About The Peterborough EX

About The


Initially known as the Colborne District Agricultural Society (1842-1850) fairs were usually one day and held on the Court House Green. The name Peterborough Agricultural Society was adopted in 1854 and remained unchanged until 1867 during which time the one-day fairs were usually held in the fall on a Saturday at varying locations including Town Hall, Market Square, Water Street and the Court House. It was even once held in Norwood during these days.

1971 Reserve Grand Champion Bull

From 1867 to 1902, the fair was called The West Riding Fair and the Peterborough Central Exhibition. During this era these events ranged from mid-week two-day shows to four-day affairs and were held on what is now known as Morrow Park.

Bessie says, "Hey, that plate looks empty."

At the turn of the century as Peterborough became a city of industrial innovation, so did the fair. From 1903 to 1940 the fair was called the Peterboro Industrial Exhibition and was a full four-day event. During wartime the fair was cancelled so the grounds could be used for a training centre; a necessary but concerning act since no one knew if the fair would ever be held in Peterborough again.

The De Laval Clarifier

Following the war the name “Peterborough Exhibition” was coined and resumed as a five day show which ended on the Saturday before the CNE.

Although the dates, names and locations have changed the once constant is the spirit of showcasing innovation in agriculture.

4 in Hand Wagon Pull

Young people must be encouraged to take up farming and it is through agricultural colleges that they will do so. It is also through exhibitions, with their traditions, that the importance of agriculture can be impressed upon the public. The duty of the Fair has changed: it began as a task of improvement — a duty which has been taken over, in large part, by the state. Today the duty is to enter into the public mind and present the farming of tomorrow — and do so in the festive spirit introduced in the 19th century.

~ Peterborough Examiner, August 5, 1958 Editorial

About the Board

Viren D’Souza
President, Peterborough Agricultural Society

Viren D’Souza is a graduate of Loyalist College. Although he is formally trained as an electrical technician, he began a career in agriculture travelling around New Zealand working on farms, after which he was hired by LFI Farm Supplies upon his return. Being raised in Keene, there were lots of opportunities to explore the industry. Viren, after leaving his job fixing milking equipment, started his own company D’Souza Farm Systems, providing consultation and installation services of robotics for dairy equipment across Canada. That business has since expanded to working with and introducing new farming technologies to the Canadian marketplace. BaledStorage.com is one of the latest initiatives undertaken by Viren which highlights Orkel compactor balers; innovating how farms handle materials from forage and feed to forestry by-products to increase efficiency and reduce wastage. His knowledge and expertise has seen him visit farms across North America.

In 2021, Viren received the Honour of being named as one of Canada’s Top 50 in Agriculture by Canadian Western Agribition.

Mark Balkwill
2nd Vice President, Peterborough Agricultural Society

Mark Balkwill and his family came to Peterborough in 2016 after running a very successful dairy and cash crop farm. As a 6th generation farmer, Mark has had a lifelong time of service in the agricultural industry through various farm and government boards. Mark does attribute both 4H and Junior Farmers as two organizations that were highly influential in his life. Both organizations gave him the ability to develop the skills that he needed for the leadership roles he has held and taught him the importance of servant leadership.

Mark’s love of agriculture over the past 62 years led him to serve as 2nd Vice Chair of the Peterborough Agricultural Society. Mark looks forward to sharing his experience with the great volunteers and invites others to share ideas and concerns with him.

Shannon Cameron
Peterborough Agricultural Society

With her passion for agriculture she felt volunteering and being on the
Board of Directors team for the Peterborough Ag Society would be a great
way give back to the community. Shannon enjoys being on a team and being able to help contribute to current ideas and projects as well as add input to new ideas for the community. She enjoys learning
and trying new things and the sense of self satisfaction that volunteering brings. “It’s a great feeling!”

Victoria McEldon
Past President, Peterborough Agricultural Society

Victoria McEldon, lives on a small hobby farm in Millbrook.

She has been volunteer on the board since being the 2012 Senior
Ambassador. She strongly believes in sharing her knowledge to promote the agricultural industry as it has made a huge impact on her life. She has a special interest in animal husbandry and medicine and it was influenced greatly by her experiences in 4-H and her exposure to the agricultural industry in general. These experiences lead her to a career as a Registered Veterinary Technician.

Lorianne Lauchlan
Peterborough Agricultural Society

Laura Robson
Peterborough Agricultural Society

Sandra Busby
Peterborough Agricultural Society

The first time Sandra entered in the Peterborough Exhibition Homecraft was in 1989. Her love of needle crafts and baking comes from my mother, grandmother and the 4H Club (Homecraft). Sandra joined the Homecraft Committee in 2010 and a couple of years later joined the Peterborough Agricultural Society Board. Currently Sandra is Co-President of the Homecraft Committee. She encourages people of all ages to show their crafts or baking in the Homecraft Division. Admittedly, Sandra never did bake the best loaf of whole wheat bread in Ontario, but she did get to the provincial competition a couple of times.

Kathy Clodd
Peterborough Agricultural Society

Kathy has been with the Peterborough Exhibition for 15 years as part of the Home Craft Committee. She has enjoyed her time on the main board for that time as well as a Home Craft representative and as the President of the Home Craft Committee many times over the years. Kathy was born and raised in Milton, Ontario where she attended public school and high school and graduated from theUniversity of Windsor. Kathy then moved to the Peterborough area in 1989 and has called Peterborough home since then.

It has been interesting to see the changes to the Peterborough Exhibition over the years but especially since the onset of the covid Pandemic. She hopes we will come out of this a stronger community event in Peterborough. Kathy looks forward to how the virtual exhibition will turn out with exhibitors submitting photos of their exhibits instead of displaying the exhibits in person.

Kathy takes great pride in her family history with the Ontario Fairs and Exhibitions and the agricultural industry. Her great great grandfather was the first Minister of Agriculture for Ontario (The Honourable John Dryden). His son John Dryden was the first president of the Royal Winter Fair in 1922 and she believes he was a president of Brooklin Fair in the 1920’s as well. My grandfather Gray was a dairy farmer in the 1950’s and his son was a farmer in Sask for over forty years. Her dad followed a different path and worked in industry for many years. He was also a restorer of antique cars, especially Cadillac’s and had an extensive collection of antique woodworking tools. Her Mom was a teacher in Milton for over thirty years.

Chloe Shaw
Junior Member, Peterborough Agricultural Society


As a non-profit organization, individuals from the community can join our organization as a voting member. Becoming a member not only gives you the ability to vote on policy matters at our AGM but it also demonstrates support of agriculture in our community. To request to join please complete the form below: