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HomeNewsExhibition still facing deficit as it looks forward to summer events

Exhibition still facing deficit as it looks forward to summer events

The Lethbridge and District Exhibition is still facing a $6.5 million shortfall this year as it gears up for Whoop-Up Days. Acting CEO Kim Gallucci presented the organization’s financial report to the city’s economic standing policy committee on May 7. 

According to the city, expenses required for Whoop-Up Days and the new Agri-Food Innovation Expo have the Exhibition sitting at a deficit of $752,786 as of March 31, 2024. This is up from $341,194 reported on the February 29, 2024 month-end summary. 

“The nature of this business is that you often have to pay money up-front for events that won’t happen until later in the year,” Gallucci says. “The exciting news is, we are planning two really great signature events in the second half of 2024 that will be fantastic for our community.” 

The organization is working to reduce expenses and operate more efficiently, while generating new revenue. 

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The city has launched a new section of the Get Involved Lethbridge website, specifically to keep residents in the loop about news and decisions for the Exhibition.  

“I get a lot of question in the community about the partnership between the City and LDE,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “This new resource is a great place to get regular updates and to look back on the decisions that have been made to-date. This is a complex topic and we want to be as open as we can with our residents about how we are supporting this important investment in our community.” 

The city will conduct a third-party review of LDE operations and says it is in the selection phase for a firm to complete the work. 

“We have a busy summer planned at the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre,” says Gallucci. “With farmers’ markets starting again soon and of course Whoop-Up Days later this summer, it is important that visitors have a positive experience and want to return for more events.” 

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LDE is currently working on parking lot improvements including pothole filling, line painting and signs. The work was previously budgeted and will not require any additional funding. 

BACKGROUND: City signs memorandum of understanding with Exhibition, approves $3.8 million

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