you developed your branded
customer experience is often more important than
simply knowing the process -- because it ensures
the employee starts to think like you and understand
what motivates the organization.
Without this emotional connection with your
organization -- they will only follow direction and
will never become a true ambassador for your
organization. Only once these values are ingrained,
will employees treat all customers in a manner
consistent with your organizational values.
Keep these 4 things in mind when thinking about
potential employees. The first 3 are essential
elements of their character and the fourth is your
responsibility. Without these 4 key elements, you
will never have a strong customer service culture in
Continued on page 8
Employees must have the necessary training
material/manuals so they can do their job properly.
But it’s not enough to simply hand them a book and
send them out to do battle. You have to go through
the material with them so they gain an understanding
of what to do -- and also why they do it.
“What” to do is the rational side of the equation. The
technical on-boarding may take a few hours or a few
weeks, depending on the nature of the job. Some
roles require on-the-job training and that’s fine -- but
everyone should know where to find information if
they need it, quickly and efficiently, so customers
aren’t kept waiting and are only given the correct
The other side of the equation is “why” -- the
emotional side. The emotional on-boarding may
require more time and ongoing reinforcement and
should build on the attitude that was identified during
the hiring process. Spending time with co-workers
who demonstrate the brand values through their
Canadian Fair News - 7
Delivering a Customer Experience That Rocks (continued from page 7)
Part 2 - Why Employees need Guidelines
not just Rules
Once we have the foundations of a strong customerfocused employee in place, we need to continue to
build on the on-boarding training they receive.
Rules are an essential part of any business. Rules
are necessary to ensure we make intentional
decisions. Rules are written to make sure people
are treated equally and consistently.
While there’s nothing wrong with this in principle,
there are always going to be situations where a
certain degree of flexibility is essential because
people are unique. The way they react to situations
is also unique and if you’re trying to offer great
customer service, you have to be flexible enough to
respond to their needs.
So, apart from rules that tell an employee what they
can or can’t do, it’s also essential that employees
have guidelines as well. These guidelines will
Canadian Fair News - 8
provide the boundaries that allow your employees
to make decisions for the benefit of the customer
-- and the organization -- without having to seek a
supervisor’s approval every time.
Guidelines enable employees to exercise personal
judgment which may mean all the difference
between retaining and losing a customer. Customer
satisfaction often leads to loyalty which greatly
improves the company’s overall profitability.
It’s impossible to make rules to govern every
possible scenario that may occur. When dealing
with customers, situations will arise where an
employee may have to use some initiative to solve
a problem but they can’t do that if there’s no latitude
with regards to the rules they have to follow.
Empower Your Front Line
It’s essential that customer service staff are
empowered with a certain level of authority. It’s
Continued on page 9
Delivering a Customer Experience That Rocks (continued from page 8)
pointless if they have to check with a supervisor
before making every little decision.
While a company may have a strict policy of no
refunds or exchanges without a receipt, there may
be times when it’s impractical for the customer to
provide one. If a strict policy applies and there’s no
flexibility to allow the employee to use their discretion
and bend the rules in such a circumstance, they
may lose that client and everyone they choose to
tell. However, if a refund, exchange or gift card is
granted, the customer would be happy and word of
mouth would be positive.
Common Sense should Prevail
Employers should respect and trust their staff to
make decisions based on their merit. Often it’s these
types of quick decisions that will mean the difference
between keeping or losing a customer. There are
plenty of examples where guidelines would be more
If meals are late in a restaurant, offering a bread
basket or some free drinks may quell the customer’s
frustration. A heartfelt apology would also be
appropriate. There are times when things don’t run
smoothly. Perhaps even a discount on their total bill
may be necessary and the front-of-house staff need
to have the autonomy to do what is necessary.
Restaurants regularly replace spilled drinks; their
rules might indicate no free drinks but they replace a
spilled drink because that’s good customer service.
The drink doesn’t cost much but is worth much more
than the cost in positive customer response.
In any customer-focused organization, we must look
at the situation from the customer’s perspective to
discover an appropriate solution. Often, asking the
customer what they feel would be an appropriate
solution will provide some direction. Experience tells
us that when asked, a customer often expects far
less than we would be prepared to give to remedy a
situation -- so it makes sense to ask.
to answer, do they seem stuck or confused? Do
they just repeat what you have already been told or
give you information you never asked for?
If the problem doesn’t have a “cookie cutter”
response, they can become lost. This is because
their training hasn’t prepared or empowered them
to think for themselves.
Staff should be trained to handle customer service
enquiries and provided with specific language that
you would like to see used. But not all scenarios can
possibly be covered during this training. Although
many of their problems are similar, customers and
their expectations are unique -- so you can’t treat
everyone the same way. It’s up to the employer and
staff to realize there’s an unknown human element
to dealing with people.
It’s imperative that staff understand the rules but
they should be allowed to use their initiative where
possible -- within the agreed guidelines. Most
problems can be solved if someone demonstrates
they care enough to understand the issue and look
for a solution; even if it requires a slight adjustment
of the rules, but still within company guidelines.
Without rules, chaos would govern the workplace.
There’s no doubt about that. However, management
must trust their staff enough to establish guidelines
with a degree of autonomy/flexibility when it comes
to making decisions in the workplace.
When customer service staff takes the initiative,
ask a few sensible questions and pay attention to
the answers, more problems get solved and more
customers leave happier.
Bill Hogg provides dynamic keynote presentations,
transformative workshops, and world class
For additional information email [email protected] or
online at www.billhogg.ca.
Cut the scripted responses
Have you faced the situation, whether on the phone
or in a retail store, of asking questions and receiving
responses from staff members that are robotic or
scripted? If you ask a question they don’t know how
Canadian Fair News - 9
D-Code wins CYTC top prize
The Tension Mounts
Submitted by James Reaney London Free Press
Submitted by Gregg (Scooter) Korek - North
American Midway Entertainment
Québec City dance crew D-Code came up with the
winning moves and the $3,000 first prize at the 2011
Canadian Youth Talent Competition in London,
ON. The troupe, made up of five teachers and
dancers from the Studios de Danse DixVersions in
Quebec City, has been training for two years.
Comprised of Stephanie Ambesi, Kassandra
Fradette, Yannick Arsenault, Gabrielle Marchand
Roy and Emrick Paquet, D-Code participated in the
recent world hip hop dance championships in Las
Vegas to finish 10th out of 49 groups.
D-Code’s other successes include winning the
Concours Betes de Scenes contest at ExpoCité. As
winners of the ExpoCité fair’s event, D-Code
advanced to the Canadian Association of Fairs &
Exhibitions national talent awards competition held
in London at the Western Fair District’s London City
D-Code was judged the best of the contenders during
events as part of the national association’s annual
conference. Scarborough-area dancer Katherine
Kasprzyk, representing the Canadian National
Exhibition, was first runner-up. Second runnercup was Thunder Bay-area standup performer and
singer Danielle Pollari, representing Northern
The second annual Elimination Draw hosted by the
Friends of the CAFE was completed on Saturday,
November 25th at the Canadian Association of
Fairs and Exhibitions’ annual Convention in London,
Ontario. The draw featured 15 cash prizes with the
Grand Prize of $7,500 going to Ardo Gerardo of
The tickets started to come out of the drum and
were eliminated on Saturday afternoon with the final
50 tickets drawn at the host night at the Western
District Fair Grounds.
The tension mounted as the final ten tickets came
out of the drum and a number of guests at the host
night still had live tickets.
