Providence Bay Agricultural Society announces changes to Fair Ambassador program

A Central Manitoulin Public School Fall Fair workshop was held at the school on May 23. In photo, left to right, are the three previous Ambassadors to the Providence Bay Agricultural Society Fall Fair: Michelle Campbell, 2017, April Torkopoulos, 2018 and Rebecca Dawson, 2016.

PROVIDENCE BAY – The Providence Bay Agricultural Society is introducing exciting changes to their Ambassador program.

The Ambassador program is designed to encourage young people to be involved in the annual Providence Bay Agricultural Society Fair, community and local agriculture. Not only will the ambassador be visible on fair weekend they will represent the Agricultural Society at local events for the following year, as well as at the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies Convention in February.

These changes have been implemented to coincide with the provincial focus changing from pageant formalities to ambassador professionalism, a release notes. The Ambassador competition will now be open to all permanent residents of Manitoulin Island, male or female, 16 years of age or older, by August 1 of the competition year. 

The contestants will be judged by a panel of judges on personal presentation, community involvement, an interview and a prepared speech. The speech they will be asked to prepare and deliver will be two to three minutes on a topic related to agriculture, the importance of agricultural societies, an aspect of their fair or pride of place. 

The winning ambassador will receive a $1,000 bursary and be required to fulfill several duties throughout the fair and over the course of the year as ambassador. The bursary payments will be broken down into four payments throughout the year. And in order to receive the final bursary payment, the ambassador is expected to attend at least three agricultural society meetings throughout the year, as well as five community events as a representative of the agricultural society and/or to learn about local agriculture. 

Some of the events they could attend, for instance, include the Central Manitoulin Public School Fall Fair in September, Manitoulin Secondary School Awards Night, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) dinner and annual general meeting, the Horticultural Society Flower Show, farmers markets, Bluegrass in the Country, Manitowaning Fair, Massey Fair and 4H events. 

At the end of their year, the ambassador may choose to continue in the program as a senior ambassador. The senior ambassador will have the option to attend the Canadian National Exhibition Ambassador of the Fairs competition, when they feel prepared and are a minimum of 18 years old. Additional financial support will be provided to the senior ambassadors, the release explains. The CNE Ambassador program enhances the strong leadership abilities of the participants and allows for further networking in not only the provincial but national agricultural sectors. 

The Providence Bay Agricultural Society Fair will be held August 16-18. The Ambassador competition will be Friday night in the arena following the opening ceremonies at 7:30 pm. The Society is looking forward to growing this program in support of the growing number of young agricultural supporters here on Manitoulin.