North Thompson Fall Fair officers win national awards

Second year in a row the national Canadian Fair Champion Award won by a North Thompson Valley volunteer

Leslie Stirling

Leslie Stirling

Once again the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association can congratulate one of its board members on being awarded the Canadian Fair Champion Award for Western Canada on behalf of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE).

Leslie Stirling, NTFFRA’s outgoing treasurer, is this year’s recipient reports president Jill Hayward.

“We are so proud of Leslie and this wonderful recognition from our fall fair and exhibition peers,” said Hayward, “Karl Rainer received the award last year, and now Leslie for 2014.  We are so very happy for her.”

Hayward says the awards don’t stop there though.  NTFFRA past president Donna Kibble has also been recognized by CAFE, and is the recipient of the Roll of Honour Award.

“We can’t say enough about the dedication of so many wonderful volunteers to our organization,” says Hayward,  “It is really special when we can see some of these folks like Leslie and Donna receive National recognition for their efforts on our behalf.”

CAFE’s announcement says, “The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions has announced the winners of the 2014 Canadian Fair Champions Competition, which invites exhibitions and agricultural societies across Canada to nominate their “unsung heroes” for recognition.  Three winners are selected annually from across Canada to receive an expense paid trip to the CAFE Convention,  where they will be honoured at a gala luncheon.  This  year’s convention is in Vancouver, BC.  The 2014  winners of the competition are:

“Wanda Aultman,  nominated by Powassan Agricultural Society in Powassan, ON.

“Susan Page, nominated by the Lone Pine Agricultural Society in Didsbury, AB., and

“Leslie Stirling, nominated by the North Thompson Fall Fair, North Thompson, B.C.

“These three outstanding women were selected  from nominations from across Canada.  Each of them exemplifies unselfish dedication to community, and has gone beyond and above the “call of duty” for their local fair or exhibition. These very deserving winners will travel to Vancouver, stay at the Hyatt Regency as guests of CAFE, and be honoured at the annual Convention which runs from Nov. 19 to 21.

“The Canadian Fair Champions Competition is sponsored annually by North American Midway Entertainment and administered by the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE). CAFE is a national nonprofit organization which fosters excellence in leadership in the Canadian Fair Industry by providing programs, resources and leadership.”

The NTFFRA nomination for Leslie Stirling states, “Leslie Stirling is committed to the NTFFRA, becoming a member in 1982.  That year she was the home canning convener and that was only the beginning.  She became our treasurer in 2000. In this position, which she has held for 15 years, she has been outstanding and therefore deserves this award. In 2002, 2003, and 2004 Leslie was on the Queen Pageant Committee, a very demanding position as well as treasurer. Being on the Queen Pageant Committee for Leslie,  meant being Master of Ceremonies for the events and much travelling with the girls.   In 2005, 2006 and 2007 she held another two very busy jobs – secretary and treasurer. She looked after the money, handled all the entries and correspondence and did them all very well. In 2009 she was the corresponding secretary and treasurer. She has worked tirelessly for our fair.  2010 saw her again as our treasurer. The relief she experienced in having only one job was short lived as the following year we decided it was time to build our Agriplex. The community could see the potential this building held for our suppressed valley after the wild fire of 2003. We received a multitude of cash and in-kind donations. Leslie looked after all of this, kept the books balanced and held back the exuberant spenders on this building when she had to. Not an easy job to say the least. We now have a building  without a cent owing on it.  Leslie deserves much credit for this as she kept the books balanced and accurate as we applied for grants, and donations. She diligently keeps all of our accounts balanced.  It is Leslie who has the sleepless nights worrying if she has enough money to pay the bills… but she keeps our eager project volunteers in line with the budget. For the past two years Leslie has run the fair’s downtown office in the shopping mall.  She puts in long days herself, as well as organizing  other volunteers in the office…”

• The CAFE Roll of Honour, which has been awarded to Donna Kibble, was established in 1979.   This award recognizes distinguished service by an individual or organization to the Canadian fair and exhibition industry.  Recipients of the award have made significant contributions to the industry through leadership, vision, specific expertise and/or outstanding service,  including impact beyond their local community.

The NTFFRA nomination form for Donna Kibble included the following, “…In 1988, 1989 and 1990 she was in charge of Group Projects, Community Displays and Women’s Groups.  In 1991 and 1992 she looked after the Boys and Girls section as well as Group Projects, Community Displays and Women’s Groups.  From 1995 to 1998 inclusive she was convener for Poultry, Pigeons, Cage Birds and Rabbits.  1999 saw her convener for Poultry and Pigeons. In 2000, Donna became president of the NTFFRA, holding this position for the next seven years. For 2007, she was “Hall Boss” for the Exhibit Hall.  She was president again in 2010 and 2011… Donna has come up with some really good ideas for our fair and she has worked on getting them in place… Donna has served as president of the BC Fairs and Exhibitions Association as well as a director.  She also represents us at the Chamber of Commerce, the North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre, and at the District of Barriere.  Donna has been for many years, and still is, one of our major grant application writers.  It is without a doubt, that Donna is a very valuable volunteer for our fair.  This lady has done so much.  She has made significant contributions to the industry through leadership, vision, specific expertise, outstanding service, and has made an impact beyond our local community.”