Federal election fever is starting to take control of those who are more than a little passionate about the political landscape in Canada, candidates are throwing insults at each other and their parties, and a majority of reluctant voters are still bemoaning that they will have to go to the polls once again. Canadians have voiced their displeasure at the cost of having a federal election while we are still trying to pull ourselves out of an economic recession. Dollars are tight, and Canadians are counting their pennies to keep themselves and their families fed and housed. Everyone has felt the grip of the recession, no matter what their income.
With the slowdown in commerce across Canada, government economic action plans moved to the forefront, and for the most part they have made a positive contribution to Canadian communities.
In Barriere there is currently an economic action plan taking place that so far has been powered by the people of this community and its neighbors. I’m talking about the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association’s Agriplex building. An impressive structure that the association is committed to building on their property in Barriere where the annual fall fair and rodeo is held each year.
When the association first voiced their plan to construct a $350,000 – $400,000 plus agricultural and multi-purpose building by using donations and applying for grants there were a few area residents who put tongue in cheek and said “not possible”. But those folks don’t understand the power of the people in our Valley communities.
The North Thompson Fall Fair has a 63 year history in this Valley. Numerous families have been a part of the fall fair since its inception, as have their children, and their grandchildren. 4H projects and events have readied our youth for their futures; and for more than six decades annual fall fair events have brought folks together to network, socialize, swap a few tales, and make lifelong friendships that continue to survive through all that life can throw our way.
The amazing amount of support that has come forward in just three weeks for the construction of the Agriplex is a testament to what a community can accomplish when everyone believes in a common goal for the benefit of all.
Two impressive donations of $100,000 have assisted in bringing the date of construction forward by several months. In-kind pledges for machinery and other construction costs are volunteered every day; and along with the large donations are numerous smaller ones, just as important. Every dollar so far has come from the people who believe in their community, in the values of our families, and the rural lifestyle that we enjoy.
We understand that in the 1970’s, when the Barriere Curling Rink was being built, a call went out that $100,000 in debentures needed to be raised before construction could begin – it took just one weekend for the community to put it together.
Now, some forty years later, we’re doing it again.