Cloverdale may yet host a Country Fair on May long weekend.
The City of Surrey approved a corporate report at their last council meeting for a permit and lease agreement for the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association. This will allow the organization to host a Country Fair on the Fairgrounds. It also gives the Association office space to the end of the 2022.
Gerry Spielmacher, Association president, told the Cloverdale Reporter in January—after announcing the 2022 Rodeo was cancelled—that a Country Fair was still on the cards for Rodeo weekend.
“We’re planning on doing something, but there are a lot of issues that we have to deal with,” he said at the time. “Take for example the Longhorn Saloon. If we’re only allowed to have 50 per cent (capacity), or if we aren’t allowed to serve food, or maybe we aren’t allowed to have dancing, then it changes the event. It takes away a lot.”
Despite the uncertainty he said, “We still think we can make it work.”
SEE ALSO: 2022 Cloverdale Rodeo cancelled
City council voted on the report, prepared by Laurie Cavan, GM for Parks and Rec., on March 7. Cavan recommended council approved the application for the Country Fair. The proposal also included a request to rent office space on the Fairgrounds.
“The intent of this report is to obtain council’s approval to enter into a nine month term licence agreement with the Lower Fraser Valley Exhibition Association (LFVEA) for the use of office and warehouse space at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds,” the report said. (LFVEA is the legal name of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association.)
The city took control of the management of the Fairgrounds back on Dec. 1, 2021. The Rodeo Association currently rents out space in the Alice McKay building on a month-to-month basis.
“The City has entered into an agreement with the LFVEA to host the Country Fair on May 20-23, 2022, at the Fairgrounds,” the report said. “The LFVEA has requested that the City grant it a licence for the use of the licence areas until the end of 2022. The City and representatives of the LFVEA have agreed on the terms and conditions for a nine-month term licence.”
Cavan’s report also noted that Parks and Rec. supports the application request under the following terms: 1.) duration: 9 months; 2.) rent: $6,174 per month, $55,565 total over nine months; 3.) LFVEA is responsible for their appropriate share of utility costs.
The report said the LFVEA will apply to council for an annual grant in lieu of rent under the City’s Leasing of Municipal Land & Buildings Policy.
As for the 2022 rodeo, it was cancelled after engineers determined the Stetson Bowl was unsafe for use.
“After an inspection of the Stetson Bowl grandstands, we have discovered that they are not safe for us to use at this time,” Spielmacher said in a newsletter to Rodeo members in January. “The City of Surrey has been working hard on making sure that they get repaired, but there is no guarantee that they can be completed for the May long weekend and it has made it difficult to move on with the rodeo since we haven’t any other area on the Fairgrounds to put the rodeo in.”