Organizers set for an outstanding 2017 Manitoulin Trade Fair

Manitoulin Trade Fair

MANITOULIN—Organizers are looking forward to another great show with the 2017 edition of the Manitoulin Trade Show scheduled to take place May 26-28 in Little Current.

“We’re really excited and are expecting it to be a great show,” stated LAMBAC General Manager Mike Addison, in an interview with the Recorder this past Monday that included Diane Newlands.

“I think this year’s Trade Fair is going to be awesome,” stated Ms. Newlands.

“We are essentially sold out for the booths available for the event; we only have a couple more to hear from,” said Ms. Newlands, noting that 170 booths have been filled by about 150 vendors. “We have some exciting new vendors on hand and a lot of returning vendors.” She pointed out vendors booths will be located inside and outside the NEMI recreation centre.

“We have many fun new businesses that will be at the fair and people will want to visit them,” said Ms. Newlands. “We will be having an exciting new fashion show with the theme ‘Show Local Shop Local’ on Friday evening starting at 7 pm hosted by LAMBAC, with former Miss Manitoulin Katie Harper as master of ceremonies.”

Ms. Newlands pointed out that every area clothing business were contacted and 11 different businesses will have their clothing, which will include ladies and men’s fashions as well as kids’ fashions being featured.

Prior to the fashion show on Friday evening, the official grand opening ceremony for the Trade Fair will take place at 4:45 pm. The opening will include Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes, Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha, Dawn Madahbee general manager of Waubetek Business Development Corporation, with all Island mayors, reeves and First Nation chiefs having been invited to attend. Members of the Manitoulin Sea Cadets will be escorting dignitaries to the stage.

Doors of the NEMI recreation centre will be open at 5 pm to signify the opening of the Trade Fair.

Among the many events and activities taking place as part of the Trade Fair is free face painting for children by Chantal on both Saturday and Sunday in the demonstration area. There is also going to be a Zumba demonstrations on both Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 pm, Tai-Chi on Saturday at 1:30 pm “and another new activity is 4Elements’ one-hour demonstration of art stuff on Saturday at noon. The Great Spirit Circle Trail will also be on hand both days with authentic aboriginal experiences. As well, the Manitoulin Classic School of Dance will be holding a segment on Sunday at 2 pm, ‘The Beauty and the Beast’.”

“The North Shore Search and Rescue will be holding a Hug-a-Tree event,” said Mr. Addison.

The Healing Horse in Honora Riding Stables will be on hand with a miniature horse and the kids will love it,” said Ms. Newlands.

Vendors themselves will be having draws for prizes with visitors to their booths being included and  prizes throughout the weekend.

Prizes will also be given out to vendors including judging being carried out for Best of Fair, Best Small and Best Large Booth, with prizes going out to the first two in each of the last two categories.

The Manitoulin Trade Fair, which was initially held in 1990, “was started by Frank Reynolds, who ran it for years, after which LAMBAC got involved,” said Mr. Addison. “Frank (Reynolds) was the founder and he worked with LAMBAC for five years on this. Now Diane is leading the charge as a LAMBAC function.”

“The Trade Fair brings in about 8,000 to 10,000 people,” said Mr. Addison.

“For vendors to participate our criteria is that they be located in our service area,” said Mr. Addison.

During the weekend the Manitoulin Panthers hockey organization takes care of the parking in the NEMI recreation centre parking lot for the weekend.

“We’re really excited about hosting the Trade Fair,” said Mr. Addison, “It will be a great show. The mayor of NEMI says that this is the largest event held on the Island and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Sponsors for the trade fair include BMO, CTV News, Jake’s, LAMBAC, Manitoulin Transport, Shaw Direct, 100.7 radio and The Glow, J.J. Bousquet Realty, The Manitoulin Expositor and Waubetek Business Development Corporation.

The Manitoulin Trade Fair will be open from 5 pm to 9 pm on Friday, May 26; 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, May 27; and from 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday, May 28.