Our Agricultural Roots Were Planted Back in 1886

The year following the fiery Riel Rebellion that ended in the Battle of Batoche, the pioneering farmers of the newly-formed Temperance Colonization Society, began to talk. There wasn’t much of a community on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River back then, and the few families that lived in the big territory were desperate to draw newcomers. They felt that creating an event at which they could exhibit their grains and roots would advertise the district and entice merchants and tradesmen to join the fledgling community.

Making It Known

A resolution was drafted and forwarded to the Dominion Department of Agriculture in Ottawa, stating the case for the district to be an agricultural country.

First Fair

The first fair was arranged in 1886 and “handsome” prizes were offered, such as a $2 prize for a half-mile trotting event and 50 cents for the best darned pants and socks.

The community gathered to celebrate rural achievements as well as to socialize and enjoy all the Fair had to offer.

While the original vision of the event was agricultural in nature, the event quickly grew to be an annual favorite, attended by tens of thousands each summer.
Over the years, musical entertainment, midway rides, horse and car racing, baseball tournaments, festive parades, cultural demonstrations and food concessions were added, making it one of the best outdoor shows in Western Canada.

With Growth Comes Changes

As the Saskatoon Fair evolved into the Saskatoon Industrial Exhibition in 1911, then the Saskatoon Ex in 1990, the province’s population was flourishing and developing, too. Prairieland Park, which had emerged from the Saskatoon Agricultural Society, began diversifying its programming to extend throughout the calendar year.

Rather than ‘put all their eggs in one basket,’ the corporation created focussed events featuring horses, beef cattle and dairy cows, grain production, and more.

Partial List of Prairieland’s Agricultural Shows Over The Years

  • Beef Production Show

  • Saskatoon Fall Fair & Mexabition

  • Canada Dairy Expo

  • Saskatchewan Equine Expo

  • Junior Ag Showcase

  • Prairieland Youth Leadership Conference

  • Western Canadian Crop Production Show

  • Saskatchewan Beef Expo

  • Garden Experience

  • Ag Experience

  • Cattle Congress

  • Seager Wheeler Pedigreed Seed Show