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About the Russell Agricultural Society

  • As well as celebrating the 159th edition of the Russell Fair, we are also celebrating the 150th birthday of this great country of ours. It is indeed a year to be a proud Canadian. The theme for this year’s fair is Canada 150+. Plus, meaning that we have a lot of pluses at the Russell Fair this year. On behalf of the Executive and the Board of Directors of the Russell Agricultural Society, I am inviting you to celebrate and partake in the many varied activities, features and displays at the Fair. There is something for everyone.

    Some of the highlights of the fair include Education Day, exhibits for the Home Craft division, Craft Beer Fest, Demolition Derby, Truck Pull, Tractor Pull, Livestock exhibits, Horse shows, Midway, and Entertainment throughout the Fair. New to the fair this year are an Entertainment Tent, mini wrestling, and a Truck Raffle which we kicked off on Canada Day.

    The Russell Fair continues each year to teach the next generation the importance of agriculture in our lives as it is so much a part of our heritage.

    On behalf of all directors, I would like to thank our sponsors and donors that support the Russell Fair, as well as everyone else involved. Our excellent group of hard working volunteers put in countless hours of preparation and dedication to our committees, and they are very much appreciated.

    Please feel free to check us out on our website at www.russellfair.com, or on our Facebook page.

    Hope to see you all at the Russell Fair.

    Chris Therkelsen
    President

     

     

  • HONORARY DIRECTORS

    Francis Drouin, M.P., Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
    Grant Crack, M.P.P., Glengarry-Prescott-Russell
    Pierre Leroux, Mayor, Township of Russell

    LEGAL ADVISOR

    James D. Campbell, Campbell & Sabourin LLP/s.r.l.

    EXECUTIVE

    Past President: Henry Staal – 613 445-2097
    President: Chris Therkelsen – 613 223-6775
    Vice-President: Lyndon Donnelly – 613 229-2149
    Home Craft Representative: Ina Henry – 613 445-2065
    Secretary: Anna Roberts – 613 445-1742
    Treasurer: Marion Scharf – 613 821-9764

    DIRECTORS

    Deron Brookes, Elizabeth Ferguson, Chris Griffith, Karen Lovenuk, Abbey McFaul, Judy McFaul, John Nicholls, Elizabeth O’Gorman-Smit, Jeff O’Neil, Chris Olney, Jane Patterson, Pamela Pearson, Kara Roosen, Beth Ruiter, Mhairi Rowland, Doris Schoeni, Rudy Schoeni, Catherine Shane, Reeann Slater, Cora Staal, Mike Zakaria.

  • GENERAL INFORMATION
    Anna Roberts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-1742
    info@russellfair.com
    Box 730, Russell K4R 1E8

    ADVERTISING, MARKETING, SOCIAL MEDIA:
    Theresa Wever . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-0904
    Barbara Stanyar-Teske

    AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
    Catharina Shane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13-327-5770
    Matilda Bouwhuis

    AGRI-VILLAGE
    Kara Roosen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 774-4112
    Beth Ruiter, Judy McFaul

    ANTIQUES
    George and Judy James . . . . . . . . . 613 445-5690

    BAR
    Mike Zakaria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-4161
    Chris Therkelsen, Jason Savage
    Amanda Fader, Brittany Preston,
    Reeann Slater

    CATTLE
    Michael Bols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-2870
    Adrian Henry, Brian Buma, Lois James,
    Rudy Schoeni, Brian Groot-Lipman,
    Terry Smygwaty, Pamela Pearson,
    Arlene Ross, Jenna James

    CLASSIC AUTO & BIKE SHOW
    Ian Baas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 986-1972
    Shirley Vedder, Kim Baas

    COMMERCIAL FEATURES
    Rudy Schoeni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 443-2410

    CONCESSIONS – INDOOR
    Kara Roosen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613-774-4112
    Beth Ruiter

