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SuperEx organizers appeal for help

11:15 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

By Mike Aubry, The Ottawa Sun


Photo courtesy of The Ottawa Sun

The organizers of SuperEx hope to bring the highly anticipated agricultural fair back to Ottawa at a new rural location in the next few years.

The Central Canada Exhibition Association already has the ideal turf for the next exhibition — a 145-acre plot of land near the Rideau Carleton Raceway ­— which the SuperEx bought about seven years ago.

But organizer Mark Lamoureux said they’ll need some deep pockets to help get SuperEx off the ground again.

The land, near the corner of Albion and Rideau roads, will need to be cleared of trees and obstructions, and Lamoureux said he can’t do it without help.

“It’s a bit of a catch-22 right now,” he said.

Read more:  SuperEx organizers appeal for help

Kemptville in talks to become SuperEx home

12:46 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Mayor hoping for deal by next week

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

North Grenville is negotiating with the Central Canada Exhibition to host this summer\’s SuperEx in Kemptville, Mayor David Gordon says.

Gordon said he was hopeful a deal could be reached in the next week to have the Ex in the municipal centre of North Grenville\’s biggest town, just the other side of the Rideau River from Ottawa.

The Ex was suspended last summer after the city exiled it from Lansdowne Park because it couldn\’t afford to prepare an alternative site off Albion Road near the Rideau Carleton Raceway in time. A separate promoter ran the carnival midway portion of the end-of-summer fair at the parking lot next to Ottawa Stadium on Coventry Road.

Read more: Kemptville in talks to become SuperEx home

SuperEx film creates sense of nostalgia

9:29 am in Industry News, Ottawa News

‘It was the biggest show in town at one time’

Robert Sibley, The Ottawa Citizen

For the first summer in more than a century — not counting the war years — the gates of SuperEx did not open this year, and for some it just doesn’t feel like August without the annual end-of-summer event.

“I’ve been around the Ex since I was four-year-old,” says 68-year-old David Presley, a past president of the Ex. “I’ve lived across from the Lansdowne all my life and I remember coming to the Ex as a child. The smells, the lights, the fireworks; it was wonderful. It’s like my whole has been around the Ex.”

Presley was among 350 people who turned out Thursday evening to enjoy a couple hours of nostalgia and reminiscence watching a documentary entitled Memories of the Ex: 122 Years at Lansdowne. The two-hour film took the audience all the way back to Ex’s origins as an agricultural fair in the 1880s and then forward into the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when it was capable of attracting crowds of 800,000, and beyond.

Read more on the Ottawa Citizen website:  SuperEx film creates sense of nostalgia

SuperEx 2012 still seeks home

9:49 am in Community News, Industry News, Ottawa News

New site on Albion Road sits untouched while organizers seek partner to mount annual fair

David Reevely, The Ottawa Citizen

The Central Canada Exhibition is looking for a temporary location for 2012 and maybe beyond, since practically nothing has been done yet to prepare a \”permanent\” home for the fair on land it has been granted off Albion Road in south Ottawa, according to Councillor Bob Monette.

Monette, who sits on the exhibition\’s board, said the property has to be cleared, prepared and serviced before it can host even a strippeddown agricultural fair, and none of that has been done yet.

The 10-day event had been held for a century at Lansdowne Park, until the city ejected it this year to make way for construction work on the Lansdowne redevelopment.

That\’s been held up by the Friends of Lansdowne court case that was only settled last week, so as it turned out the fair\’s traditional home might have been available – but the Ex\’s board decided last winter to pull the plug on this year\’s edition and restarting the whole works wasn\’t feasible.

Read more on the Ottawa Citizen website: SuperEx 2012 still seeks home

SuperEx remains without a home

9:55 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Seven months before the gates of SuperEx are due to open, the the Central Canada Exhibition Association still has not found a new home for the summer fair.

An announcement on a new site, expected at the end of this month, has been pushed back to mid-February, said CCEA board member Dave Presley.

The annual fair has been forced out of Lansdowne Park, a 40-acre site which is to undergo a massive redevelopment by the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group that includes retail shops, residential units, an urban park and the return of a Canadian Football League franchise.

It was expected SuperEx would relocate to a piece of land the CCEA purchased on Albion Road near the Rideau Carleton Raceway, but that plan has been shelved as the cost of servicing the land became too prohibitive.

“It’s a given that we’re not going to the site (Albion Road) because we just don’t have the time to do everything we need to do to get to that site,” said Dave Presley.

He said the board is looking at a few alternatives, but he declined to list the locations. He also would not confirm whether the fair is moving to the Rideau Carleton Raceway on Albion Road.

Goodbye to SuperEX at Ottawa\’s Lansdowne Park

2:14 pm in Festival News, News Release

Source: North Country Public Radio

Ottawa\’s Central Canada Exhibition was established back in 1888. Except for a break during World War Two, every year it returned as the largest fair in the area, remembered by generations as a last, happy gasp of summer.

Some things changed: September dates were moved to August. Agriculture now plays second fiddle to mid-way rides. And the event was re-branded as the SuperEX. But the location stayed the same. For 122 years, fair-goers flocked to Lansdowne Park, alongside the Rideau Canal, a site that eventually included a football stadium and hockey rink.

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Blaine knows how to play SuperEx crowd: Lots of classic-rock cover songs mixed in with his own fine material

9:48 pm in Festival News, Festivals in the News

Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen

Pembroke native Jason Blaine returned to home turf on Friday to deliver a concert at SuperEx that included songs by John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Trooper, Eric Clapton and Bryan Adams.

No, it wasn\’t karaoke night on the outdoor stage. Blaine is one of Canada\’s fastest-rising country singer-songwriters, and has three albums\’ worth of his own material.

So why all the classic-rock cover tunes?

Perhaps he was trying to stretch an hour-long show into a 90-minute one without having to play a bunch of slow songs. If so, the technique worked. The familiar tunes kept the small but lively crowd of young country fans engaged, even during Blaine\’s solo acoustic turn at the mike.

Full review: Blaine knows how to play SuperEx crowd

Last SuperEx at Lansdowne to go out in style

11:34 am in Festival News, Festivals in the News


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Like a great rock band, SuperEx is back for one final encore before pulling up stakes and moving on after 122 years at Lansdowne Park.

And organizers hope this encore leaves fans breathless.

From Aug. 19 to 29, the event some love to hate has packed its days and nights with the tried and true, but also the new and unusual as it readies to move to land on Albion Rd. in 2011.

“We’re going out with a bang,” said spokeswoman Rebecca Crow. “New this year is Savage Theatre. Bowmanville Zoo is bringing that in to tell how animals and humans have related to each other over time. We also have the Pioneer Gathering living on site the entire run of the SuperEx. They’ll be living, eating, working and sleeping here every single day.”

They’ll be doing all of that outside, too.

Visitors will be encouraged to talk to them to learn what it’s like to live without any of the comforts of home.

Of course, the Free Concert Series will provide a chance for visitors to poof up their hair and throw on some shoulder pads to welcome ‘80s stalwarts Helix and Honeymoon Suite and ‘70s rockers The Stampeders and Ottawa’s 5 Man Electrical Band. Other locals include Gail Gavan and Louis Schryer and Eddie and the Stingrays.

The event will also offer a high-flying stunt show with motocross and BMX bikes, the spins, sights and sounds of the midway, acrobats, the macabre Carnival Diablo freak show, and more.

Former CTV Ottawa anchor Max Keeping will preside over an apple pie eating contest. He said that for many disadvantaged kids, SuperEx is their Disney. And all things considered, it’s not such a bad alternative.

Read more: Last SuperEx at Lansdowne to go out in style