The Winners are: Mike Zdebiak Jr $750, Howard
Pringle $400, Kathryn K Reed $750, Don Keil $400,
Eric Campbell $1,100, Tony Diaz $400, Liz Jackson
$800, Ken Lasalle $400, Jimmy Swain $1,500,
Darlene McDonald $900, Tony Diaz $900, Shane
Faberman $1,900, Terrance Ballinger $2,500,
Randy Reichert $3,700, and Ardo Gerardo $7,500.
We would like to thank everyone for their support
of the draw to support the fine programs that CAFE
offers. Also a Big thanks to Bill Sumner and the
friends of the CAFE that took time to sell the tickets.
Entertainment, President Tony Diaz was on hand
to present the awards and prize cheques to the
D-Code waiting for the winners to be announced
Canadian Fair News - 10
The 50/50 draw is always a big hit at convention
CAFE Director’s Spotlight - Carl Schlosser
2011 CAFE Convention
Now that I have had a chance to sit back and think
about this past years’ convention in London ON, it
has given me an opportunity to summarize why I
so much want to be a part of CAFE and attend the
annual convention. This year, was my last year of
six on the CAFE board and I was privileged to serve
it in the capacity of Past President. It saddened me
to see my board presence come to an end but it also
elated me to see the direction that the organization
is now going.
It started right from the moment I got out of
the cab from the airport at the hotel. PEOPLE.
This convention is about the people within our
organization and the experiences they share with
each other and the experiences which they create
for their visitors. It is the, “Hello, how are you doing?”
the minute you get out of the cab, which starts that
experience. Friends, peers, business relationships,
all very valuable and apparent and such a part of
our convention. This is the primary reason I attend
the convention, it’s about the people!
As I take a moment to check into the hotel and get
the lay of the land, it was very obvious that all was
in order. Signage and maps were posted, outlining
the areas of the convention. More people I knew
said hello, we caught up on the years’ activities and
then I moved on up to the room to unpack. During
this time I went through my notes to see what the
itinerary for the day was. Hmm ... I was going to
have to be making some choices on some days as
there were a number of sessions running concurrent
that I would like to check out. It was very apparent
that there were a number of great sessions and
speakers at this years’ convention. To sum it up, one
of the best, if not, the best.
As the convention started to roll out, there was
something very apparent this year. New people were
in attendance. This is such a good thing. It is great to
see new people wanting to get involved in this great
industry and to be a part of this organization. I took
every chance I could to get to meet them, and share
stories about the past years happenings. I asked
them why they were coming out to this convention,
and surprisingly for much of the same reasons I do.
Networking, personal growth through workshops,
sessions, networking, buying talent. New and old
delegates all sharing the same experiences and
talking about new ideas, what did and what didn’t
work. How valuable is that?
A few days have now passed. Man has it been busy.
It seems from the moment I leave the hotel room, till
the time I hit the bed, things are happening. Great
networking breakfasts, unbelievable speakers,
great sessions which share so many ideas and
thoughts that they challenge oneself to no end.
Ouch, my brain hurts, not from the hospitality room,
but rather the information overload. I can tell that
the convention has been educational from the tired
feeling I get at times from information overload.
Who says conventions are easy? Are they fun
though? Absolutely! Where else can you learn so
much over such a short period of time in such a
fun atmosphere, and the people, it’s all about the
people! People are what makes the convention and
People ask me back home, what were the highlights
of the convention? It is tough to categorize this
because there are so many things that happen
during a convention. It’s so quick that you actually
have to sit back and think about what all happened
in such a short time. The speakers were unreal.
Sessions were available for all areas of the industry
so that anybody attending the convention had some
opportunity if they chose to for personal growth
development. Entertainer showcases were some of
the best we have seen. I found some great acts this
year because of the exhibitors. The Youth Talent
Competition and its contestants once again put on a
great show and Yves, what can we say? You kept it
together. There were social activities and hospitality
rooms, and to top it all off, the new direction of the
organization and all the positive outcomes which
have come out of making such major changes to
the organization over the past year.
So people ask me, are you going to be going to
next years’ convention? What do you think?
ABSOLUTELY! Where else could a person learn so
much over a short period of time and have so much
enjoyment at the same time? See you all next year
in Winnipeg. We’ll share some more stories!
Canadian Fair News - 11
2011 CAFE National Awards
The 2011 Canadian Association of Fairs and
Exhibitions Awards were presented by Karen Oliver,
1st Vice President of the CAFE, the Chairperson
of the National Awards program and the General
Manager of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba
located in Brandon with the assistance of Richard
Noel from Kidomo, Gold Level Sponsor of the CAFE
Best of Show Awards recognizes a new event,
program, concept of technique introduced to
the public and improved methods of operation,
adaptability, activity and success compared to plans
Lloydminster Exhibition won in the Small Fair
category for Harvest Festival which promoted and
showcased the bounty of their local harvest and
the amazing products available when you make
the effort to BE FRESH & EAT LOCAL! The event
concept was to showcase local food and produce
was either purchased or donated by the producer to
use in creative menu items (created by our in-house
team of chefs). A total of 10 food stations were setup that each featured a mini-meal. They recruited
local celebrities to serve up the samples and offered
the producers the opportunity to be at the station
featuring their produce in order to further promote
their food items. A directory was also created with
information on eating locally, as well as the contact
information for all the producers and sponsors
Western Fair District won in the Medium Fair
category for More Agriculture Initiative. Fair
attendees, for the most part are urban consumers,
many generationally removed from their rural routes
with little or no experience of the benefits of how
much the rural community contributes to a healthy
lifestyle. More animals and more value - that is what
our customers asked for, that is what our marketing
campaign focused on, and that is just what we
did. The two biggest hits with our fairgoers were
the Indoor Pasture – where many different species
were allowed to roam freely, and the Down on the
Farm building which offered many ag-xperiential
opportunities for kids of all ages – for FREE!
Pacific National Exhibition won the Large Fair
category with Celebration Plaza. As a central
point of the grounds, the PNE team with a limited
budget was required to make Celebration Plaza A
Destination. A place where people would gather
to be entertained, explore cultural art and satisfy
their appetite. This was achieved with the following
components… 1st Annual rib festival, Tributes beer
garden, Container art exhibit, 35` Imperial water
dragon, New vehicle display.
Honourable Mention to ExpoCité for Sculptures
using the medium of sand and 20 artists to illustrate
100 years of history of their exhibition. An aweinspiring attraction!
Mike Kreller receives Volunteer of the Year Award from
Karen Oliver, 1st VP CAFE and Richard Noel, Kidomo Inc.
Volunteer of the Year Award was created to show
appreciation to a special volunteer from a CAFE
member fair organization. The winner receives a
plaque and their free convention registration.
2011 CAFE Volunteer of the Year Award is Mike
Kreller nominated by the Provincial Exhibition of
Manitoba. Mr. Kreller is a member of the Board of
Directors and co-chair of the Manitoba Summer Fair
for three years. He is an exceptional volunteer within
the exhibition organization with endless passion and
dedication for his work. Accomplishments include
recruiting other volunteer organizations to be part
of the Manitoba Summer Fair further enhancing
the event plus the organization and delivery of the
Manitoba Summer Fair “saloon” for 1200 guests in
order to maximize liquor revenue. Volunteering is
a family affair with his wife and three young boys
Continued on page 13
Canadian Fair News - 12
2011 CAFE National Awards (continued from page 12)
often volunteering along side. Mike Kreller is an
individual who seeks information on improving and
making things fresh and updated. No doubt that
Mike is a person of action; that he would take what
he learned at the convention and put it into practice
benefitting the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba.
stands on the effectiveness of these programs.
These programs are implemented and designed
to maximize revenue potential for NAME and their
Fair partners. His commitment to excellence, his
determination to provide the very best experience
to his customers, and his ability to lead by example
set him above the crowd.
Roll of Honour established in 1979, is a prestigious
award presented by CAFE and recognizes
distinguished service to the Canadian fair
industry. The Roll of Honour recognizes significant
contributions to the industry through leadership,
vision, expertise, and outstanding service.
Tony Diaz, NAME receives the Jack Libbertt Memorial
Service Member Award from Karen Oliver and Richard
Noel and Larry Brewer, Libbertt Concessions
Jack Libbertt Memorial Service Member of the
Year Award sponsored by Larry Brewer recognizes
the Service Member who is deemed to have made
a significant overall contribution to the Canadian fair
and event industry through overall quality of service,
integrity, and operational ability.
Tony Diaz, President, International Unit of North
America Midway Entertainment is the recipient.
In 2011, 7 of those 8 NAME fairs in Canada set all
time ride revenue records, and since the inception
of NAME in 2005, they have increased their fair
revenues by 42%. This speaks to the calibre of
management and operation provided by Tony
and his team. In terms of equipment, safety and
maintenance, Tony and NAME set the bar very
high. They challenge their administrative and
operational staff to keep NAME’S product the
best in North America. Some of the innovative
ideas and methods which have proven NAME’s
leadership in the industry include: their mode of
employee recruitment, training, awards programs
and customer service, outstanding advance sales
programs, marketing platforms and other programs
that have been developed in house and are proven
to drive attendance to fairs and events. Their record
Jim Hobart, Midway & Exhibits Manager of the
Calgary Stampede received the 2011 Roll of
Honour. Jim Hobart began his career at the Calgary
Stampede in the mid-1970s. The relationships Jim
has cultivated and fostered with vendors during his
time as Midway & Exhibits Manager have been key
to vendor success as well as the success of the
Stampede organization. In his role as the Manager
of the Midway & Exhibits department, he led his
team in improving the layout for both the guest and
exhibitor experience and spearheaded a movement
to bring in new unique products to continually grow
and improve the fair experience for Stampedegoers.
Working diligently to improve the cleanliness of
the Calgary Stampede midway, even going so far
as to count the number of pieces of garbage on
the ground to get an accurate view of daily waste
management challenges. Jim worked extremely
hard partnering with NAME on an enhanced Safety
and Communications program for the Calgary
Stampede for betterment of their guests experience.
He has been an innovator in establishing and
developing the many levels of vendor standards
at the Calgary Stampede and continued to monitor
and enhance the 9 different audit systems.
Jim’s embodiment of preserving and promoting
western hospitality and values has made him a
respected leader within their organization. It is
rare to have someone who has shown the level of
dedication and love for the fair industry, and who
has affected such positive change, as Jim.
Canadian Fair News - 13
2011 Convention Connection
Before the 2011 CAFE convention, November 16
to 19 in London, Ontario, the CAFE staff asked six
attendees to write to us about their experiences for
the Canadian Fair News.
Our industry has such a wide variety of attendees
providing a multitude of experiences to be had. We
wanted to show CAFE members who haven’t been
to a convention what they have been missing and
show people who were with us in London what they
might have missed.
These are their stories...
Bryan Burns - Interior Provincial Exhibition,
Armstrong, British Columbia
Wow! Another great conference in London. I have
attended the last four CAFE conferences. I really
believe we should support the fair industry and the
conference is an excellent place to re-connect with
other fairs, to learn some new information and to
see some new entertainment options up close.
The conference is a place to see people that you
see once a year but have this special bond as we
are all committed to the value that fairs bring to
our individual communities. This re-connection is
priceless. Over the course of four days once a year,
you are able to build lifelong friends. This friendship
continues from year to year with, “How was your
fair this year?” and builds throughout the four days
as the conversation continues as we all share our
triumphs, strategies and lessons learned over a
few cold ones. This chance to network and build
relationships within the industry is amazing as we
are not competitors but have the common goals that
allow us to have great discussions. From paid staff
to board directors to supplier/entertainers, there is
an opportunity to expand on this networking with
various “speed networking activities” throughout the
It is a chance to learn new ideas and concepts not
only from the speakers but from the story telling and
discussions during breaks. As in most conferences,
we come to learn new ideas and concepts that can
make our fair better than the previous year. The
formal process of learning from other fairs on certain
topics can be further developed at CAFE. There are
a lot of people in the room who have “golden” ideas
that finding the way to share with everyone would
be an excellent goal for future conferences.
One thing that is amazing about this industry is the
camaraderie between the delegates. Whether you
are a paid staff, board member, supplier, vendor
or entertainer, the conference is a great chance to
see in person all of these groups together. You can
experience the different acts and options that are
available so we can deliver first class entertainment
at our fairs. From the showcases to the tradeshow,
the opportunity exists to make it a win-win for
Thank you to CAFE, the host fair in London, and all
the people involved in making this event a success.
It takes many hours of organization to put on an
event of this magnitude and once again job well
done. Each year at the conference, my goal is to
come away with a handful of ideas and I was able
to get some ideas from the speakers, showcases,
tradeshow and the hours of great conversations
with fellow delegates. Thank you for the amazing
connections! Have an awesome fair in 2012 and
see you in Winnipeg!
Kathryn Lambert - Ontario Association
Agricutlrual Societies - Glencoe, Ontario
Opening Our Doors to the World was a fantastic
journey as a delegate at the 2011 Canadian
Association of Fairs and Exhibition (CAFE)
Convention hosted by the Western Fair District.
Speaker Jeff Tobe, Friday Workshop
Continued on page 15
Canadian Fair News - 14
2011 Convention Connection (continued from page 14)
Other speakers throughout the convention offered a
wide variety of topics and knowledge. I commend
CAFE for providing this vast selection of topics
suitable for the variety of convention delegates
including: Fair management, service members even
CAFE Director, Peter Male presents CAFE’s Strategic Plan
As the Secretary and Convention Coordinator of
the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies
(OAAS) I have had the privilege to attend this
convention for the past four years, a great chance
to meet others who share the same passions within
the fair industry.
Before the voyage even began a meeting of the
provincial associations was held, to share ideas
and issues that have been dealt with over the past
year. Many reps find this a great opportunity to
share stories, resources and ideas with others from
across the country. Comparing programs, venues,
financing and even brainstorming some CAFE
goals were all included on the day agenda.
As a member and convention delegate representing
a provincial association rather than a specific fair, I
do have different goals and objectives going to this
convention. My role as a Convention Coordinator
and Secretary are certainly the aspects of the
convention I tend to observe and take advantage of.
Jeff Tobe’s Colouring Outside the Lines - Creating
the Ideal Customer Experience, was a very popular
guest throughout the convention, not only as a key
note speaker but also a host to numerous seminar
topics. As one of the top 15 speakers in North
America, Jeff was certainly able to capture his
audience through comical and relevant examples.
Jeff really emphasized that it’s the customer
experience that sells, not necessarily customer
As the OAAS is currently investigating the possibilities
of moving forward with hiring a full time General
Manager it was great to hear CAFE introduce their
newly developed strategic plan outlining their goals
for the next five years, a wonderful tool that will help
represent the value of this national organization to
many other prospective members and partners. A
lot of work that will certainly pay off in the near future.
