At the Fair

Country fairs crown the summer season. These popular gatherings are an occasion to celebrate farming products. In Europe, the tradition dates back to medieval times, but it is much more recent in Québec. The first event of this nature appeared in 1815, when Québec City and Montréal’s agricultural societies decided to reward deserving farmers during a yearly meeting. The idea caught on quickly and, soon after, country fairs were held all over the province.

Starting in 1850, the world’s fair trend sweeping the globe inspired the people of Québec, who organized major provincial fairs in Montréal in 1853 and in Québec City the following year. The stated goal was to encourage the development of agriculture, the province’s main industry. Starting out as periodic events, agricultural fairs became annual occurrences.

As its name implies, an agricultural exhibition was first and foremost a tribute to farm work. Prizes were handed out, exceptional livestock was put on display, tillage tool demonstrations and conferences were offered. To attract the greatest number of people, and add to the event’s festive character, organizers soon provided all the infrastructure of an amusement park: rides, roller coasters, Ferris wheels, game booths, and so on. At today’s fairs, chances are you’ll hear children’s laughter, arcade games, and merry-go-round tunes, rather than animal sounds!

A Day at Québec Provincial Exhibition

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Video showing a typical day at the Québec Provincial Exhibition and the many attractions that can be found there. A male voice narrates the various elements.

Source: BAnQ, Québec Archives Centre, Maurice Proulx Archive Group, P667, S1, DFC05140, P1

"A day at the Québec Provincial Exhibition":
In early September, every year since 1912, Québec City puts on its festive look. It's Québec Provincial Exhibition big week. Beautiful buildings have replaced the thirty years old makeshift facilities. Dirt roads have become large paved avenues. In those days, people would travel using trolleys. "Giddy up horsey! Go that way!" Today, the parking lot is not growing fast enough for the increasing number of motor vehicles.

While Québec Provincial Exhibition offers multiple ways to learn and keep informed, it is also a fun and unique kind of place. A lot of people wander around the Midway area to check our fairground shops, oddities of nature, dining rooms, toy shops and souvenir shops. Some upbeat music is always playing during these hours of joyful relaxation.

The most beautiful of meteors extends its tail like an iridescent scarf over their heads. It is a prelude to the fireworks that will soar from the earth at the end of the evening. To quote the words of the Honourable Adélard Godbout, Prime Minister of our Province: "The Québec Provincial Exhibition allows us to assess our degree of progress in all areas: industrial, commercial and especially agricultural. For a methodical and progressive agriculture sector still remains the foundation on which we must build the economy of our province."

Every year, bring your whole family and spend a day at the Québec Provincial Exhibition. Everyone will learn something and bring back pleasant memories that they will happily relive for a long time after.

Trois-Rivières Agricultural Exhibition 2015

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Video of the various activities that take place at the Trois-Rivières agricultural exhibition

Source: Trois-Rivières Exhibition

"Trois-Rivières Expo"

Guide: "With your thumb, while pulling down and squeezing the udder at the same time…"

Shouted encouragements: "Come on! Come on!"

Performer: "Yeah! So… one, two, three!"
Children: "Moo!"

Guide: "These are small chickens, and some of them have... with…"

Performer: "Friends, we cannot leave now. Maybe a little later, but…"
  • People are walking around various booths. The booths are delineated by partitions.
  • Two mothers and their young daughters stand before the Ferris wheel and a game booth. In the background, we can see the Québec Coliseum.
  • Agricultural machines are exhibited in front of the Trois-Rivières Coliseum buildings. People are walking about, between machines.
  • A crowd walking about the exhibits at the Provincial Exhibition in Québec 1917.
  • Two rows of men are holding the bridles of oxen and horses. They are all parading in front of a large viewing stand.
  • People gather together during a corn roast in Shawinigan's Saint-Maurice Park. We can see a huge tank of boiling water used to cook the corn.

Appartenance Mauricie Société d'histoire régionale