Recent History – 2000
Feb. 23, 2000
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
User groups at the exhibition grounds believe they’ve overcome enough of their differences to resurrect the goal of bringing an agriplex to Dawson Creek.
The first step was taken Monday night when 18 representatives from the stables and arena association, the rope and saddle club, and the exhibition association met at Northern Lights College.
After years of acrimony, simply getting together in one room was a feat in itself, many agreed, but they also believe that they’re now on the same page.
“If we ever get a chance at it, this is the group to do this,” said stables and arena association president Larry Fossum.
A similar attempt a few years ago collapsed because of infighting amongst the groups. But Fossum said that the people making up the groups now can get along more easily.
“We’ve all got along together before and we’re just trying for the good of the whole group to get back together again,” Fossum said.
“If we don’t agree on everything at least we can discuss it and sort of argue it out and still remain calm cool and collected where perhaps they weren’t able to do that before.”
Exactly what the project will entail is still much in the air. Even calling the facility an agriplex was questioned as it was thought it might convey the idea that it would be strictly for agriculture.
Although such events as bull riding contests and horse shows could be held there, they also want to make it available for other attractions such as car shows, similar to a three-dealer show recently held in Grande Prairie.
Representatives were asked to go back to their respective groups and draw up wish lists of what they would like to see in the facility. From there, the groups will get together to come up with a plan to take to the city, the regional district and the provincial government.
Exhibition association president Larry Marchel is also pushing for a long-term plan for the exhibition grounds as a whole.
“Ten years from now you may want a specific spot and it may be covered up with a whole bunch of other stuff,” he said.
“It’s already been done down there. I mean half the stuff that’s there is set up wrong.”
If all works out, both the city and the surrounding area will benefit, said rope and saddle club president Gerald Bahm. “It’s something that now is definitely needed in the area,” he said. “You’re talking to different people and a lot of agriculture people in different organizations, they say yeah, we could use another facility.”