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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Government Partnerships

Exhibition paradePartnerships are important to sustaining a non-profit organization that seeks a long-term existence. Since the Edmonton Agricultural Society's (EAS) inception in 1879, collaboration with the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government has been interwoven into its history.

Undoubtedly, the prominent facet of these partnerships has been the financial support extended to the organization by the three levels of government. Contributions to Northlands Park have taken the form of money donated for prizes to be given away at exhibitions, or grants for capital renovations and specific building projects.

Document of EEAOver the course of time, different government partners have had more prominence than others in dealing with the varying circumstances of the volunteer-driven organization, creating both challenges and rewards. Tensions have sometimes arisen, as in the case of the organization’s early relocation due to the City of Edmonton’s visioning, or the strain on programming and finances due to the dutiful accommodation of military personnel during the wars.

Edmonton first mayorNorthlands Park’s connection with the City of Edmonton may well be the earliest of all three organization-government partnerships. The year of the EAS’ birth, the society’s vice president was also Chief Factor of Fort Edmonton. Incidentally, the Town of Edmonton’s first mayor was also an EAS president. In terms of land dealings, the first partnership was forged through the first formal lease agreement signed between the two parties in 1915. This was an historical moment, the permanent site secured at the cost of $1 CDN per year.

Partnering between the City of Edmonton and Northlands Park also takes other financial forms. Due to the organization’s importance to the city’s culture and economy, project funding has been provided at various times in its history. Over and above non-financial benefits reaped by the whole city as a result of Northlands Park events, contributions to The City of Edmonton are made through business license fees and property taxes.

Alberta Government Telephones floatWith the two partners jointly arranging logistics for parades, international athletic events, Klondike Days, and the Canadian Finals Rodeo, further coordination has been achieved. A formal gesture of representation has been to invite City of Edmonton counsellors to hold Director positions on the Northlands Park board.

Alberta Government Game Exhibit boothThe Province of Alberta has also remained an enthusiastic Northlands Park partner for over a century. Like the City of Edmonton, the provincial government continues to demonstrate its support by guaranteeing loans and has lent its consulting expertise to Northlands Park’s evolving structure. Providing the non-profit organization with beneficiary status, monies from the Western Canada Lottery regularly contribute to Northlands Park.

Northlands Park interfaces with various provincial ministry branches to cooperate in understanding each other’s interests in developing North-central Alberta trade and commerce. Ensuring consistent communication between them are the two board directors representing the Government of Alberta.

Canadian Government supportThroughout the long history of Northlands Park, the federal government has been a strong and generous partner; loan arrangements have been stable and significant. In appreciation of the organization’s consistent support during the First and Second World Wars, government funding has been directed towards Northlands Park operational needs. During the modern era, the Canadian government has thoughtfully bestowed large grants upon the organization for the building of modern structures, allowing large-scale projects to be realized. Like the province and city, it has representation on the Northlands Park board.

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