The Royal set to return virtual this November

TORONTO – COVID-19 forced the cancellation of an in-person Royal Agricultural Winter Fair at Exhibition Place this year.

However, the Royal recently announced plans to run a fully virtual event called The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience from Nov. 10 to 14 with programs extending into 2021 as well.

Through a new, completely free, digital platform, Canadians of all ages will have the opportunity to “Get Agricultured” through premium, live online experiences that showcase the best in Canadian food, agriculture and equestrian talent – all of the content will be available on demand for a full year from the comfort of their homes or classrooms.

“For nearly 100 years, The Royal has been a beloved Canadian tradition and an unparalleled celebration of the very best in agriculture, local food and equestrian competitions,” said Charlie Johnstone, chief executive officer of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

“None of us could have imagined the challenges that 2020 would bring – but they’ve inspired us to create a new kind of Royal experience that will deliver the joy and wonder of this incredible event to people across the country and around the world.”

The online fair will combine quintessential Royal traditions and new experiences specifically adapted for a virtual audience.

Highlights will include:

– the Royal Pavilion, presented by Ontario Toyota Dealers: a showcase that includes a spotlight on this year’s Royal Food Competition Champions, discussions by world-class equestrian champions, a question and answer with Amber Marshall from CBC’s Heartland, cooking demonstrations with Chef Michael Bonacini and other top culinary talents, and appearances by the President’s Choice SuperDogs among other exciting features.

– the Agriculture Zone, presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario: will showcase the future of dairy farming in Canada and the practices the industry is implementing to meet society’s present and future food needs, while ensuring a sustainable environment for generations to come.

– Grow Your Skills, presented by RBC Future Launch: a virtual environment where youth 15 to 25 can learn about jobs in the agri-food sector, as well as discover new ways to develop a personal brand and continue their professional development.

– A Place to Grow, presented by University of Guelph:  Experience and explore how science, technology, research, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are improving the ways we grow, think about, manage and enjoy food.

– Spotlight on Local, presented by Metro: A unique feature that celebrates the very best in local food and beverage being grown, produced or manufactured in Ontario. Explore Champions Showcase where Royal food competition winners and their products will be presented.

Plus, for the first time in its history, The Royal will open up one of its most entertaining competitions to Canadians at home, with the launch of a Virtual Miniature Butter Sculpting Competition.

Beginning Oct. 19, all Canadians will be invited to create butter sculptures at home and share them with The Royal for a chance to have their creation shortlisted for public voting during the virtual event. More information on the competition will be shared in the coming weeks.

And finally last year’s Royal Ambassador, the mini-horse Lil’ Ben, is officially passing the reins to Duke, the Silky Frizzle Rooster.

Duke will help bring the spirit of The Royal – albeit virtually – to the people of Toronto and to people across Canada.

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