We had a great response from the last Pender Post article, and are looking forward to another great Fall Fair! Good ideas to match the theme of “In Simpler Times”, and some new people to help lighten the load of organizing the fair. Many thanks to Matthew Vasilev who has volunteered to help organize the exhibits conveners. Matthew is already half way through the list, and he is also helping to put together the catalogue for this year. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-778-792-9114. If you were a convener last year and haven’t heard from Matthew yet give him a call so he knows if you are able to help again, or need help or a replacement (or changes to the catalogue). Thank you. We still have gaps for the organizing committee – entertainment, grounds set up – and still have to confirm volunteers from last year. Please contact Barbara Johnstone Grimmer at email@example.com or 250-222-3817 (cell) or 250-629-3817(day) or 3819 (evenings) if you are interested or want to let us know if you are available to volunteer this year. If you are reading this before March 31st, you are invited to the Farmers’ Institute AGM at the Hall on March 31– potluck at 6 pm, meeting at 7 pm – the Fall Fair will be on the agenda so if you are interested in helping out or volunteering for the organizing committee, please stop by. Everyone is welcome. Updates will be posted on our Facebook Page for the Pender Islands Fall Fair or our website pifi.ca. Information will also be available at the Farmers’ Market
The theme for the fair this year is "In Simpler Times", harkening back to the first Pender Island Fall Fair in 1932, 85 years ago. The 1932 fair had a budget of $100 with 50 cents as the admission fee for a family. There were over 600 entries that year and prizes included 48 pounds of flour, a side of bacon and a gallon of paint. This was a time before Islands Trust, BC Ferries, before electricity, before Magic Lake, and before the multiple community groups and activities. What would that be like? Come out and see, or better yet, help us create it! Originally sponsored by the Farmers’ Institute and Women’ Institute, the focus was and has been to promote and support agriculture. In the past, the government provided grants and evaluators for this purpose. In recent years there have been no government grants, and instead of educating farmers the emphasis for ag fairs is primarily to educate the public. Recent fairs on Pender have been supported by many Island groups and businesses and have grown in scope to celebrate our diverse community, but the burden of the organizing has shifted from a community-wide Fall Fair committee of the Farmers Institute, to a Farmers Institute board organizing committee. This has stretched the board too thin, as the fair has grown, in size, scope and expense. The budget and the entries are greater, and the attendance is larger than in the early years of the Fair. The Fair still retains its rural atmosphere and will hopefully continue to be a good example of the community cooperation and enterprise first begun by our elders, with some significant changes to balance the workload. To put on the fair requires a lot of work and time, and it is quite possible that the fair will be dramatically scaled down if there aren't enough volunteers for the organizing committee. Community groups with specific interest in the various competitive exhibits are asked to provide a volunteer to go onto the organizing Fall Fair Committee. Already the Recycling Society has offered to help make the fair a zero-waste event, in addition to providing their role in recycling on the day of the fair, providing dishes for the barbecue, and providing convener, judge and prize money and assisting in setting up their section for the fair. We would like to hear from the food vendors soon so that this zero-waste effort can be successful. If you are interested in helping in any aspect of the fair, think of what would interest you and how much of a time commitment you can afford, then please contact Barb at 3819 or 3817 or firstname.lastname@example.org by March 31. Thank you.