    CONCESSIONS – OUTDOOR
    Beth Ruiter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-5744
    Gerry Wever

    CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL
    Abbey McFaul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613-613-1778
    Amanda Fader, Mike Zakaria
    Reeann Slater

    CULINARY ARTS
    Deron Brookes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-5303
    Marjorie Dugdale, Ina Henry
    Doris Schoeni, Marian Armstrong,
    Marilyn Sullivan, Pat McLaren

    THOMPSON BOILER WORKS DEMOLITION DERBY
    John Hickling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-3199
    Chris Griffith

    DEMOLITION DERBY FOR KIDS (POWER WHEELS)
    Reeann Slater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 716-3638
    Mike Zakaria, Judy McFaul

    EDUCATION DAY
    Liz O’Gorman-Smit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-2802
    Doris Schoeni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 443-2410
    Cora Staal, Heidi Kornherr,
    Jane Patterson, Debbi and Bruce Bennett,
    Donna Lafrance, Pamela Pearson

    ENTERTAINMENT
    Rise2Fame Talent Search:
    Karen Lovenuk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-3371
    Michelle Cochrane, Jennifer Chambers

    Children’s Entertainment:
    Karen Lovenuk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-3371

    Outside Attractions:
    Judy McFaul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-4161
    Wayne Roy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-6423

    Weekend Attractions:
    Abbey McFaul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 443-4477
    Reeann Slater  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 716-3638
    Dale Williams, Elizabeth Ferguson

    FALL CUTTING HORSE COMPETITION
    Brian Kelly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 791-0633
    Dave Adams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-1067
    Laura Thomson

    FIELD CROPS
    Steve Bekkers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-3284
    John Hickling

    FLOWERS
    Lindley McPhail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-0754
    Pegi Holtz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 821-0364
    Marilyn MacMillan

    GATES
    Judy McFaul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-4161
    Wendy Achtereekte, Pamela Leclair
    Allison Brookes, Wayne Roy

    GROUNDS
    John Nicholls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-3207

    HANDCRAFTS
    Ina Henry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-2065
    Lucy Mulders, Diny Achtereekte
    Trudy Corvinelli, Doreen Taylor, Catharina Shane,
    Barbara Agar, Diane Wermenlinger

    KITCHEN
    Cynthia Wever . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 852-0904
    Ronna Sheldrick. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 868-8374

    PANCAKE BREAKFAST
    John Hickling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-3199

    PEDAL PULL (kids)
    Reeann Slater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613-716-3638
    Abbey McFaul

    RENTALS & STORAGE
    John Nicholls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-3207
    Judy McFaul, Theresa Wever

    SECURITY
    Bert Vedder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-5791

    SPECIAL NEEDS EVENT
    Reeann Slater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 716-3638
    Abbey McFaul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613-612-1778
    Charlotte Scharf

    SHEEP
    Mike Bols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-2870
    Lois James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-5252
    Lorraine Robinson, Wayne Robinson
    Bruce Bennett, Debi Bennett, Jenna James,
    Raja Wysocki

    SPONSORSHIP AND DONATIONS
    John Hickling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-3199
    Jamie Altobelli, Nikki Jardine-Frigon

    STUDENT VOLUNTEERS
    Chris Olney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-4199

    SUPER GYMKHANA WESTERN GAMES
    Jaquie Rail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 819-654-2118

    TRACTOR PULL and GARDEN TRACTOR PULL
    Brad Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 295-2771
    Chris Griffith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 223-5350

    TRUCK PULL
    Yves Lamadeleine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 880-1645

    WASTE MANAGEMENT
    Chris Olney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-4199

    WEBSITE
    Anna Roberts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 445-1742

    The Board of Directors offers its sincere thanks to the following organizations for the many hours of volunteer time given in support of the Russell Fair:

    Russell Curling Club
    Russell Historical Society
    Russell Knights of Columbus
    Russell Minor Hockey Association
    Russell Legion
    Russell Men’s Baseball
    Russell Broomball
    Russell Kin Club
    Russell 55+ Club