On the note of hiring a provincial general manager,
the CAFE convention was an excellent opportunity
to network with other provincial association to
understand their structure and the role of their full
Continued on page 17
The OAAS convention takes place annually only
three months later, so I focus on gaining new
tradeshow vendors, entertainment prospects even
seminar and speaker topics in attempts to build
our convention; all which I believed I achieved in
Starting off the speaker realm of the convention
and a highlight for many was the opening key note
speaker Ron Buist, the marketing genius behind
“Roll Up The Rim” from Tim Hortons, a great
example of how thinking out of the box really pays
Western Fair District Host Night Prize Winners
Canadian Fair News - 15
Opening OUR Doors to the World
85th Annual CAFE Convention
November 16 - 19, 2011
Hilton London, London, Ontario
November 22, 2011
On behalf of Western Fair District, I would like to thank you for attending the 2011
CAFE Convention hosted in London, Ontario.
Over the four days delegates from across Canada participated in various seminars and
workshops and then enjoyed themselves at a choice of social events held during the
evenings. Friends and colleagues came together to share information and experiences
while reminiscing of Fairs gone by.
This Year’s Canadian Youth Talent Competition boasted 15 contestants from 11 Zones,
with D-Code from Quebec ultimately winning the overall competition. Guests were
also able to say “thank you” to Anne and Jim McKinnon for their many years of hard
work and dedication in making Youth Talent what it is today. They will be missed by
On the final evening, the District “Opened our Doors to the World.” Visitors sampled
a variety of international cuisine and were entertained by a wide range of entertainers
showing the diversity that is an important part of our community.
Congratulations to CAFE for such a successful convention as we all look forward to
Winnipeg in 2012.
HUGH M. MITCHELL,
Canadian Fair News - 16
2011 Convention Connection (continued from page 15)
The entertainment showcases during the convention
program including “Let’s Make a Deal” and evening
showcase was incredible. The wide variety of
talent from across the country that was offered and
enjoyed by all and as a Convention Coordinator I
was happy to gain some connection with some
of these entertainers to join the OAAS service
membership for 2012.
Travelling to the Western Fair District for the
Canadian Youth Talent Competition, at the London
City Music Theatre, is always a treat for the
convention delegates. First place was awarded to
a Quebec City dance group, D-Code. Being able
to “get out of the hotel” was a nice change in the
program and a great venue for this competition.
The one day tradeshow on the Friday bid to be
another popular aspect of the convention. A valuable
time to explore and meet the service members and
learn about their talents and services provided. A
large selection of different companies and services
from across the entire country were on display, once
again a great opportunity to build the OAAS service
membership database while networking with these
Host night always has an element of surprise for the
convention delegates, as we returned to the Western
Fair District for an evening of culinary treats and
entertainment with an international flavour.
multi-cultural evening was enjoyed by everyone, as
the Western Fair District certainly opened the doors
to the world.
Attending the CAFE Convention each year is a
highlight for me. Being able to revisit with some fair
friends from across the province and the country
is a great experience. Being able to learn about
the trends and issues throughout the country and
meeting new contacts are certainly my goals each
and every year and I can’t wait to head to Manitoba.
Dorothy Morrison- Pontiac Agricultural Society Shawville, Québec
It was late October, when I read the ‘draft copy’ of
the agenda for the CAFE 2011 Convention. Wow!
How impressive with the speakers and workshop
contents. It was indeed a motivator to start the
process for a late pre-registration. Our society,
the Pontiac Agricultural Society, had already two
delegates pre-registered. Without a doubt, I thought
that this busy and fascinating agenda could not be
adequately covered and comprehended with only
two delegates attending. After a few phone calls,
another Board member and I submitted our late preregistrations and our travel plans were underway!
We now have four (4) delegates to represent our
small town Shawville Fair registered for the 2011
CAFE convention, Elwyn and Lynn Lang, Beryl
Smart and me. We collectively decided to travel by
VIA Rail from Ottawa to London. We drove leaving
Shawville at 4:00 am to catch the 5:40 am VIA Rail
train in Ottawa. At this early hour, the four of us
were filled with anticipation and somewhat excited
about our 5-day journey together. Our experience
on VIA Rail was most enjoyable and relaxing!
After a brief change of trains in Toronto, we arrived
in London at approximately 2:15 p.m. and it was
only a very short distance from the train station to
the Hilton Hotel in London, the home of the 4-day
convention. Upon arrival at the Hotel registration
desk we met some other delegates who had earlier
arrived from the Ottawa area. We get settled in our
comfortable rooms at the Hilton Hotel and then we
chose to take a stroll in downtown London to find
‘The Works’ restaurant for a delicious and satisfying
Dancers entertain the convention attendees
Continued on page 18
Canadian Fair News - 17
2011 Convention Connection (continued from page 17)
Now it was time to freshen up in our rooms to get
ready for a wonderful 4-day fun filled and educational
journey of the CAFE convention. We were warmly
greeted by the helpful volunteers at the CAFE
registration desk. With our name tags around our
necks and the Convention agenda in hand, the
opportunity for networking was well underway.
Suite. Friends, friends everywhere represented
from the large and small Fairs & Exhibition events
held in the Canada-wide communities.
The Guest Speakers and Workshop Leaders were
motivational, inspiring, humourous and educational
with an easy-going presentation style.
Workshops were most interesting topics just too
From the Official Opening Ceremonies and
President’s Reception, the good humour and fun
presentations by Harry Emmott, CAFE President
and Marc Sparrow of ExpoCite set the tone and
atmosphere for an exciting yet-to-come 4-day
conference. The high energy level was consistent
through the entire conference, with the interesting
variety of speakers and presentation content, the
learning experiences and opportunity to network,
meeting new friends with common interests held the
audience for four fun filled days.
The Guest Speakers were all interesting and
inspiring, with unique topics but all had relatively
common messages; with emphasis and focus on:
• Reward current customers & attract new
• The Customer experience; Show respect for
the Customer- prove that you deserve their
business; creating value for the customer
• Giving back to your community and let your
contributions be known- should be public
• The importance of branding your product –
consistent theme – branding strength
• Change = Chaos + Opportunity; learn to see
the invisible opportunities where others only see
• Internal, external customers and volunteers;
working together is success, positive attitudes,
having fun is contagious; added value - value
The opportunities for networking and making new
friends were amazing through the easily identified
name tags from early morning and late night
greetings on the hotel elevators to the friendly and
helpful Reception Foyer Desk, to the Conference
Room to the workshop rooms and the Hospitality
Canadian Fair News - 18
Networking opportunities are everywhere at a CAFE
many concurrently, where it was a difficult decision
to choose which one to attend at that time of offering.
They were all a great experience.
The entire Convention was a wonderful and enjoyable
learning experience, along with developing new
friendships all with common interests. I would highly
recommend other Fair Board volunteers and paid
staff members attend future CAFE Conventions
to broaden our knowledge, improve Teamwork,
maintain a positive atmosphere, developing
thought processing strategic Goals and objectives,
Leadership and the use of creative thinking for
Peter Mennie - The Funniest Magician You Will
See All Year! - London, Ontario
Becoming a member of CAFE was a last minute
(but I think, correct) decision for me. I was, formerly
a member of the O.A.A.S. (Ontario Association of
Agricultural Societies) and I felt it was time to join
the national organization as my marketing reach
had expanded beyond Ontario. I have since also
rejoined the O.A.A.S. and will be showcasing at
their convention in February 2012 as well.
