Government of Canada announces $10 million for much needed facility and infrastructure upgrades aimed at positioning the Pacific National Exhibition for post-pandemic recovery and growth

News release

Image of a group of people walking on the Fair nex to the text PNE receives $10M to support its summer fair and maintain over 4,000 local jobs

Funding includes support for 112th Summer Fair and over 4,000 local jobs

August 31, 2022 – Vancouver, B.C. – Pacific Economic Development Canada

Major festivals and events show off the best of British Columbia’s beauty and culture. They support jobs and industries that drive  tourism, and they allow visitors and locals alike to renew ties in person as we celebrate together once again. The Government of Canada is taking action to revitalize these capstone events across the country, positioning them for an even brighter future.

Today, during the 112th year of the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) Summer Fair, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced $10 million in infrastructure and facility investments support to ensure the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) remains a vibrant anchor attraction for years to come.

Founded in 1910, the PNE has a long history of providing cultural, sporting and family events in Vancouver, attracting over 700,000 visitors to the Summer Fair annually before the pandemic. PacifiCan funding will help the PNE Summer Fair draw back visitors and recapture revenue through investments in new Fair entertainment infrastructure, lighting upgrades to reduce environmental impact, facility upgrades and upgraded IT infrastructure. These investments will also support the PNE’s future growth and sustainability through world-class safety upgrades, energy efficient technology and modernized operations.

With PacifiCan’s support, the Summer Fair is expected to regain and maintain over 4,000 jobs this year and into the future. Most employment opportunities will be directed toward underrepresented groups, including youth, women, new Canadians, and Indigenous workers. With 50% per cent of employees under the age of 21, the PNE remains the largest employer of youth in British Columbia, providing critical low-barrier job opportunities.

Funding for this project is provided through the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative (MFESI). With a national budget of $200 million over 2 years, MFESI supports major Canadian festivals and events that have been hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 to help them adapt and enhance their activities as public health restrictions ease and the economy recovers. The Government of Canada is committed to helping protect the iconic attractions that make Canada a world-class destination.

Quotes

“Events like the PNE are an important part of our economy and culture. The Government of Canada will continue to support attractions that strengthen our communities and provide jobs. Our message is clear: we will continue to be there for B.C.’s communities and industries as they build back even stronger.”
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“The PNE is extremely grateful for these much needed investments into facilities and infrastructure that make our business stronger, and in turn allow our organization to continue its historic role as BC’s largest ticketed event, the largest employer of youth and a key economic driver within the BC economy. This fund was targeted to support large fairs, festivals and events across Canada and the PNE thanks our Federal Government for including us in the group so hard hit by COVID.”
- Shelley Frost, President and CEO, Pacific National Exhibition

Quick facts

  • The Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative supports major Canadian festivals and events that have been hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 to adapt and enhance their activities for the future. 

  • With a national budget of $200 million over two years, the initiative will ensure continued operations and maintain jobs in surrounding communities. 

  • Eligible recipients include major, recurring festivals and events with annual revenues exceeding $10 million.

  • Founded in 1910, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is a non-profit organization that operates from a 114-acre site at Hastings Park, a multi-facility venue in Vancouver.

Associated links

Contacts

Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development
haley.hodgson@international.gc.ca

Ben Letts
Senior Communications Advisor
Pacific Economic Development Canada
ben.letts@pacifican.gc.ca

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