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COVID-19 cancels biennial event celebrating all things Manitoulin

Manitoulin Trade Fair postponed to 2022
The Manitoulin Trade Fair was last held in Little Current in 2019. (Supplied photo)

The LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corp. (LAMBAC) has cancelled its flagship event for 2021.

The Manitoulin Trade Fair wasn’t scheduled to take place until next May, but given the ongoing safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic development group said it decided to make the “tough call” to postpone the event by a year.

LAMBAC made the announcement in a late-September social media post.

“Every year, we look forward to connecting with our business community in the LaCloche Foothills and Manitoulin Island area at the Manitoulin Trade Fair, and sharing all of the exciting products and services that are available locally,” the post said.

“But given the growing concerns around COVID-19, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel Manitoulin Trade Fair 2021.”

Watch the LAMBAC video celebrating the Manitoulin Trade Fair 2019 above.

Held every second year at the recreation centre in Little Current – and in Espanola in alternating years – the three-day event is one of Northern Ontario's largest tradeshows.

Vendors from across Manitoulin and the LaCloche Foothills, a region along the North Shore of Lake Huron, come to showcase their wares, network, and promote their services, often making sales right on the tradeshow floor.

Over the three days, the event regularly attracts upwards of 8,000 visitors.

Despite the tradeshow being an “incredibly important event” for the local business community, LAMBAC said, its priority is safeguarding the health and safety of the business owners, employees, and visitors who would attend.

“At this time, we hope to showcase local businesses at the next Manitoulin Trade Fair in May 2022.”