    Russell and District Horticultural Society
    Russell Fire Department
    Prescott-Russell Rockets Basketball Club
    Russell Lions Club
    Russell & District Girls’ Hockey Assoc.
    Cyclone Air Cadets Squadron
    Russell Soccer Club

  • Although we do not know the actual date the Russell Township Agricultural Society was founded, it has always been a leader in the community. There are very few records of the first years of the Russell Fair. In 1867, two of the most prominent men in the township headed the Society; William Craig as President and Elisha F. Loucks as Secretary.

    The present grounds were acquired at three different times. In 1885, eight acres were purchased from Clarence Helmer; in 1893, another six and a half acres were acquired from Mary Ann Larocque; and, in 1949, a parcel where the arena is currently situated was purchased from the York family.

    The original grounds contained an excellent half-mile race track but in 1897 a piece of the north side property was taken by the New York Central Railway for their right-of-way, reducing the track to one-third mile.

    In the minutes of August 11, 1912, W. H. Lowrie, T.G. Holmes and Henry Tweed were appointed on a committee to look after building the new arena. With the completion of this new building, there was plenty of room for displays of fruits, vegetables, baking and other homecrafts. Afterwards, some of the old buildings were sold and torn down.

    Special trains were requested in 1922 from Ottawa to facilitate transportation to the fair.

    For many years the horse races were one of the main drawing cards to the fair but there were also foot races, automobile races, lacrosse and baseball. Not all the races were for speed. One year, when the track was six inches in mud, the competition was to see who could drive their automobile the slowest around the track without shifting from high gear.

    There were the usual cattle, horse, sheep and swine shows with the competition very keen in some of these classes.

    The annual school fair was held on the first day of the exhibition with each school having a parade, a competition in singing and public speaking and its own exhibition of vegetables, flowers and livestock.

    With the collapse of the arena in February 1941, the fair ceased operations until after the war, except for the Calf Clubs and field crop competitions. It resumed on a small scale with outdoor exhibits and rented tents in 1947.

    In 1950, the Russell Agricultural Society assumed responsibility for $5,000 towards the cost of a new arena. The fair was once again held under cover in the fall of 1950 except for 1954 when it was cancelled due to bad weather.

    Fairs are held every weekend from May to October somewhere in Ontario. Almost all fairs have a “regular weekend” or calendar slot, and very few fairs change their weekend.

    In 1846, a group of dedicated volunteers created a central, all-Ontario organization to help agricultural societies better achieve their goals. Times have changed a bit since then, but every year Ontario hosts over 230 agricultural fairs, representing approximately 40 per cent of all fairs in this country. The oldest continually-held fair in Ontario is at Williamstown, held annually since 1812.The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) publishes a schedule of fair dates every year.

    The agricultural fair is a “cultural icon” in Canadian history. In the early days, fairs were designed to educate the farmer about agriculture and rural lifestyles. Today they are still striving for the same goal, but now they tend to concentrate on the urbanite or “city-slicker”. Same goal, different crowd.

    Sources:

    “A history of Agricultural Societies and Fairs in Ontario, 1792-1992”
    “From Swamp to Shanty”, published by Wendell M. Stanley, 1987
    “Ontario Agricultural Fairs – A Snapshot in Time” published by the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies

  • Every year, the Russell Fair attracts over 13,000 visitors, making this event one of the area’s premier tourist drivers.

    As a not-for-profit organization, the Russell Agricultural Society is extremely grateful for the support and contributions of many volunteers, sponsors, individuals, companies, service and community groups, governments, and all the visitors to our Fair. Together, you help us host a fantastic Fair weekend.

    Our flexible partnership program allows us to work with our sponsors and groups to ensure that their support of the Fair provides value for their businesses and organizations. All sponsors receive visibility recognition for their contributions of cash, products and services, or support for a specific event – see overview below for levels of contribution and recognition based on the value of the sponsorship.

