About the Markham Fair
Markham Fair is the registered trade name of the Markham and East York Agricultural Society, which is a not for profit Corporation formed under the Agricultural Societies Act of the Province of Ontario. The Society operates and owns the property and buildings situated at the north-east corner of McCowan Road and Elgin Mills Rd E., Markham, Ontario.
The Mission of the Society is to encourage an awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community by:
- researching and developing programs to meet the needs of the community;
- holding annual agricultural exhibitions featuring competitions for which prizes may be awarded;
- promoting the conservation of natural resources;
- encouraging the beautification of the community; and by
- supporting and providing facilities to encourage activities to enrich the community
As an Ontario Corporation the Society is governed by a Board of 24 Directors of which six nominated candidates are elected at each annual meeting for a three year period and six junior directors (18 years of age and under 26) are elected for one year. Directors are elected by all members attending the annual meeting. The President (Chair) and two vice-presidents are elected from among the directors at a meeting following the annual meeting. The General Manager/Secretary/Treasurer is also appointed at this meeting.
There are over 750 volunteers involved with the operations, who fill the board seats and form some 75 committees, who share administrative duties and the Fair operating procedures.
The earliest date that has been confirmed for the original Society appeared in the 1844 edition of The British American Cultivator, which stated that The Township of Markham Agricultural Society had been formed with William Armstrong – President, David Reesor- Secretary, and George Hunter-Treasurer, with two vice-presidents and 20 directors, (two elected from each Concession).
The earliest recorded Fair held in Markham was in 1857 at the fairgrounds then located on the South East corner of the junction of Highways 7 and 48.
In 1977 the Fair relocated to its current site where the four day fair is held annually on the weekend preceding the Canadian Thanksgiving.
Markham Fair is an annual event hosted by the Markham and East York Agricultural Society. Originally agricultural societies would meet on a regular basis to discuss various concepts of agricultural improvement such as livestock development and increased grain yields. Often the society would collectively purchase a bull or seed grain, which would be made available to members only. The fall fair would then be an opportunity for the farmers to compete by showing off the fruits of their labour.Due to increased technology and rapid communication, agricultural societies no longer find it necessary to provide this service. The Markham Fair continues to create the forum known as the fall fair.
Markham Fair is one of Canada oldest country fairs. Since 1844 the fair has been providing the community with a showcase for talents and products in a friendly competitive spirit. With over 750 volunteers working on more than 75 committees, Markham Fair is the largest community based volunteer organization in Canada.
Markham Fair occurs annually on the weekend before Thanksgiving, and hosts upwards of 60,000 attendees. Approximately 3,000 exhibitors will enter more than 12,000 items, which will be judged and put on display during the fair. Promoting excellence through competition in this way, is what makes fairs unique in comparison to other events.
As well as the competitive displays of our fall harvest, the community is further brought together to enjoy various forms of entertainment such as horse pull, demolition derby, tractor pull, midway rides, livestock shows and displays of farm animals.
FAIR DATES: we set fair dates for the following three years:
2013: October 3, 4, 5, 6.
2014: October 2, 3, 4, 5.
2015: October 1, 2, 3, 4.