About Us

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  • 1975

    The Fair is born

    The Fair is born

    May 22, 1975

    To celebrate the rapidly expanding City of Gloucester and the desire to provide local entertainment, Reeve Bob MacQuarrie tasked the Township’s Department of Parks and Recreation to create the Gloucester Fair.

  • 1978

    The “Festival of Friends”

    The “Festival of Friends”

    May 25, 1978

    The Fair successfully grew real community pride and recognizing all the excitement, the City made the decision to invite volunteers to take over what became “the Gloucester Festival of Friends”. The volunteers produced five solid years of fairs until it’s ever growing success propelled it forward to the next level…

     

  • 1980

    Agriculture takes Root

    Agriculture takes Root

    May 22, 1980

    While still in it’s early years and to reflect Gloucester’s diverse rural community, Doug Woodburn of Woodburn Farms was invited to bring an agricultural perspective to the volunteer Board. The Fair subsequently introduced farm animal displays, cattle breed line show competitions and a barnyard petting zoo, a sanctioned buck and doe rabbit show and a sanctioned goat show.

  • 1984

    Ag status and the Clown

    Ag status and the Clown

    May 24, 1984
    Ag status and the Clown

    Under Fair President Lyn Presley, the Fair was granted Ontario Agricultural status by Minister of Agriculture, Dennis Timbrell on November 27, 1984, creating the Gloucester Agricultural Society now official producers of the Gloucester Fair.

    In a significantly less serious vien, Doo Doo the International Clown and his catchphrase “unbelievable”, appeared at the Fair for the first time and it began a 25+ year love af-fair (see what we did there?!).   Children that experienced Doo Doo’s first years at our fair are now bringing their children to share a fond childhood memory.

    …and Doo Doo will be here to greet them.

    UNBELIEVABLE!

  • 1984

    Gloucester Fair

    Gloucester Fair

    November 27, 1984
    Gloucester Fair

    We applied for and were granted Ontario Agricultural status by the Minister of Agriculture, Dennis Timbrell on November 27, 1984, creating the Gloucester Fair.

  • 1998

    The Gloucester Fair moves…

    The Gloucester Fair moves…

    May 1, 1998
    The Gloucester Fair moves…

    Now that the Fair is drawing larger crowds to the fairgrounds, the City is also enjoying tremendous growth and the expansion at the Earl Armstrong site increases the pressure on the fair to consider another site.   New facilities like the Splash Wave Pool and the pending development of the Ogilvie Road Library only hastened the search for a larger space.

    As the Board of Directors really feels the pressure to relocate, the Fair is invited to the Rideau Carleton Raceway where key logistics exist and plenty of space abounds.  And the Board agrees to go…

  • 1999

    New fairgrounds, a whole new world

    New fairgrounds, a whole new world

    June 9, 1999

    Accepting their offer to add the Fair to Rideau Carleton’s beavy of events and activities the Gloucester Agricultural Society setup the first Fair in South Gloucester, roughly where the Hard Rock Casino stands today.

    On June 9th, 1999, Fair President Dave Presley invited Rideau Carleton’s Warren Armstrong to cut the first opening ribbon at the Fair’s Opening Ceremonies.

    And now the real work began…

  • 2014

    The Capital Fair

    The Capital Fair

    April 14, 2014
    The Capital Fair

    At a special Fair Board meeting on Monday, April 14th, 2014 the Capital Fair officially replaced the Gloucester Fair in both name and dates.  Since 1975, the 4-day May fair had featured a popular Midway, extreme motorsport shows, horse shows, free live entertainment, an amazing kids area, great fair food vendors and diversions of all kinds.  In taking on a new 10 day format in August, the fair moved to introduce an expanded program to the region by implementing an introductory free gate admission program.

