Newspapers and radio within the region have been reporting over the past few months regarding the Kamloops Exhibition Association (KXA) requesting an injunction in B.C. Supreme Court against the “Barriere-based Provincial Winter Fair Society” to stop this newly formed society from holding the Provincial Winter Fair in Barriere. The KXA argues they are ready to host the fair in Kamloops this year and that the new group took the Provincial Winter Fair identity to organize a rival event that will be held on the same weekend as their event.
The new group, called the Provincial Winter Fair Society, was awarded their society status on March 18 of this year under Society number S-0065226. The society operates under an elected board of directors who are responsible to its revised constitution and bylaws. Their membership includes people from all over the North Thompson and Kamloops.
This society was formed after a Feb. 19, 2016, extraordinary general meeting of the membership of the Provincial Winter Fair (PWF). A large turnout to the meeting, with some 44 voting members in attendance was reported. After much discussion at the meeting the membership voted 43 to one in favour of the following motion, “Be it resolved that: The Provincial Winter Fair should be incorporated as its own society and shall operate independently of any other entity.” There was an election following with a constitutionally elected board and committee leaders taking office.
The newly formed Provincial Winter Fair Society (PWFS) say they are, “In the business of putting on a traditional winter fair that reflects the 4-H values and objectives of knowledge, citizenship and personal development”. By following these objectives “with openness and accountability, teamwork and respect for others” the PWFS say their main goal is to provide an annual positive 4-H experience for youth.
The recent request by the KXA for an inunction to halt the PWFS winter fair in Barriere this year was denied by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Rodgers on July 7, 2016.
In his reasons for judgement he stated, “In my opinion, there is significant flaw in the plaintiff’s loss of goodwill argument. That flaw is that whatever goodwill there may be that is associated with the exposition, that goodwill flows from the name Provincial Winter Fair, the events that it hosts and the venue from which it operates. The evidence before me on this application is that the defendants propose to run the Provincial Winter Fair in exactly the same way and in exactly the same place as it has been run for the past five years or so….”
Judge Rodgers also stated, “As to balance of convenience, I think that the plaintiff’s position is too narrowly focused on its own interests. Any assessment of the balance of convenience in the context of an agricultural fair must take into account not only the interests of competing parties, but also the interests of the parties who wish to compete and participate in the fair itself. As the defendants’ counsel said in submissions as he described why his clients are motivated to organize and operate the PWF: “we do it for the kids”. I have no confidence that if the interim injunction were granted that the plaintiff would, at this late date, be able to put on the same show as can the defendants. For that reason, in my view, the balance of convenience here lies with the defendants.”
PWFS members say that they have already secured approximately 70 per cent of their participants for the September event at the fairgrounds. The KXA say they are going ahead with their event as well.
Their may be two Provincial Winter Fairs on the same weekend in September, but one will definitely be held in Barriere.