By Lawrence Powell
The Annapolis Valley Exhibition will be celebrating local arts and culture this year, thanks in part to a federal grant and a plethora of homegrown talent in the region.
The Valley Ex received $9,000 Friday from West Nova MP Greg Kerr on behalf of Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore.
"The support of the government of Canada is truly appreciated," said Rachel Taylor, exhibition manager. "This is the 86th edition of the exhibition and we look forward to another great event this summer."
This year's Valley Ex runs from August 20 to 25 at its home in Lawrencetown.
"I'm pleased to announce the Government of Canada's continued support for the Annapolis Valley Exhibition," said Kerr. "The exhibition highlights our shared cultural and agricultural heritage that we can all be proud of here in the Annapolis Valley."
The funds come from Ottawa's Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program, designed to provide Canadians with more opportunities to take part in local activities that present arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.
Taylor said the Valley Ex won't have any problems filling that mandate.
"The funding awarded by BCTAH) enables the exhibition to employ over 50 local artists and artisans throughout the exhibition," she said. "This gives our community a valuable opportunity to showcase their many talents to a wide audience, which may otherwise not be able to enjoy."
She said it also attracts visitors to the exhibition who might not otherwise attend, adding it gives them the opportunity to learn more about agriculture and see how the food and goods they consume actually come to be.
Taylor said that in addition to a wide variety of musical performers, the exhibition is excited to welcome traditional demonstrations in cheese making, spinning, soap making, wool preparation, chainsaw carving, and farrier work.
Musical entertainment this year on the Riverside Stage includes Charlie A'Court on Thursday night, Homeymoon Suite on Friday night, and Aaron Lines on Saturday night.Canadian Heritage Minister Moore said in a media release government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in organizations that support local artists.
"By supporting this organization (Annapolis Valley Exhibition) our government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support our arts, culture, and heritage," he said.