Continued on page 19
Convention Connection (continued from page 18)
The second reason for becoming a service member
was that the national convention was being held
in my home town – London, Ontario! I discovered
this in 2010 through the Youth Talent Competition.
My son is a member of the crew – a job he got
through my (almost career-long) friendship with Jim
McKinnon and Anne Eadie.
I felt that this would be the best opportunity to
showcase and I was not disappointed. Over the
years that I have been doing fairs and exhibitions,
including an unprecedented 29 years at the Western
Fair, I have always been amazed at the variety of
entertainment that organizers provide on the local
level. Entertainment at fairs and festivals are a “loss
leader”. There is no admission charge (usually) to
see the shows and so entertainers are pure expense.
Therefore, the more varied the entertainment is, the
And variety is what the showcase at the London
CAFE was all about. It was great to see some old
friends of mine, like Freddie Fusion, representing
his clients as well as new friends, like Yvette Locke
and Her Puppet Friends, representing herself. I felt
that an audience participation focused magician
was just what C.A.F.E. audiences needed. And I
wanted to be a part of it! I only wish I could have
stayed longer and absorbed the great camaraderie
I felt, but I had to perform at other venues that week
and rehearse for the National Youth Talent Search
the next night.
Right from the start, as the only magician in the
showcase, (at least on my night) I was taken care
of by the best production and stage crew around.
Karen, John and the entire staff were efficient,
professional and had me onstage with a minimum
of hassle – in fact, no hassle! That way I could
concentrate on entertaining the dinnertime crowd
As a performer, it is very difficult to get to know a
crowd and even harder for them to get to know you,
inside of fifteen minutes, especially with a huge age
range, but that is what you get with festival and fair
audiences. You have to be able to mix it up and be
able to adapt your show to the crowd. Since there
weren’t any children in attendance, I couldn’t and
shouldn’t have done any kid’s material. That is to
say I didn’t think hard about performing any kid’s
material but in the end I think I made the right choice
– just ask the man who donated his $100 for the
cause! I know I had a lot of fun. I know he did too.
I would have loved to do more from my family act.
You see, over my forty-plus years performing I have
gradually shifted my focus to good, clean, familyfriendly entertainment. Why? Because kids make the
choices where families eat and play. Think about it.
Why is McDonald’s so successful? Kids. Why is The
Muppets (movie) so popular? Kids. I firmly believe
that parents today are looking for opportunities to be
entertained together as a family and if you welcome
kids into your event or establishment, you will have
Continued on page 20
Canadian Fair News - 19
Convention Connection (continued from page 19)
greater success. However, just like Toy Story, one
part of the event has to be parent oriented in order
to keep them entertained as well and hopefully at
the same time. That’s why the kids in my audiences
laugh at what I do and the parents laugh at what
I say. It’s this formula that makes family-oriented
In the end, I am hoping that my participation in the
CAFE 2011 Showcase will translate into a more
national presence and increased opportunities to
entertain great family audiences across Canada.
Sally Ripley - Prince Edward Island Association
of Exhibitions - Charlottetown, Prince Edward
The 2011 Canadian Association of Fairs and
Exhibitions National Convention in London, Ontario
was my first CAFE experience. I joined the PEI
association of Exhibitions (PEIAE) as the Executive
Director in January and heard throughout my first
months in the position about the experience that
the convention would offer and what I had to look
forward to when attending and my first experience
did not disappoint. I knew that the convention
promised to be informative and entertaining as well
as being an opportunity to network and connect
with industry representatives across the country.
The convention met all these expectations but what
I didn’t anticipate was the engagement that would
come from this experience.
When I began my position almost a year ago, the
PEIAE was going through a significant period of
change and transition and a significant aspect of my
role has been to guide the association through this
period but also to work with the board to determine
the direction in which we are to move forward. As
I have spent the past months learning more about
our provincial association, our events, the fair and
festival industry and gaining insight and knowledge
to help me in my role, the CAFE convention came
at a really critical point in my first year. I was at
a juncture where I really was looking to gather
some fresh ideas, research and garner some best
practices and discover what others are doing across
the country and across North America. The CAFE
convention provided the perfect avenue for this to
Canadian Fair News - 20
take place and I came away from the convention
essentially more engaged in my position, with a
heightened sense of excitement for our provincial
association and the fair and festival industry in
general. The opportunity to talk and share with my
fellow CAFE members gave me the chance to hear
what is happening within the industry, what is working
for other provincial associations and their events and
how these ideas might fit within my own association.
The guest speakers, different presentations and
variety of workshops that we saw, heard and
participated in throughout the convention covered a
wide range of topics and while not everything was
applicable or relevant to my particular association,
I found that I took something away from each and
every session regardless of the topic. I’m a firm
You never know who you might run into at a CAFE
believer that conventions, conferences and the like
are what you make them and that you can choose to
take away as much or as little as you like from these
types of events. For me, I think I came to the CAFE
convention a bit like a sponge and was hoping to
learn and gather ideas but also to build relationships
that would help me as I continue in my role with the
PEIAE and I believe that the convention met these
Admittedly, I did have some reservations going into
the Convention given the size of our association
and of our events and I wondered about where we
fit into the larger CAFE picture. I was pleasantly
surprised, however, to see that there has been clear
Continued on page 21
Convention Connection (continued from page 20)
and direct efforts to improve the relevancy of CAFE
for the smaller groups and I was pleased to take this
message back to our membership on PEI. I heard
this point being made several different times during
the convention and particularly during Peter Male’s
presentations at both the Provincial Associations
Meeting and the larger group session. I think
it’s essential that CAFE serves all its members,
regardless of the size or scope of the group because
the fair industry touches every part of our Canadian
population – regardless of the community, town, city
or province. During convention, I believe that this
was accomplished through the types of speakers
and workshops that were offered over the three
For new members of CAFE or individuals in new roles
with CAFE member organizations, I think that the
convention offers invaluable experience for gaining
knowledge, networking and moving organizations
and events forward. Being surrounded by others
within the industry with so many years of experience
and knowledge, you can’t help but become more
engaged and driven to help your event, association
or other industry organization grow and succeed
into the future.
By Rayanne Frizzell - Old Home Week, PEI
Provincial Exhibitions - Charlottetown, Prince
The 2011 Convention is behind us, and what a great
convention it was! Congratulations to the Western
Fair District for being fantastic hosts as well as
CAFE for all of their organizing and hard work!
Old Home Week has supported the CAFE
convention by sending the President and Manager
for many years and it has served us very well over
the years. As the General Manager, I can say that
the contacts, new ideas, and the help we have
received have been exceptional.
There were a few key messages this year from the
speakers that I would like to share. These are some
of the key points that really stuck with me from this
Continued on page 22
I can’t imagine the work and effort that goes into
planning and carrying out this convention but I’d like
to thank Mavis Hanna and the CAFE board for all
their time and hard work.
A busy 2011 Trade Show
Canadian Fair News - 21
Convention Connection (continued from page 21)
In an early session, Peter Male of the PNE and a
CAFE director, said it’s NOT “How do I survive the
next change?” but rather “How do I assemble a team
who can thrive in constant change?” Let’s face it,
we are in an industry that is changing, and we need
to be able to not just survive but rather thrive!
The Convention featured 5 keynote speakers.
I loved Jeff Tobe telling us that it’s ok to color
outside the lines, but don’t fall off the page and the
importance of seeing opportunities where everyone
else sees problems. It seems so simple really –
keep a positive attitude and look for the good, yet
it’s so much easier to see the bad and complain with
everyone else! As an event, we have to be willing to
take risks and try new things – doing the same thing
year after year will not allow us to expand and grow!
