Lethbridge, Alta. (Rural Roots Canada) – The heart of Southern Alberta’s agricultural expertise now beats within the newly inaugurated Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre in Lethbridge.
The unveiling of the 268,000-square-foot venue signals the realization of a decades-long vision that redefines the region’s agricultural prominence and stands as a testament to its determination and resilience.
It further enhances Lethbridge’s ability to host major provincial, national, and international events. With its focus on the agriculture industry, the Centre will help shine a light on the uniqueness of Southern Alberta as a one-of-a-kind agricultural destination, driving tourism and commerce across the region.
Mike Warkentin, CEO of Lethbridge & District Exhibition, stresses that the importance of the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre cannot be understated.
“Southern Alberta is an agricultural powerhouse that includes producers, processors, researchers, post-secondary institutions, transportation, irrigation districts, and so much more,” says Warkentin
“This venue is truly the hub that connects those spokes – and together, we are stronger. The Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre will shine a light on the agriculture industry, bring people to our region, and be an economic driver for generations to come. This is where Canadian agriculture grows.”
Construction on the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre began in March 2021 with a price tag of almost $77 million. The venue features a state-of-the-art audio-visual system, 104,000 square feet of trade floor space, four banquet salons, four meeting rooms, and outdoor patio areas, which doubles Lethbridge & District Exhibition’s previous hosting capacity. Its construction has been a collaborative endeavour supported by the province of Alberta, the city of Lethbridge, Lethbridge County and a federal grant from PrairiesCan. The projected economic impacts of the Centre exceed $90 million annually.
Warkentin notes, however, that this achievement transcends economics; it’s a tribute to the community it serves and its aspirations.
“Our region deserves a space for collective engagement, business transactions, knowledge dissemination, and entertainment,” he acknowledges.
The public is invited to a free open house on August 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. The venue will host Whoop-Up Days events from August 22 to 26, including the Whoop-Up Days Marketplace, Siksikaitsitapi Pow Wow and Princess Pageant, Wildlife Festive, and Pure Power Wrestling’s Hot Summer Night.
For bookings and more, visit agrifoodhub.ca