Contact Information:

Office Phone:
(780) 352-2780
Fax: (780) 352-3790
Office Hours:
Tuesday & Friday 9am - 4pm

Mail Address:
Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society
Box 6304
Wetaskiwin, Alberta
T9A  2G1

Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society - Our History:

Incorporation Date 1898

The Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society was first organized in approximately 1897 and was incorporated March 22, 1898, the same year as the Yukon Gold Rush. In 1998 a celebration of the Centennial was held at the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society Grounds. This event hosted many dignitaries and activities.

In order to be incorporated, 100 people had to register and pay $1.00 each. The names and money were sent to the North West Government offices at Regina. J.W. Ross, Territorial Secretary, approved the application. The first Annual Fall Fair was held October 4, 1898. In 1899 the Government of the day had a program where western farmers (NWT) could pay $5.00 and receive a bull. The Government and railway defrayed all other expenses. One farmer could purchase no more than two bulls.

The Society operated until the early 1970’s. At that time the Society suspended operations, leaving a concrete block barn, located at the Recreation Grounds and a number of cattle tie stalls, which were seized by the Bank of Montreal as collateral on a loan.

In late 1977 the Chamber of Commerce established a committee to investigate the feasibility of re-establishing the Ag Society in Wetaskiwin. The Reorganization meeting was held in January 1978. At that meeting a board of directors and an executive were elected.

The Government of Alberta had established a capital projects grant of $50,000.00 maximum. This was a matching grant available to Ag Societies. That is, the society must have $50,000.00 in labour, material or cash committed to a project and the government would match the sum. The maximum grant was increased in March 1978 to $75,000.00.

The Chamber of Commerce and the North Am Society had in 1977 started construction of a building designed to house the Chamber office, North Am office, a tourist information booth, a meeting room and storage space. The cost of this building, known as the North Am building was approximately $110,000.00. It was decided to use 50% of the buildings value to apply for the Ag Society capital projects grant. The grant was applied for and Alberta Agriculture sent a grant of $55,000.00 to the Ag Society. North Am construction was $90,000.00 and the Chamber’s contribution $10,000.00 for paving and landscaping; $5000.00 to repay the long overdue loan at the Bank of Montreal (which had been renegotiated by the Chamber) and $40,000.00 was returned to the Ag Society.

In order to obtain the grant, the Ag Society needed a use agreement on the North Am building. In general terms, this agreement granted the Society free use of the building for meetings, etc. and shared office space with the Chamber. North Am had priority use of the meeting room and their own office space. The Chamber of Commerce received all rental fees on the meeting room. The Chamber in turn is required to pay maintenance costs. The Ag Society pays all utilities of which Alberta Agriculture, in the form of an Operating grant, returns 50% and the Chamber reimbursed the remaining 50%.

When the Ag Society was reorganized, it was decided to share a hired part time secretary with the Chamber. The Ag Society’s share of the secretary’s wages was open to negotiation with the Chamber and was approximately 50%. The chamber paid the secretary on a monthly basis and the Ag Society reimbursed the Chamber for its share every six months.

The $40,000.00 that was returned to the Society by the Chamber was designated by Alberta Agriculture and the Ag Society as a capital fund and was invested in term deposits. It was decided that as a hedge against inflation, the interest should be re-deposited and added to the principal, however the interest was often used to cover deficits.

There were a few capital purchases made in the first years of the Society’s life. These included hog panels, a loading chute in which a share is owned by the Wetaskiwin and District 4-H sales Association and a refrigerated van or wagon.

In late 1981, a group in Wetaskiwin began planning for the construction of a second arena. In June 1982, the Ag Society voted to contribute $40,000.00 to the arena construction in return for a sprinkler system, better electrical outlets, a livestock washing facility and a small storage room. The $40,000.00 was obtained by withdrawing $20,000.00 from the capital projects grant. The cheque was presented at the 1983 Annual Meeting. The use agreement on the arena states that the Society will receive a preferred rate and has the power of veto on agricultural events.

At the same time it was decided to purchase livestock equipment to make the new arena more serviceable. A sales ring, several portable steel panels and posts, two rolls of astro-turf carpet were also purchased to use as the show ring.

The Ag Society office moved to its current location at the Ag grounds in March 2000.