KAWARTHA LAKES-The Directors of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association say they were forced to make another very difficult decision to cancel the 2021 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo. (IPM)
“Over the past weeks and months, we have been relentless in seeking information from the Ontario Government in regard to the attendance capacity limits and the addition restrictions for large events such as the IPM. To date, we have been unable to receive any of the necessary information.” said organizers in an email to Kawartha 411.
The event was to take place at the Lindsay Exhibition grounds and neighbouring farms in 2020 but was cancelled due to the pandemic. It was then rescheduled to 2021.
The IPM says plans were in place for this year’s event but they reached the critical deadlines when contracts needed to be completed and the physical building of the RV Park and Tented City needed to begin.
“Proceeding without the knowledge of the health restrictions, etc. was not feasible nor in the best interests of all the IPM Stakeholders.” said the statement.
“The health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors, sponsors, competitors, volunteers and staff has always been our number one priority”, said Sheila Marshall, President of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association. “While we fully support the health restrictions required to conquer the Covid-19 pandemic, the unknown stipulations for large events has made it impossible to proceed with the traditional in-person IPM”.
The Directors and Staff are currently developing events and options that will bring the IPM experience to faithful volunteers, participants and visitors later in the year. Once government regulations for large gatherings are made available, the Ontario Plowmen’s Association will be making further announcements.
The Board of Directors has confirmed that the 103rd International Plowing Match will be held in the Municipality of North Grenville (United Counties of Leeds Grenville) at Kemptville, Ontario. Scheduled for September 20th to 24th, 2022, the IPM will be centred around the former Kemptville Agricultural College Campus and the former Kemptville Agricultural College Farm.
IPM 2023 which will be held in Dufferin County. The IPM will return to Kawartha Lakes (Lindsay) in 2024.