IPM 2018 Mascot at sponsors information night. February 28, 2018. (Photo by Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent)

2018 IPM Voted One Of Ontario’s Top Events

The upcoming International Plowing Match and Rural Expo is being recognized as one of the province’s top events.

The 2018 IPM, which is set to take place in Pain Court from September 18-22, was voted as one of the “Top 100 Events in Ontario” by Festival and Events Ontario on Friday.

IPM Coordinator Allison Terfloth says this is fantastic news.

“Being named one of the top attractions is always good… last time we had it in town was 1979 [and] now that we’re doing it again in 2018 and we’re on the list, it’ll bring more people,” explains Terfloth. “Now that we’re on this list, the recognition is out there so it’s like ‘Let’s go see Chatham-Kent, let’s see what they have to offer.'”

At Monday night’s meeting, council voted 14-1 to approve a report detailing additional costs that are expected for the IPM. These expenses include:

1. The estimated cost of $137,560 for fire, medical response, water, police and certain infrastructure costs be submitted to the committee as event costs.
2. The estimated one-time cost of $200,000 for the showcase tent be funded through the Strategic Development Reserve.
3. The estimated one-time cost of $15,000 for promotion and marketing of Chatham-Kent,
use of municipal facilities, and a software license be funded through the Strategic Development Reserve.

“Money has to be put out so that an event can happen. Anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows that you have to spend money to have a cake or flowers,” says Terfloth. “The IPM is a five-day event and we’re expecting 75,000 to 100,000 people coming to Chatham-Kent — that’s a lot of people.”

According to Terfloth, the IPM will take up 850 acres of farmland, which she says is a lot of places to have electricity and water.

One expense some councillors were skeptical about was the $200,000 showcase tent. Terfloth says the purpose of the tent is to promote Chatham-Kent.

“It’s to showcase what we have to offer for people all over Ontario, all over Canada, and all over the world — that we grow for the world! We have so much to offer agricultural, history — there’s just so much that we can present in that tent that the money is definitely well spent. The money will be going back into Chatham-Kent.”

Terfloth says individual committee members will be given a set amount of money to donate to the cause of their choice in Chatham-Kent. She says, as a result, the money will be spread throughout the municipality.

According to Terfloth, the new IPM store is located at 934 Richmond St. in Chatham. The store will feature souvenirs for purchase and information about the event and how to volunteer. She says the grand opening date has yet to be determined.