By Jackie Bellamy-Zions, Equine Guelph
A record crowd of 10,000 people came through the turnstiles to attend the Can-Am All Breeds Equine Expo March 31-April 2, 2023. The event, which had been postponed for the last three years due to the pandemic, debuted at its new location at the Ancaster Fairgrounds in Ontario.
The weekend included three days of entertainment, shopping, reconnecting with friends, and of course the educational presentations Equine Guelph was proud to be a part of.
“It was good to be back at Can-Am, chatting with all our horse loving friends again,” says Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker. “Many thanks to the organizers, participants, sponsors, supporters and volunteers that all returned and brought along new friends to this amazing event!”
Many engaging conversations took place in the adjoining booths of Equine Guelph, EquiMania!, and the Ontario Equine Education and Employment Program (OEEEP). Horse enthusiasts from youth to adult were hungry to learn more about horses. Interest was piqued for visitors to the OEEEP booth who learned of the free program and golden opportunity to start a career with horses.
An auction with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards Equine Guelph’s educational programs raised just under $1,000. Many thanks to Ross Millar and his team for once again hosting the fundraiser and thank you to the donors. Two from the crew of the Heartland tv show added to the excitement with a meet and greet: Ty (Graham Wardle) and Caleb (Kerry James).
Two items were auctioned off: a bull whip fresh from the hand of famous Australian horseman, Guy Mclean, after he finished one of his demonstrations; and a beautiful work of art created by the talented, award-winning artist, Ann Clifford.
Ann Clifford presenting her artwork won by Emma Linde and family in the Can-Am auction raising funds for Equine Guelph. Photo courtesy of Equine Guelph
Thank you to the bidders and congratulations to Emma Linde and family, who now have a spectacular piece of Woven Metal Equine Art to hang in their home in Dundas.
“Can-Am is proud to promote equine welfare and is happy to lend support,” says president, Ross Millar. “Our long-standing relationship with Equine Guelph is rooted in a mutual passion for educating horse owners and caregivers.”
Ann Clifford also facilitated the inaugural “Can-Am Equine Community Art Project,” inviting all the kids visiting Can-Am to help her paint a wildly colourful, large-scale “masterpiece.” Young show attendees worked hard on it throughout the course of the event.
“I am extremely proud of all the young people who shared their creative enthusiasm with us at the show,” said Clifford, “It was a whirlwind of activity.”
This beautiful collaborative painting will be finding a home at Equine Guelph to inspire students and faculty on campus, and at the same time draw attention to the wonderful world of learning, sharing, and celebrating the horse that is the Can-Am All Breeds Equine Expo.
Equine Guelph thanks the sponsors and volunteers who make it possible to bring EquiMania! out to these special events. To book EquiMania! for your next event contact email@example.com.
Youth can visit EquiMania! online & stay tuned to Equine Guelph’s upcoming events for more EquiMania! outings.
Main Photo: Can-Am Equine Community Art Project with artist Ann Clifford and her junior painting participants. Credit: Ann Clifford