Pender Island Fall Fair Report The Fall Fair held on August 27th at the Community Hall was a great success this year, and a complete list of Fall Fair Trophy winners is in this issue. A complete Fall Fair report will be in the November Pender Post. There was excellent support by local businesses through sponsorships, and this made all the difference in making the Fair more economically sustainable. The September Pender Post had a list of businesses and organizations who contributed to the Fair, and we would like to add Talisman Books as a Blue Ribbon Sponsor, Island Legacy Builders as a Red Ribbon Sponsor, and Southridge Farms Country Store and Driftwood Auto and Marine General Store as Yellow Ribbon Sponsors. We would also like to recognize the Canada Summer Student Grant program which made it possible for us to hire a summer student, Natasha Bhola, part-time for administrative duties. The other aspect of this year’s fair which helped make it more economically sustainable was the generosity of fairgoers donating at the gate, and for those who donated time, talents and resources, from the entertainment, to the printing of brochures and posters. Special thanks to Carol Davis for taking on the raffle at the last minute, Patti and Bill Badcock for help with community groups and printing services, Murray Vasilev for washing dishes, Aaron Grimmer and Craig Miller for their help with the BBQ, Paul Petrie who not only won the Jaime Scott Corbett Memorial Cup for top points, along with Ashton Ross-Smith Trophy and Mackinnon Trophy, but he also took time to help set up and came back to help with a couple of extra hours volunteer time to hang signs because we were short-handed. The entertainers were a reflection of our community, and many many thanks go to the Pender Highlanders, Denny Goertz and Pender Young Violins, guitarist Bill Heintz, local favourites Pages From The Oak Tree, and local DJ Marc Lesperance. Thank you to Valentina Atton who was a big hit with her face painting, the Boland Family with their Bouncy Castle and everyone loved the parade (Thank you Nia Williams). A special feature on wool was a great success, thanks to Jodi Schamberger, Martha McMahon, Diana Kempe who spun wool as Pieter DeMooy sheared the sheep, Aaron Campbell, Pender Island Spinners and Weavers. Special thank you to Theresa Carle-Sanders for a wonderful take-down breakfast, and to the Vanilla Leaf Bakery who helped support the BBQ. There are others – Al Blake and Doug Keating who helped Gary Goodman with parking, many people who showed up to help with set up and take down, who greeted fairgoers at the gates, who made sure the raffle winners got their prizes, and more. Mark your calendar for next year – August 26th, 2017. For more information or to keep in the loop: www.pifi.ca
Pender Island Fall Report Farewell and Best Wishes to Natasha The Farmers’ Institute said goodbye to our business co-op student from UVic, Natasha Bhola, in August, as she heads to Sweden for a year at Stockholm University. Natasha was involved in organizing the Farmers’ Market and helping organize the Fall Fair this summer for her co-op program work experience. She enjoyed Pender Island and even spent a day at the Nu-to-You as a volunteer this summer, and she hopes to come back next summer as a volunteer for the Fall Fair! We wish her well in all her future endeavours. Nick Frappell, who has been helping with set up and take down of the market, will be filling in for Natasha for her Farmers’ Market duties while he attends UVic in the fall, and he also helped with fall fair set up, take down and the Kids Zone. We were fortunate to have such enthusiastic young people helping us this summer. District A Farmers’ Institute Meeting with Ministry of Agriculture Deputy Minister and Staff On June 28th five Farmers’ Institute representative from Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands and Powell River met with Ministry staff in Victoria. We discussed several key issues: Meat regulations impacts, wildlife/agriculture conflicts and predation, invasive species and their impact on agriculture, the potential for year-round covered Farmers’ Markets, and the importance of the community agriculture sector and how our sector can be most effectively represented to the Ministry. The Ministry representatives included the Deputy and Assistant Deputy Ministers of Agriculture, the Superintendent of Farmers’ Institutes, and the Operations Manager of the Meat Inspection Program in BC. The meeting was productive and ministry staff were helpful and receptive. Food Safe course – Thank to Paul Hutcheson for teaching a Food Safe course for our local community in July, and to Poet’s Cove for hosting the venue and providing refreshments.
Pender Island Fall Fair Report At the time of this writing the Fall Fair is a week away and we are finally getting a hot stretch of weather. We would like to thank the community volunteers who make the fair happen, in particular those who enter their hand-made items or home grown produce, bring their chickens or lambs, or volunteer, whether it be for the day or for the year. A special thanks goes out to Natasha Bhola , a UVic Co-op student who did a lot of work behind the scenes which took a lot of time and effort; to the Convenors who also put a lot of time in behind the scenes and often don’t even have a chance to see the fair, section organizers like Gary Goodman, who set up the parking field well in advance, Karl Hamson who mowed the field and helped Jodi with the livestock pens, David Howe and the Green Angel wood choppers who like to help out, Dorothy Murdoch, who with the help of Maria Hanson and Josh Jones organized a beef barbecue with vegetarian chili and baked potatoes, all for 500 people, Joyce Steeves who organized the beer garden as a Hall fundraiser, Ina Timmer and Pearl Nowak who came forward to help with Treasurer duties, Brent Marsden who had to be away but made sure to come out and show us how to put up the big circus type tents, mainstays like Heather and John Rumble and their team on registration, Trinette Prior who organizes the trophies, Donna Kilby and Wendy McDonald who man the Information booth selling BBQ tickets and paying out prize monies, and the set up and take down crews that put it together. Entire families volunteered at the fair; Denny Goertz played violin, his son Owen hosted the Berry Pie contest for Brent, and Nia organized the parade. Last but not least, there was Yoko Kikuchi who produced the artwork for the posters and catalogue, Bruce McConchie who was the MC for the event, and Ellen Willingham who was our guest of honour. There is not enough space to mention all the highlights or people involved, and I am sure each one of you has something that you liked best of all. Let us know what you liked about the fair, and soon we will have a meeting to organize next year’s fair. If you are interested in playing a key role, we want to talk to you!! Email email@example.com and we will be in touch.