David Bednar’s final session was fantastic. It truly
made us think why are we doing what we are and
what are the threats to us. Broken into tables, you
would think the answers to his questions would
be too numerous to count, yet they could easily
be classified into several themes. The message
– we are of all sizes, from all places across this
great country, yet we have the same fears, hopes
and problems. David also made a comment that I
thought was interesting, he said he wasn’t worried
about the Fairs sitting in that room – it was the ones
who choose not to attend convention that we should
be worried about and he’s right. If you are sitting
and reading this article (thanks!) you are taking a
step – the opportunity to learn from others in this
industry should not be underrated, and that really is
what Convention is all about!
Canadian Fair News - 22
This was the 6th convention that I have had the
pleasure of attending in the last 8 years (I missed
Saskatoon & Calgary!) When I first started this job, I
couldn’t believe that there was a National Association
for Fairs and Exhibitions – I can remember telling
people that I was going to a conference to meet with
Fairs from across the country, and I certainly got a
wide range of responses. Of course, they also think
that I only work the 2 weeks of the fair and must be
unemployed the rest of the year – so maybe they
weren’t the best to gauge their reactions.
Convention has become an opportunity for me to
reflect on the year past, and re-energize for the
upcoming season. It’s a chance to get together
with old friends and meet new ones. Fantastic
speakers that educate and the chance to see
showcase entertainment to potentially book. It is
a time to reflect on what you’ve been doing and
steal new ideas from others for this year (and of
course, claim them as your own). As an industry
we cannot be each other’s competitors, we have
to be teammates. We are in the industry of fun –
we all want our guests to leave our events saying
that they had a great time – but as the organizers of
these events, we should have a little fun along the
way too – and Convention is a great way of doing
that! I would challenge every fair – large or small –
across Canada to send a delegate to Convention in
2012 in Winnipeg. I am sure that no matter the size
of your event, your delegate would be able to take
something back to your event and make it better.
Step Right Up! We’ll see you in Winnipeg next year!
CAFE Director’s Spotlight - Brian Casey
Networking ... The Never Ending
We have all heard delegates come home from
meetings or conventions and tell us they were
networking ... What does this really mean?
Having recently returned from the the CAFE
Convention in November, I have some ideas on
what networking is and why it is so important.
Sometimes when we listen to a speaker we can
feel like we are lost or that the topic wasn’t relevant,
but later on we remember some little thing that we
heard that speaker mention and we say “hey that
applies to us.”
Once again, I would encourage you all to get out
and network with all of the fair minded people in our
diverse industry and take advantage of one of the
most valuable tools we have and that is learning
from each other.
If you look up the definition of networking in
the dictionary it is defined as, the exchange of
information or services among individuals, groups
or institutions. The cultivation of productive business
Need I say more?
Well networking is much the same. At meetings and
conventions, we all meet with, and chat to old and
new acquaintances and naturally we talk about our
fair , their fair and other fairs that we have visited
and liked or disliked for all kinds of reasons.
It may appear to be just visiting and friendly chat,
but I would suggest that each and every one of us
have heard about a good idea or something new to
try from simply talking to our peers. By the same
token, we probably all received some advice on
what not to try as well.
Sometimes these seemingly trivial conversations
take a few days to be absorbed and then all of
the sudden , we remember something that was
discussed over breakfast or at a coffee break or
even in the hospitality suite and we realize that we
can apply this new found information to our own
These opportunities are really invaluable to each
and every one of us and we should encourage more
of our members, colleagues and friends to try and
attend as many CAFE functions as possible. I realize
funding is always an issue but I really feel this is an
extremely valuable resource that is available to us
Even for those of us who are somewhat ‘‘shy’’ there
is a lot to be learned by listening (sometimes we can
learn more by listening that we can by talking).
Canadian Fair News - 23
Gary McRae Inducted into IAFE Hall of Fame
At the International Association of Fairs and
Expositions (IAFE) 121st Annual Convention in Las
Vegas Nevada this past November, Gary McRae,
retired CEO of the Western Fair Association
(London, Ontario) was inducted into the IAFE Hall
The IAFE convention took place from Nov. 28 through
Dec. 1, 2011, at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev.
The highest honour bestowed by the IAFE, the Hall
of Fame Award is presented annually in recognition
of an individual’s distinguished achievement in, or
contribution to, the fair industry.
McRae joined the Western Fair Association on a fulltime basis in 1975. He started out as mutuel manager
in the harness racing operation and as midway
manager for the independent midway operation.
He progressed through the organization and served
in multiple roles including assistant treasurer,
treasurer, and assistant general manager. He was
named general manager in 1991 and promoted to
Chief Executive Officer in 2004. During his tenure,
McRae oversaw millions of dollars in upgrades,
renovations, and expansions of the Western Fair
Entertainment Centre, including expansion of the
slots lounge, a new 165,000-squarefoot Agriplex,
and safety upgrades to the racetrack. McRae retired
from his position in 2009.
Born and raised in Glencoe, Ontario, McRae
graduated from Glencoe District High School.
Immediately after high school, McRae joined the
Bank of Montreal and worked in bank branches
throughout Ontario before joining the Western Fair
McRae has been an active and respected leader
in the fair industry. He earned his Certified Fair
Executive designation from the IAFE in 1993. He
has served on numerous IAFE Committees. He
served as president of the Canadian Association of
Fairs and Exhibitions in 2005. He served as IAFE
second vice chair in 2004, first vice chair in 2005,
and as chair in 2006. He became past chair in 2007.
McRae was a recipient of the Roll of Honour from
the Canadian Association of Fairs & Exhibitions in
Canadian Fair News - 24
In addition to his service in the fair industry, McRae
is an active member of his community. He is a
past president of the Racetracks of Canada and
past president of Tourism London. He is a member
of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority
Amusement Devices Advisory Council, member and
past director of the London Chamber of Commerce,
and member and past director of the Rotary Club of
McRae and his wife Nancy have three daughters:
Susan, Karen, and Julie; and five grandchildren.
McRae enjoys golf, reading, travel, and attending
The Board of Directors congratulates Gary McRae
on the receipt of the IAFE Hall of Fame award. As
Past President of the Canadian Association of Fairs
and Exhibitions, Mr. McRae has been instrumental
in the development and progress of the Canadian
Fun is Good! - Mike Veeck Presenter at the 2012 Convention
Mike Veeck It is a name
with fun at the
to blaze new trails
all, who else
would hire a dog
or pig to deliver
baseballs to the
umpire, a Roman
Catholic nun to
mimes to perform
or lock fans out of the stadium to set an all-time
attendance record for fewest people at a game. The
Veeck family started in baseball nearly a century
ago when Veeck’s grandfather was president of the
Chicago Cubs. Veeck’s father, Bill, was a Hall of
Fame owner with the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland
Indians, Chicago White Sox and the then-minor
league Milwaukee Brewers. Bill Veeck will always
be remembered for signing Larry Doby, the first
black man to play in the American League.
employees and keeps your customers coming back
for more. He has taken the “Fun is Good” way of life
and helped his teams routinely reach attendance
and customer service milestones, while receiving
national publicity and awards for innovative
promotions. He has made appearances on 60
Minutes, HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,
NBC Nightly News and ESPN Sportscenter.
As an advertising professional, Veeck serves as the
creative director for Advertising Professionals, and
recently received the 2007 Silver Medal Award from
the Advertising Federation of Charleston, SC.
