by Stephen Dafoe
The Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce will host their 15th Annual Trade Show Apr. 21 and 22, but it is a longer period the Chamber will be celebrating over those two days. Called Business Through the Decades, this year’s event is a nod to the Chamber’s 70th anniversary advocating for Morinville and area businesses.
Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce Director and Trade Show Committee Chair Penny Modien said the Chamber is excited to reinvent the wheel and change things up once again this year.
The biggest change for 2017 is confining the show largely to the curling rink, due to it being a completely heated facility.
“Concern in the past has always been the temperature in the arena and that we can’t heat it well enough,” Modien said.
Modien said major exhibitors would include St. Albert Honda, RV City, and Legal Motors. Additionally, many smaller sized and home-based businesses will set up along side non-profit groups and organizations.
As has been a staple of trade shows in the past, the Chamber will have a stage for entertainment.
“We’re going to keep the stage going all day Saturday and all day Sunday by bringing the local [perfomring] artists out. There was just an event at the high school, so we’ve got a list of performers from that one,” Modien said. “The Zumba girls will be there again with a little bit of exercise fun.”
Last year’s Battle of the Food Trucks was a successful spectator event. The Chamber will redo that event this year, moving it to Saturday morning rather than after opening Friday night when the trucks are busy serving food to customers. This year, the Chamber has four trucks lined up to attend the show.
Modien said she was not yet sure if the popular pet fashion show will be returning this year, but she is hoping to have them return.
Last year’s Trade Show was the first to cut back from three days to two days. It was a recipe that was well received by attendees and businesses. That format will be repeated this year.
“It was successful last year, and the feedback we got was that everybody liked that it was done Saturday,” Modien said. “They didn’t have to pay staff for the Sunday. Time is valuable to you and your staff, so cutting it down to the two days [respects that.] People seem to enjoy that. Everyone seemed to like that we cut it down to the two days.”
Modien and the Chamber see the annual trade show, now in its 15th year, as important to the businesses who participate and the community members who come out to the show.
The Trade Show takes place Apr. 21 from noon until 8 p.m. and Apr. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free; however, donations are gladly accepted at the gate.
Anyone interested in booking a booth can do so until Apr. 7 by calling 780-939-9462.