The Facts, Our History Highlights and Our Volunteers
The Cold Lake Agricultural Society has voluntarily been bringing functions and events to the area since June 14, 1947.
Every dollar raised by the Ag. Society goes back into it's facilities and programs. The facilities built at Exhibition Park are 100% Non – Profit.
Exhibition Park facilities are operated 100% by Volunteers!!!
The Ag. Society owns and operates all the facilities, everything above ground (105+ acres) at Exhibition Park including the Bingo Hall. The city owns the dirt the facilities are built on, but that is it.
Since 1969 the Rodeo has used 1800 hours of donated time with 225 Volunteers running the 4-day event annually.
The Ag. Society is the largest and eldest Volunteer group in the area, serving the community for over 65 years. Some Volunteers are 3rd & 4th generation. In1947 we recruited dentists to come to town once per month, and started a petition to get the railway to Grand Centre (Cold Lake) from Legoff across the river. November 19, 1951 we applied for and received our first charter as the Grand Centre Agricultural Society.
We initiated the process of bringing electricity and telephone lines to town, and veterinarians because there was a rabies epidemic that needed attention in 1952. Two years later our Volunteers sat on the Hospital Advisory Board, and bought an x-ray machine. By 1973 we joined with the Grand Centre Curling Club and were known as the arena association. We helped build the Grand Centre Arena and chartered again as the Grand Centre and District Agricultural Society to get a matching grant for the town of $50,000 to install pipes and a cement floor in the arena.
In 1974 the Society borrowed $75,000 at13% interest to install the ice plant. The Municipal District of Bonnyville paid the loan off in 1980. Also in 1974, we donated the arena back to the town of Grand Centre to operate for the community in the amount of $181,000 cash, with 12,500 volunteered hours that went into constructing the building from our group. This facility was torn down in February 2011. It served our community 37 years. There we had held 19 Rodeos.
Volunteers moved the old Rodeo Grounds in1989 for its 3rd and final time, building the remarkable property known as Exhibition Park. The new grounds include a legal sized 5/8 mile race track, The barn was built in1990 which houses 23 box stalls and the heated indoor riding arena was constructed just 5 years later. During 1996 and 1997 the bingo hall was added so all the non-profit groups of the community could benefit. In 1998 the Agriplex was built for rentals of all kinds. It includes the Largest Kitchen in the Lakeland and In 2010 our kitchen Volunteers served up 9,817 meals as part of the Alberta Winter Games. The upper level of the Agriplex was added in 2004 for smaller parties of 125 guests or less and a year later more volunteer power was used to replace the entire roof of the indoor riding arena.
The Ag Society improves the quality of life in our rural community. We encourage you to come for a tour! The achievements we have finished to date are really extraordinary. When you stand on our site and take a good look at what has been constructed at Exhibition Park, it will surprise you. You will see how significant the visions of Volunteers can be. They have given immeasurable hours of service and continue to do so for the betterment of our whole community. It's been over 70 years, and we're still counting! Join Us!