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Federal Cabinet Ministers Open Listowel Agricultural Fair

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of National Defence Pay Tribute to Local Canadian Military History

By Amanda Brodhagen,

Two federal cabinet ministers helped kick off of the 158th Listowel Agricultural Fair Thursday night, July 17.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson and Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino rode in the annual opening fair parade in classic cars, and then later graced the stage for opening ceremonies with several local dignitaries, bringing greetings on behalf of the federal government to commemorate the centennial year of the Listowel Armouries.

“This year’s theme “100 years Armouries to Agriculture” underscores the close relationship the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have with the community of Listowel,” Minister Nicholson said in a release.

Local VIPs included: Gary Schellenberger MP, Randy Pettapiece MPP, Robert Wilhem Warden of Perth County, Julie Behrns Mayor of North Perth, Amanda MacCannell 2013-14 Listowel Fair Ambassador, with several other fair celebrities.

The Listowel Agricultural Society is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Listowel Armouries, which now functions as the Listowel Agriculture Hall. Local men and women of the Canadian Expeditionary Force trained in the building from 1914 to 1970. In 1970, the Listowel Agricultural Society bought the Listowel Armouries from the federal government.

The fair theme: 100 Years of Armouries to Agriculture, bridges together the past and the present –local military history from the past, and the vibrant farm community that continues to be a source of pride in the rural area today.

Other highlights of the night included the fair ambassador competition, where seven young women vied for the title. Candice DeWeerd won the crown and will represent the fair and the North Perth community for a year, before competing for the title of CNE Ambassador of the Fairs in August 2015. The night ended with a display of fireworks.

The Listowel Fair runs July 17th to 20th.

(Defence Minister Rob Nicholson riding in the Listowel Fair parade Thursday night).

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