    The Kids BIG Tent was introduced along with the Agricultural Pavilion featuring farm displays, Doo Doo and his Dance Party, the Ultimutt Stunt Dog show, daily free LIVE entertainment, a Demolition Derby, a Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, the Birds of Prey show, the Community Stage, and more…

    Partnering with Eastern Ontario’s largest midway, World’s Finest Shows brought all the fair favorites include the drop zone style ”Cannonball”, the ”Muzik Express”, the ”Pharaoh’s Fury” boat ride, the ”Scooter” bumper cars, the ”Fireball” and over 25 more.

  • 2020

    The Pandemic

    The Pandemic

    November 29, 2020
    The Pandemic

    2020 was to be a transformative year but an unpredictable, unprecedented pandemic gripped the world, forcing the Fair to postpone operations until 2021.

    We remained optimistic about our pending breakout future and hoped you could join us.

  • 2021

    The Pandemic – Part 2.0

    The Pandemic – Part 2.0

    June 9, 2021

    With the ramping up of the vaccine program, August 2021 was looking good but the world had other ideas.  Vaccine infection rates didn’t fall fast enough and the vaccine rollout was inhibited by a serum shortage, forcing a second cancellation until 2022.

Everything changes…

At a special Fair Board meeting on Monday, April 14th, 2014 the Capital Fair officially replaced the Gloucester Fair in both name and dates.  Since 1975, the 4-day fair had featured a popular Midway, extreme motorsport shows, horse shows, free live entertainment, an amazing kids area, great fair food vendors and diversions of all kinds.

In taking on a new 10 day format in August, the fair moved to introduce its expanded program to the region by implementing an introductory free gate admission program.  The results were wildly successful as in 2017 the fair attracted over 255,000 guests.

The Kids BIG Tent was introduced along with the Agricultural Pavilion featuring farm displays, Doo Doo and his Dance Party, the Ultimutt Stunt Dog show, daily free LIVE entertainment, a Demolition Derby, a Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, the Birds of Prey show, the Community Stage, and more…

Partnering with Eastern Ontario’s largest midway, World’s Finest Shows brought all the fair favorites include the drop zone style ”Cannonball”, the ”Muzik Express”, the ”Pharaoh’s Fury” boat ride, the ”Scooter” bumper cars, the ”Fireball” and over 25 more.

2020 was to be a transformative year but an unprecedented pandemic gripped the world, forcing the Fair to postpone operations until 2021.

We remain optimistic about our pending breakout future and invite you to join us.

What makes the Capital Fair “SPECIAL”?

The Fair has been privileged to host over 1,500 physically and mentally delayed children and their families for a private party the day before it opens to the general public.

Volunteers help the children on and off the rides and help feed everyone a hot lunch. There is live entertainment and an ice cream dessert.

History:

Back in 1975, to help promote the growing sense of community pride, the City of Gloucester, created the “Gloucester Festival of Friends”.   The summer-time event became a volunteer driven program and then applied for and was granted Ontario Agricultural status by Minister of Agriculture, Dennis Timbrell on November 27, 1984, creating the Gloucester Fair.

The Fair drew great crowds to the original fairgrounds at the Earl Armstrong Arena but that success caused it to eventually outgrow the site.  Searching for a larger space, the Fair was invited to the Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre where it has flourished since 1998.

For 10 fabulous days in August, there’s a lot to see and do at the Capital Fair.

What a great way to celebrate the end of summer!

Our Mission

The Gloucester Agricultural Society mission is to produce an annual fun, family fair to enrich the heritage of and provide entertainment by presenting agricultural shows, displays and other diversions.

Our Vision

By the year 2030 the fair will be the largest and most diverse public event in the National Capital Region.  We will be attracting over 500,000 guests of all ages.  We will offer the region’s largest midway, entertainment, an agricultural and homecraft component and other special events.

Our Promise

We will choose local whenever possible, to help foster a sense of community in the National Capital Region.

The Faces Behind the Fair

Did you know that the Capital Fair is run 99% by volunteers from our community?

Click here to join the Fair family!