Veeck and his wife Libby, reside in Mt Pleasant,
S.C. He is the father of two children, William “Night
Train” and Rebecca.
It is with the belief that anything is possible and
no idea too silly that Veeck operates his ballclubs.
Veeck is the part owner of six baseball teams
and is a consultant for one other. In 2005, he was
recognized by Baseball America as one of the 25
most influential people in baseball over the last
25 years. He has worked for four and a half Major
League baseball teams including the White Sox,
Marlins, Tigers and Rays. The half is a secret!
Serving to put fun back into baseball while proving
his ideas are not specific to sport, Veeck has spoken
and entertained groups at companies such as the
NBA, 3M, General Mills, and NASCAR. His first
book was released in 2005, entitled “Fun is Good,”
describing how the simple approach of putting “fun”
back into the workplace brings out the best in your
Canadian Fair News - 25
CAFE’s Strategic Plan
Submited by Peter Male - Vice President, Sales
Pacific National Exhibition - Vancouver, British
As the Canadian Fair Industry moves into the next
five years, it is clear that we are faced with several
In the past year we have seen large fairs close in
the United States due to financial problems and
sometimes due to their inability to adapt to the
changing expectations of the general public. At the
same time it is clear that the bond people have with
their local fair is deep and timeless. The oldest Fair
in North America has arrived at its 246th year and
at the same time there are Fairs in Europe that go
back over 700 years.
How do we move forward from this point on? What
are the unique strengths that only our industry
can offer? How does CAFE leverage the national
organization’s position raising the industry’s
national profile while offering further resources to
smaller and medium sized fairs? How do we grow
the relationship between the Provincial Associations
and CAFE to build on these opportunities?
The Board of Directors of the Canadian Association
of Fairs and Exhibitions is pleased to share with
you our vision, direction, and focus for the next five
In the last two years there has been a large amount
of research and discussion at the board level to
prepare us for this Strategic move forward with the
Canadian Industry. As we look around us we hear
discussions in society that use the words collective
collaboration; it is clear now that no one component
of our industry is going to change things, the power
to move forward will only come from all of us working
together as a collective group. Fortunately we live in
an age where technology allows us to do this more
than we have ever known so our job is to use that
gift to arrive at the destination we are all seeking.
This Strategic Plan takes into consideration that
reality and that is why we believe that now is the
time to reinforce our united belief that only this
industry can offer its unique set of abilities to every
Canadian from the smallest rural communities
Canadian Fair News - 26
to the largest cities and the most senior levels of
Government. After all, we are an industry that offers
core experiences not only all over Canada, but
internationally as well. We represent the ultimate
gathering space for people everywhere and a
traditional, cultural and emotional connection to all
Canadians that cannot be equaled.
CAFE continues to take great pride in being an
inclusive national forum for the Canadian Fair
Industry and is always open to your input or concerns
on issues facing your institution. Let us all keep in
mind that the first two events that usually occurred
in new pioneer settlements were the building of a
church followed by the organization of an annual
fair. This concept became a cornerstone for building
our Canadian Society and is now considered to be
one of the basic characteristics of this country.
What are we?
We have a history that goes back to Roman Times
when a fair signalled a break from labour and an
opportunity to enjoy entertainment
During Medieval times fairs developed as venues
for farmers and trades people to showcase and sell
their products, produce and livestock and for the
community to gather for games and fun.
In Canada the first two events that usually occurred
in new pioneer settlements were the building of a
church followed by the organization of an annual
• There are annual fairs in over 800 communities
• Hants County Fair in Nova Scotia is the oldest
fair in North America; it will be 250 years old in
• We are traditional, cultural and emotional icons
that hold both brand recognition and emotional
relationships with the people of Canada that
cannot be equaled.
• We are a living reflection of the life and times
around us and an integral part of the social fabric
that makes up Canada.
Continued on page 27
CAFE’s Strategic Plan (Continued from page 26)
• For many we are their first job experience.
• We are a catalyst for small business.
• In most communities we are the traditional
• We are a driver of Canadian Heritage and
• You represent your Fair.
• Your Fair represents your community.
• Your Provincial Organization maintains your
Profile and relevance at a Provincial level.
• Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions
maintains your Profile and Relevance at a
• But we all carry the responsibility of the state of
this Industry in Canada.
As the national voice for Canadian Fairs & Exhibitions,
the Canadian Association of Fairs & Exhibitions will
lead a thriving industry which represents cultural,
emotional, & traditional connections to all Canadians
providing significant economic advancements for
the communities we serve.
CAFE’s 4 Strategic Goals & Objectives
1. Ensure and enhance the relevancy of the
2. Advocate for the Canadian Fair Industry at
the Federal Government level
3. Enhance resource provision for small and
medium sized fairs
4. Develop new strategic alliances working
closer with Provincial Associations
1. Ensure and enhance the relevancy of the
• Research: Partner with organizations on key
research initiatives. Economic impact studies,
cultural programs and usage analysis.
• Communications: Enhance CAFE’s website
and position the organization as a vortex for
general information, new knowledge and
• Visibility and Recognition: Increase the
visibility and recognition opportunities for the
Canadian Fair Industry.
• Funding: Explore new and increased funding
2. Advocate for the Canadian Fair Industry at
the Federal Government Level
Key Targeted Messages:
• The Global Youth unemployment problem:
This is a problem widely recognized that our
industry can offer solid solutions to based on
the huge number of youths that are hired on
an annual basis by fairs of all sizes right across
• Small Business Development: We are the
birthplace for many small businesses as many
are started with their first exposure with a booth
at their local fair. Our industry is full of success
stories based on this initial opportunity. We need
to find ways to grow this component as it has
such a strong effect on Canadian society.
• Gathering Places: In our communities we
have an historical role as gathering places both
for our Fairs and Year round cultural events.
Couple this with the fact that in most areas we
are designated as disaster relief locations and
we can see why it is so important to invest in the
upkeep of our infrastructure.
Continued on page 28
Canadian Fair News - 27
CAFE’s Strategic Plan (Continued from page 27)
• Culture: There is no industry that can track its
history as far back as we can in our Cultural,
Traditional and Emotional relationship with the
people of Canada. It is highly important that we
get that recognition and become a key part in
the Heritage Ministry’s focus on Culture over the
next four years.
• Messaging Vehicle: We offer a direct connection
to millions of people right across Canada, as a
communication opportunity we are second to
none. We have the ability to message deep into
the fabric of rural Canada all the way to Global
• Ministry of Heritage
• Industry Canada
• Tourism Commission
• Treasury Board
3. Enhance resource provision for small and
medium sized fairs
• Creation of an Industry Blog
• Image Bank
• Forms Bank
• Speakers Directory
4. Develop new strategic alliances working
closer with Provincial Associations
It is clear that to move our industry forward CAFE
needs to grow its working relationship with the
Provincial Associations across Canada.
Stronger communication methods must be found
in order to create a united voice. These methods
must be guided by the five principles for building a
• Collaboration, working
• Openness, transparency
• Sharing, Information, resources, questions
• Interdependence, the strength of cooperation
Through this process several areas need to be
examined and discussed.
• Common problems
• State of facilities
• Combined buying power
• Speakers on relevant topics
• Shared vision
As our strategic plan continues to evolve, we look
forward to receiving your input and feedback as to
the direction of our organization. Only with continued
collaboration can these goals and plans be realized.
Canadian Fair News - 28
Quoi de Neuf?
