The 2021 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair will not take place in person this year; the board of directors decided this week.
Because it’s not possible to meet its usual standards, the board made the “disheartening decision” to instead focus on making the 2022 show worthy of its 100th anniversary.
"Initially, we were optimistic that we would be able to gather at Exhibition Place this year to celebrate Canadian excellence in food, agriculture and equestrian sport, said chief executive officer Charlie Johnstone.
“But as the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continues to create havoc around the world, it became clear that we weren't going to be able to host The Royal in a traditional way," he said.
"Our exhibitors and competitors put everything they've got into the pursuit of a championship, and we owe them a world-class showcase for their efforts. We're simply not in a place to guarantee the stability and assurances necessary to plan their paths forward to compete at an elite level."
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition in the world.
It combines sporting events, livestock shows, trade shows, family attractions, and top-ranked international equestrian competitions.
In a typical year, The Royal brings together thousands of competitors and animals and nearly 300,000 guests to celebrate the best in agriculture, local food, and equestrian competition. We do not take this responsibility lightly.
The Royal's board of directors, staff and management remain committed to creating a safe and healthy space for everyone to gather, compete and celebrate when the time is right, the organizers said in a news release.