This marks the fourth cancellation in the event’s history
By Diego Flammini
The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) has been cancelled for the second consecutive year.
Organizers scheduled the event to take place in Lindsay, Ont. from Oct. 13 to 16.
But without guidance from the provincial government about events like the IPM and how to put them on safely, organizers felt no choice but to cancel the event.
“The health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors, sponsors, competitors, volunteers and staff has always been our number one priority”, Sheila Marshall, president of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, said in a statement. “While we fully support the health restrictions required to conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, the unknown stipulations for large events has made it impossible to proceed with the traditional in-person IPM”.
Organizers are, however, developing events and options to bring the IPM to volunteers, participants and visitors later in the year, Marshall added.
Those details will be released when appropriate.
This year’s cancellation marks only the fourth time the event hasn’t gone on since its inception in 1913.
The first time the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) cancelled the IPM was in 1918 when the Spanish Flu started to affect the city of Ottawa. The event was scheduled to open at the Central Experiment Farm.
The second time IPM organizers decided not to hold the event was during the Second World War when Canadians dedicated themselves to the war efforts.
Organizers cancelled the 2020 IPM because of the pandemic.
Plans are in place to hold the IPM in the future.
The community of North Grenville is slated to host the event from Sept. 20 to 24 at the former Kemptville Agricultural College Campus and farm.
Dufferin County will host the event in 2023 and the IPM will return to Lindsay in 2024.
Farms.com has contacted members of the OPA for comment.