On today’s date in 1933, the first World’s Grain Exhibition and Conference opened in Regina, Sask., where 50 acres were set aside for a tent city to accommodate 3,000 visitors.
Held July 24-Aug. 5, the massive event featured dozens of displays – spanning nearly three kilometres altogether – on agriculture, science and world events. The academic presentations highlighted contemporary issues, including trends in the wheat market and causes of agricultural decline. It was regarded as an important public event during the Great Depression and attracted almost 215,000 visitors.
More than $200,000 in prize money was announced for the show’s grain competitions with organizers claiming it was the “greatest cash prize list ever offered.” The event’s organizers also planned for a mammoth exhibition building spanning 14,864 square metres and costing more than $240,000.
To promote the event, organizers released 800,000 prize lists plus 25,000 posters, 75,000 booklets and many other advertising items. By 1930, participation in the show was confirmed from many countries, including the U.S.; U.K.; Peru; Guatemala; New Zealand; Belgium; Italy; Netherlands; Poland; Yugoslavia; Czechoslovakia; Siam; Chile; the Philippine Islands; South Africa; France; Switzerland; Australia; and several provinces of India.
That year, a commemorative medal with a 32-millimetre diameter was also struck to mark the massive exhibition and conference.
In January 2016, one of these medals crossed the auction block for $7 (plus buyer’s premium) in a sale by Kitchener, Ont.’s Colonial Acres.