The Executives

Frank Trepanier
Frank TrepanierPresident
Year joined: 2000
“I had been involved in fairs for years before being asked by a friend to help set up the Capital Fair for Special Needs day. The look of joy on everyone’s faces that day sold me on the fact that I needed to help make sure Special Needs day at the Fair continued each and every year. I have been volunteering ever since, and that was over 10 years ago!”
Mark Lamoureux
Mark LamoureuxVice President
Year joined: 1979
Joanne Monette
Joanne MonetteTreasurer
Year joined: 2012
Krystal Hopkins
Krystal HopkinsSecretary / Director - Rise 2 Fame
Year joined: 2015
Julie Reid
Julie ReidPast President
Year joined: 2005
Entertainment Director
“I love supporting amazing local talent of all ages by providing safe and fun opportunities for them at the fair. I wholeheartedly believe in creating family fun for everyone!”

The Directors

Andrea Brock
Andrea BrockAssociate Director - Volunteer Coordinator
Year joined: 2019
I joined the Capital Fair shortly after moving to Ottawa as a way to get involved in the community. I love being a part of such an exciting event that brings joy to so many people each year. I enjoy working with our volunteers and watching them learn valuable skills while giving back to their community.
David Servage
David ServageDirector - Grounds Maintenance
Year joined: 1999
Erin Roberts
Erin RobertsDirector - National Capital Highland Games
Year joined: 2020
Erin’s passion is hosting a Highland Games dedicated to encouraging newbies and more women to join the sport in Canada. Be sure to check out this event at the Capital Fair to see over 100 highland dancers compete, over 50 highland athletes throw heavy weights in the air and listen to the sounds of the pipes and drums all through the fairgrounds! 
Gene Nowiski
Gene NowiskiDirector - Kid's Big Tent
Year joined: 2000
“I am especially proud of the Special Needs Picnic, held every year, on the day before the fair opens. This gives upwards of 800 participants the opportunity to have fun at a leisurely pace. Everyone is provided with lunch and dessert and a small toy to take home at the end of the day. The rides are all free and we are very appreciative of the countless carnival workers who donate their time and energy, cheerfully lifting everyone on and off of the rides for this worthwhile endeavour.”
Loretta Chow
Loretta ChowDirector - Hospitality
Year joined: 2015
Steve Reid
Steve ReidDirector - Social Media
Year joined: 2018
Zybina Richards
Zybina RichardsDirector - Opening Ceremonies
Year joined: 2015

The Associate Directors

Abbey McFaul
Abbey McFaulAssociate Director
Year joined: 2020
Dale Macdonald
Dale MacdonaldAssociate Director - NCHG Athletics
Year joined: 2020

Year-round volunteers and staff

Andrew Campbell
Andrew CampbellAssistant Volunteer Coordinator
Year joined: 2019
“The Capital Fair is important to me because, as the largest fair in the capital region, it has a vital role in connecting our communities and bringing people together. I love volunteering with the fair because I love seeing the 10-day event that we can piece together unfold and being able to see friends and families come out to enjoy an evening or multiple. I especially enjoy seeing our volunteers during the event, having a blast volunteering with their friends or meeting friends along the way. We really are a big Fair Family.”
Harley Bloom
Harley BloomGeneral Manager
Year joined: 1977
“I originally was drawn to the Fair to promote my nearby ice cream business and quickly fell in love with the Fair, the people and the neighbourhood.  My wife and I moved our family close by and have been here ever since.”

“It’s an honour to serve as General Manager to the volunteer Board of Directors as we create what we believe will be Eastern Ontario’s biggest Fair.” HB

Judy Nowiski
Judy NowiskiKid's Big Tent Coordinator
Year joined: 1986

The Kid’s Tent gives the children and their parents a chance to relax in an educational environment. Youngsters are entertained daily, by DooDoo the Clown, who never ceases to bring forth gales of laughter from young and old alike! Each day there are ample opportunities to participate in presentations by wildlife rescue environmentalists, children’s singing groups, magic shows and ‘special’ days for tiny Princesses, Pirates and Super Heroes!

Children also have a chance to engage in activities such as beadwork, crafts, colouring, etc., to take home a little souvenir of their day at the Capital Fair!