A & P shows remain popular

Columns
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Canterbury’s much-loved Cup and Show Week has been and gone, but there are still a number of local shows on the calendar over the next few months, including the Courtenay A & P Show in Kirwee this coming weekend.

It is great to see that these shows are continuing to attract so much support after being in existence for 140 or 150 plus years. I believe that the success of the shows is their ability to move with the times, for example, with innovations including a dedicated smartphone app to help visitors get the most out of the Canterbury Show. Meanwhile local shows here in Selwyn have picked up on current themes such as Masterchef-style cook-offs and wearable arts competitions to inspire new generations to get involved.

Importantly though the shows do remain true to their origins in focussing on our rural producers, whether that be crop and feed growers, sheep, cattle or dairy farmers, walnut orchardists or wine-makers. Our rural sector has certainly diversified over the past few decades, with a greater focus on artisan products and the growth of farmers’ markets, as many people have become more interested in finding out exactly where their food has come from.

Recent shows that I have attended including the Ellesmere Show, the Ashburton Show and the Canterbury Show have all reflected this diversity well. The shows are an opportunity for rural communities large and small to get together and share ideas and results and connect with suppliers and customers alike.

A & P shows take a lot of planning and organisation and without the hard work of the Show Presidents and organising committees these events would not be possible.

Of course, A & P Shows are not the only significant events happening around Selwyn at this time of the year. The 5th of November was a big day for the region with the hugely-successful Hororata Highland Games once again an entertaining day out for many. This was followed by an evening of public fireworks displays in Rolleston and Motukarara.

Well done to all of those involved in planning and running these events, many of whom are volunteers. From church fairs to Council-run events and everything in between, we are very lucky here in Selwyn to have such a range of opportunities to make community connections and family memories throughout the year.