    For information on our sponsorship program, contact John Hickling at info@russellfair.com or call 613-445-3199.

    GOLD

    Griffith Cartage Ltd.

    BRONZE

    Anchor Climate Care
    Bankley’s Plumbing Incorporated
    Beyond the House
    Brian Shane Construction Ltd.
    Donnelly Homes
    Downtown IDA Pharmacy
    Gerry Leroux Excavation Ltd.
    Krista Construction
    Laplante Chevrolet Buick GMC Ltd.
    Navan Veterinary Services
    Pana Electric
    Pronto R.J.’s Convenience Store
    Russell County Milk Committee
    Russell PharmaChoice

    COPPER

    Barry’s Home Hardware
    Frigid Rentals Inc.
    Intervet Canada Corp.
    Klodan-Leclaire Ltd.
    La Cooperative Agricole d’Embrun
    LSC Sanitation
    M.J. Ladouceur Co. Ltd.
    Ottawa Camping Trailers Ltd.
    Russland Farms – Leo Versteeg
    SMS Rents
    Ter-Mor Enterprises Inc.
    Wallace Service Centre Ltd.

    STEEL

    AJ’s Banquet & Catering Facilities
    Bioniche Canada Inc.
    Boehringer (Canada) Ltd.
    Clarmo Auto Repair
    Elanco Animal Health
    Foodland, Russell
    Grenville Mutual Insurance
    Harvex Agromart
    McVey Insurance Service Ltd.
    Merial Animal Health
    Ottawa Valley Seed Growers Association
    Pfizer Animal Health
    R. Pomerleau Ltd.
    Ritchie Feed & Seed Ltd.
    Russell Equine Veterinary Corp.
    Russell Village Women’s Institute
    St-Albert Cheese
    Staal Seeds, Henry
    Van Dusen Law Office
    Vetoquinol Animal Hospital
    Vernon Valley Farms Ltd.
    Village Veterinary Clinic
    Weagant Farm Supplies
    Wever Financial

    PEWTER

    55+ Club
    Agri-Partners Crop Centre Ltd.
    Capital ATM
    D & H Fencing
    Desjardins Catering
    Durant Enterprises Inc., Jack
    Eastern Ontario Cemetery Memorials
    George’s Restaurant
    Gerry Heymans Medicine Prof.
    Glenn P. Cowan, C.A.
    Honey’s Garage
    Jacquemet Elevators
    Lafleur Funeral Home & Chapel
    Lawrence’s Dairy Supply (1995) Inc
    MacEwen Agricentre Inc.
    MacEwen Petroleum Inc.
    McVey Brothers Insurance, Ottawa
    North Russell Women’s Institute
    RBC Royal Bank – Embrun, Eastern Ontario Agricultural & Commercial Financial Services
    Rideau Silo Inc.
    Russell District Women’s Institute
    Russell Horticultural l Society
    Russell Restaurant
    Russell Village Women’s Institute
    Rutters Elevators Inc.
    Skuce Repairs
    Supreme Seeds Inc.
    Vernon Valley Farms
    Wilmarvale Elevators

    FRIENDS OF THE FAIR

    Beaman, Marilyn
    Burton, Patricia
    Carleton Mushroom Farm
    Casey’s Antiques & Collectibles
    Dugdale, Marjorie
    Duhamel, Linda
    E. Seguin Welding & Machine
    Eastern Ontario Trailer Service
    Holtz, Pegi
    Houle, Louise
    James, Les & Marilyn
    James, Lois & Family
    McMillan, Marilyn
    McPhail, Lindley
    Meadow Greens Nursery
    Miller, Liz
    On the Bend Sugar Shack
    Serenity Landscaping
    Shawn Lapalme Insurance Agency
    Shilo Riding Club
    Sullivan, Jim & Shirley
    Toll, Brenda