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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Community Organizations

St John's AmbulanceAs a non-profit organization dedicated to community service, Northlands Park has partnered with community organizations since its inception. Some groups, such as the University of Alberta (U of A), have been very prominent while others have functioned at the grassroots level. What is similar about all of them is the value placed on public service.

One such entity is the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, who offered its services to those in attendance at the Edmonton Exhibition Association’ s (EEA) events. Voluntarily servicing the grounds, the well-trained brigade treated 392 people on site in 1946. Such contributions highlighted the importance of community work while also providing a safe environment for fairgoers.

A more industry related collaboration was with the U of A and yielded numerous benefits for both the learning institution and the EEA. Leaders in several departments including the faculties of Agricultural Engineering, Home Economics, and Animal Husbandry maintained regular contact with the association. The EEA extended summer employment to university students when appropriate, hosted remarkable pupils as associate judges for livestock fairs, showcased Home Economics products, displayed agricultural machinery, and even contributed articles to university newsletters. Beyond agricultural affairs, convocations were sometimes held on the exhibition grounds.

Letter written by Edmonton Public School BoardAs a gesture in kind, university professors provided the EEA with input on how to improve the organization while keeping it up to date on technological developments. Having the school appoint representatives to serve as associate directors also encouraged close links. Interface not only kept the EEA modern and relevant, it also ensured its success by cultivating the agricultural capabilities of newer generations.

Another longstanding community partner in the EEA’s history has been the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB). As its partner, the EEA organized essay contests, school art and handicraft exhibits, and boys’ and girls’ camps during the summer exhibition week. When space was needed for athletic events, the EEA would allow free use of its grounds. Earlier educational endeavors paved the way for later cooperation and innovation between the two.

Innumerable partnering initiatives involved fundraising. Though the EEA board did not hold the power to make grants or donations from exhibition funds, it sometimes permitted community leagues and other parties to have raffles on the exhibition grounds. In other cases, event revenue was rerouted to a community group. As a prominent community organization itself, the EEA received numerous requests for donations and invitations to participate in the development of charity organizations. Perhaps most consistently, it supported organizations by providing facilities for their use and delivering educational presentations to civic groups. Likewise, many EEA board members were also volunteers during their own time. Interaction with organizations like the Rotary Club or the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) fostered a culture of service beyond mere exhibition interests and established the primacy of this community involvement.

With sports clubs, animal organizations, and benevolent societies all looking to collaborate, the EEA had plenty of community partnerships to keep it busy and in touch with citizen concerns. 

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