The government is investing $27.8 million in an agri-food hub at Exhibition Park in Lethbridge to create jobs and spur investment in the agriculture and agri-food industry.
The investment in the agri-food hub, which is part of the centre’s larger redevelopment project, will serve as an anchor for growth of Alberta’s value-added food sector.
The project aligns with the work of the regional partners in Canada’s Premier Food Corridor to attract private investment and includes collaboration with Lethbridge College, capitalizing on their applied research success in the agri-food sector and providing applied learning opportunities for culinary students.
The project will generate 400 construction jobs and an estimated 50 incremental jobs after completion. Its estimated ongoing economic impact will grow to $90 million annually, an economic boost to Lethbridge and southern Alberta.
“Alberta’s agriculture and agri-food sector is a cornerstone of our economic recovery plan. This investment will help get Albertans back to work now and will fuel the long-term growth of Alberta’s dynamic agriculture industry.”Jason Kenney, Premier
The expansion will also more than double Exhibition Park’s capacity, attracting more and larger national and international events. As well, there will be enhanced incubation opportunities for local producers to build their business and sell their products nationally and internationally.
Increasing the space available for food production by more than 10 times the current amount means more possibilities for the students in Lethbridge College’s Culinary Arts Program. This expansion will help Exhibition Park offer the finest and largest-scale farm-to-table culinary experience in the industry. Exhibition Park is currently working with area partners to make this a reality.
“Agriculture contributes so much to Alberta’s economy and this investment at Exhibition Park to develop an agri-food hub will continue to strengthen our agriculture sector.”Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
“It’s hard to overstate how important Exhibition Park is to Lethbridge, socially and economically. This investment will help it serve even more of Lethbridge and southern Alberta and I look forward to attending events in the new space.”Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East
“The City of Lethbridge welcomes this investment in the Exhibition Park agri-food hub. We see this project as an economic catalyst that will lead to greater investment and job creation as agricultural industries further develop in the city and the region. We are proud to be recognized as part of Canada’s premier food corridor and look forward to strengthening that position with this project.”Chris Spearman, mayor, City of Lethbridge
“This commitment to the community, industry and region establishes immediate and long-term job creation, creates external investment opportunity and further showcases southern Alberta as a world-leading agricultural production and processing region.”Mike Warkentin, chief operating officer, Lethbridge and District Exhibition
- The expansion project is targeting the following:
- A 22 per cent increase in event capacity
- A food production capacity increase of more than 10 times the current amount
- Exhibition Park, also known as the Lethbridge and District Exhibition, is Alberta’s fourth-oldest agricultural society.
- It held its first fair in 1897.