Faits saillants du congrès d’automne de l’AEAQ
Highlights of the AEAQ Fall Congress
Un peu plus d’une centaine de participants se
sont donnés rendez-vous à Valleyfield, les 28 et
29 octobre dernier lors du congrès d’automne de
l’AEAQ. Hôte de l’événement, l’Exposition agricole
d’Ormstown en a profitez pour faire découvrir ses
installations: un site historique qui a su charmer les
A little over one hundred participants were in
Valleyfield, October 28th and 29th 2011 for the
AEAQ Fall Conference. Hosting the event, the
Ormstown Fair invited the delegates to discover its
facilities: a historic site that has charmed visitors!
L’automne étant l’heure des comptes rendus, les
délégués semblaient bien heureux de se retrouver
et de partager leurs expériences!
Les expositions ayant été visitées au cours de
l’été ont pu prendre connaissance de leur rapport
d’évaluation tandis que tous ont pu visionner un
petit rapport imagé des “bons coups” et des “moins
bons coups” ayant eu lieu au cours de la saison
Le concours ExpoStars en était à sa 11ième édition
et les lauréats ont été dévoilés lors de la soirée gala
du vendredi soir. Encore cette année, plusieurs
beaux projets avaient été soumis. Cette réunion
des membres fut aussi l’occasion d’apprendre. Un
atelier-conférence fort intéressant sur la commandite
a été donné par M. Patrice Attanasio. D’ailleurs le
document de cette formation est disponible en ligne
sur notre site internet dans la section réservée aux
Fall is the time of reports, the delegates seemed
very happy to meet and share experiences!
The exhibitions that have been visited during the
summer received their assessment report while all
were invited to assist to a short presentation about
the “successes” and “less good things” that took
place during the summer season.
The ExpoStars Contest was in its 11th edition and
the winners were announced at the gala on Friday
night. Again this year, several interesting projects
were submitted. The members meeting is also an
opportunity to learn. A very interesting conference
on sponsorship was given by Mr. Patrice Attanasio.
Moreover, the document of this presentation is
available online on our website in the members
We wish to thank the Ormstown Fair for the warm
welcome. And thank you to those who completed
the evaluation form of the congress.
Nous désirons remercier l’exposition d’Ormstown
pour son accueil chaleureux. Merci aussi à ceux et
celles qui ont rempli le formulaire d’évaluation du
Dîner d’accueil de l’Exposition d’Ormstown, Club de
curling - Ormstown Fair Lunch, Curling Club
Canadian Fair News - 29
North American Carnival Museum and Archives
Submitted by Wayne Van De Graaff - North
American Carnival Museum & Archives - Ottawa,
The North American Carnival Museum and Archives
(NACMA) is a federally registered charitable
organization committed to the preservation,
presentation and promotion of carnivals, circuses,
fairs, expositions and amusement parks in North
America. NACMA is based in Ottawa, Ontario,
and an extensive print and film library. NACMA also
acquired archival material from Lou Dufour, E. J.
Casey and Bill Lynch and has received donations
from private individuals, independent show
operators and Carnivàle Lune Bleue (CLB).
A taste of NACMA’s diverse collection follows
• Banners painted by Snap Wyatt and Fred
• Artwork and renderings by Jack Ray;
NACMA is a diamond in the rough, with enormous
potential and an astonishingly beautiful and bizarre
collection related to the outdoor entertainment
industry. We are destined to be part keeper of
artifacts that represent a complex and forgotten
segment of North American socioeconomic and
agricultural history; part curio cabinet; part theatre
in keeping with our theme; and part repository of
unique resource materials for researchers and
• Unused billboard-sized circus posters;
Since it’s beginning in 2008, NACMA continues
to accept donations of amazing items. NACMA
acquired the Conklin Collection (for nearly 80
years, the Conklin’s ran one of the largest carnival
operations throughout North America), which
consists of diverse archives, exceptional artifacts
‘Love Tester’ and other arcade
equipment from the dime museum days;
• Carnival route books;
• Marketing and promotional leaflets;
• Sound recordings and photographs of carnivals
and fairs numbering in the tens of thousands;
• Film archives from the 30s, 40s and 50s
• Sideshow equipment built by John “Red” Trower,
such as bed of nails, electric chair and sword
• Magician’s guillotine
• Puerto Rican gambling horse game
• Guess-your-weight chairs, complete with tripod
• Chalk- ware game prizes;
• Gaming equipment, e.g., mouse wheel, crown &
anchor wheels, cat rack, etc.;
• Clown paraphernalia.
Currently, the majority of the collection is housed
in a 3,000 square-foot facility with environmental
controls. Research opportunities and tours are
by appointment only based upon availability of
volunteer staff. There is also an off-site storage
facility for larger items, e.g., vintage rides, carousel
horses, and other vintage carnival equipment.
NACMA employed a full-time curator for several
years but now relies upon a growing number of
volunteers to assist with its mandates. Presently,
the collection is being photographed, registered
NACMA’s 2010 Congress of Wonders
Canadian Fair News - 30
Continued on page 31
NACMA (Continued from page 30)
and catalogued, and the Conklin Collection is
undergoing an archival appraisal and assessment.
One of NACMA’s primary short-term goals is to
digitize the photo archives and make them available
of Ottawa Central Archives from October 11 to
November 19, 2011. It was the World Premiere
of Jack Ray’s amazing show front designs and
amusement park architectural drawings (1937
– 1962) where one could encounter through the
artist’s eye the edgy entertainment of the North
American midways: stunt shows, girl shows, rides
and spectacles that are unknown today.
As a companion piece to the physical Jack Ray
exhibit, NACMA’s first online virtual exhibit was
installed on the Canadian Heritage Information
Network (CHIN) Community Memories website:
Virtual Museum of Canada, in March 2011.
NACMA’s exhibit at the 2010 Central Canada
The long-range goal is to create a suitable museum
space, grounds and workshop with diverse museum
exhibits and programming. The museum will be
open to the public year round. However, one doesn’t
have to wait until then to see the collection! NACMA
is online and travels each summer.
As part of NACMA’s mandate, a touring show is
presented each summer. During the summers of
2008, 2009 and 2010, the Congress of Wonders
was presented at Carnivàle Lune Bleue in Ontario
and Quebec. As well, the Congress of Wonders was
presented during the summer of 2010 at the Russell
and Prescott Agricultural Fairs, Ontario. For the last
Central Canada Exhibition in Ottawa at Lansdowne
Park, a large-scale exhibit was built by NACMA.
The summer of 2012 you can encounter a slice of
the extensive collection held by NACMA. We will be
participating in The Halton Hills Fireworks Festival
& Queen Victoria May 24th, Four-Day, Birthday
Celebration at the Milton Fairgrounds, Ontario,
presented by The Patty Conklin Foundation.
Inside this edition of the Congress of Wonders
you will discover the weird and the wonderful, the
mischievous and the playful, and surprising gems
that are works of art. Don’t miss it!
For more information about NACMA, please contact:
Wayne Van De Graaff, President of the Board, at
[email protected]. In the near future our
website will be expanded from its current “splash”
page, so check back often: www.nacma.org. We
also post all our activities and announcements on
CAFE has a new mailing address!
Please update your records
Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions
Box 13161, Ottawa, ON K2K 1X4
Phone: (800) 663-1714 Fax: (613) 233-1154
E-mail: [email protected]
This past summer, NACMA presented a semipermanent exhibit at the Chesterville Fairgrounds,
Ontario. NACMA also presented a world-class
exhibit “Selling Glamour and Illusion” at the City
Canadian Fair News - 31