Government of Canada invests over $5 million in the in-person return of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

News release

FedDev Ontario investment supports 100th anniversary of the world’s largest indoor agricultural and equestrian event

November 2, 2022 – Toronto, Ontario  

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (The Royal) is the largest combined indoor agriculture fair and international equestrian competition in the world. Taking place in Toronto in November each year, The Royal is where Canadian and international breeders, growers and exhibitors come together to showcase their expertise, drawing more than 300,000 visitors annually. As a major contributor to the local economy, the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 in person iterations of the fair due to the pandemic, resulted in a significant loss of revenue for The Royal, its vendors and exhibitors, and the local tourism and hospitality sectors. The Government of Canada is committed to revitalizing major events and festivals, like The Royal, supporting its important contributions to local economies and positioning the event for a strong future.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced a non-repayable investment of over $5 million in The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair through the Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative (MFESI).

This year marks the 100th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, taking place in Toronto from November 4−13. With this support, The Royal has made updates to its venue and equipment, including the purchase of new temporary stalls for livestock, horse jumps, and implementation of enhanced health measures to keep visitors safe. In addition, the investment is enhancing and modernizing the visitor experience at the fair, including updated signage, improved video production, live streaming technology, interactive mapping software and programming improvements.

The in-person return of the fair will also have significant spill-over benefits for the local economy. With this investment, The Royal is positioned for a strong return, while laying the foundation for continued success. 


“Major festivals and events, such as The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, attract tourists and promotes southern Ontario as a destination of choice and a way to celebrate our unique heritage. This FedDev Ontario investment announced today supports the strong return of The Royal as it opens for its 100th season, once again drawing in visitors to experience the fantastic vendors, exhibitors, hospitality and restaurants across the region.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair celebrates the best of southern Ontario’s agricultural roots and attracts visitors from near and far, boosting the local economy. Investments like the one made today are helping our country’s festivals have a strong recovery, showcasing the unique experiences southern Ontario has to offer and preparing for a resilient future.”
– The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a flagship event in Canada, showcasing our agriculture and agri-food achievements, innovations, and people. I congratulate the Royal for returning as the largest indoor agriculture and horse show in the world, to help bridge connections between the agriculture and agri-food industry and Canadians.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, we are welcoming back our guests, exhibitors, competitors, vendors, teachers and parents, with new initiatives designed to enhance the experience of attending, exhibiting or competing at The Royal. As we start our second century, we do so with the knowledge that the commitments and investments made through the MFESI contribution program have provided The Royal with the organizational stability and capital infrastructure to ensure the long-term viability of this iconic Canadian event.”
– Charlie Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair


Quick facts

  • Founded in 1922, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Association of Canada has been Canada’s leader in showcasing Canadian agriculture, local food and equine excellence, and is recognized internationally as the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and horse show. The event generates an estimated $23 million in local economic activity. 

  • The Major Events and Festivals Support Initiative (MFESI) is a $200-million national fund to support major Canadian festivals and events that have been hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 as they adapt and enhance their events. The program is delivered in southern Ontario by FedDev Ontario.

  • The Government of Canada's $500-million Tourism Relief Fund is helping tourism-oriented businesses and organizations recover from the pandemic and prepare for future growth, with a minimum of $50 million of the Fund allocated to supporting Indigenous-led projects or Indigenous-focused projects. FedDev Ontario is delivering nearly $120 million of the Tourism Relief Fund across southern Ontario. 

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $850 million in more than 1,250 projects in the Greater Toronto Area creating over 30,000 jobs and maintaining over 43,000 jobs. 

Associated links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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