The Official Website of Evergreen Park

  • Capable Of Hosting Large Events

    Capable Of Hosting Large Events

    We Have Room For Over 10,000
  • Welcome To Evergreen Park

    Welcome To Evergreen Park

    The Largest Event Facility Of Its Kind North Of Edmonton
  • On Track

    On Track

    Work on the Evergreen Park race track was completed in time for a 1982 opening.

  • Huge Crowds

    Huge Crowds

    Stompede thrills over 30,000 fans annually at Evergreen Park.

  • Peace Classic Agri-Show

    Peace Classic Agri-Show

    The Peace Country Classic Agri-Show has been an annual event at Eveergreen Park since the 1980s.

  • Fundraising Events

    Fundraising Events

    Don Cherry was part of one of the many fund-raising events held annually at Evergreen Park.

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Welcome To Evergreen Park!

Evergreen Park is the largest full featured exhibition facility north of Edmonton.

The Park - while still staying true to its agriculture roots with an annual Agri-Show, Rodeos, Chuckwagon Races, Live Horse Racing and indoor and outdoor accommodations for horses and other farm-related animals – now offers a huge selections of options, and buildings, for a multitude of events.

A variety of halls, convention/conference facilities, paved parking, pavilions, riding trails, fully licensed restaurant and lounge (open 363 days a week from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.) and other special features, like a 2,700 seat grandstand and what is regarded as one of the best race tracks in Canada, create a unique, picturesque and versatile setting for any event - all just minutes south of downtown Grande Prairie!

If you are interested in renting one of our many facilities for a wedding, convention, company meeting, concert or planning a major outdoor event that can cater to upwards of 10,000 people we have what you need.

Please check out our website for more information and if you have any questions please give us a call at 780-532-3279.

Evergreen - Jewel In the Forest

The Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural & Exhibition Society has roots that stretch back to 1910 – four years before Grande Prairie became an official village.

Today the Society, which oversees the development and daily operations of Evergreen Park, continues to operate as a charitable non-profit . . . but there have been a few other changes.

Back in 1910, the first agricultural fair and rodeo was held in what is now downtown Grande Prairie at a location near where the current farmer’s market is located on 101 Ave. and 101 St.

It was an outdoor experience with displays of vegetables, canned goods and needlework and livestock events held nearby.

Over the years the “fairgrounds” moved to several locations - including a permanent race track and buildings on the city’s east side - and today the Society is proud to call Evergreen Park, and its 1,200 acres on the south side of Grande Prairie, home.

The move to the southern outskirts of the city took place in 1982. Since it first opened, Evergreen Park has featured what is considered one of the best horse racing facilities in western Canada including a large covered grandstand, new barns, buildings and other amenities.

A full service restaurant and a casino with 99 slot machines and VLTs - the Pines Restaurant & Casino - is part of the Gordon Badger Stadium complex that includes the grandstand overlooking the sand and loam racing oval measuring 5/8th of a mile.

Canadian Professional Rodeo Association competitors as well as World Professional Chuckwagon Association, Western Chuckwagon Association – behind the reins of thoroughbreds - and All Pro Canadian Chuckwagon pony drivers compete annually on the track during Stompede in the spring – usually late May into early June. The best cowboys from Canada and many from the U.S. and other countries take part in Stompede’s rodeo.

For two months in the summer – July and August – Horse Racing Alberta takes over the track weekends giving local bettors a chance to wager on their favorite jockey or horse at The Horses At Evergreen Park.

Evergreen Park has hosted prime ministers, RCMP Musical Rides, logger competitions, county fairs, forestry shows, petroleum shows, weddings, graduations, outdoor movies, Special Olympics, archery competitions, agri-shows, volleyball tournaments, home shows, RV shows, sports expos, dog shows, wedding shows, roller derby, car shows, monster trucks, seminars, retreats, meetings, horse competitions, conventions, mud bogs, MMA fights, equestrian competitions, national conferences and many other shows, acts and events since the move south of the city.

With the move south from the “fairgrounds” east of the city came another change.

Evergreen Park, while certainly capable of hosting a “fair” of any size, became much, much more than a “fairground”. It is the largest multi-purpose, multi-facility and most-used major venue north of Edmonton.

With 500,000 visitors annually the road into Evergreen is well travelled year-round.

During the course of a year most city and county residents of greater Grande Prairie have taken in at least one “event” at the park whether it be Stompede, Festival of Trees, Wedding Show, outdoor skating rink or one of the many trade shows held on the grounds and during that same time thousands from around the Peace Country – which encompasses northwestern Albert and northeastern British Columbia – make the short trek to the Swan City to take advantage of Evergreen and what it has to offer.

During the winter the indoor horse stalls are usually full. It is the perfect venue to train or just pleasure ride on a daily basis in one of the two heated indoor arenas – the Drysdale Centre and Lewis Hawkes Pavilion. In November-December the Heavy Horse Pull Club’s Northern Spirit Light Show delights upwards of 30,000 annually.

Travellers from around North America stop by during May to October to take advantage of the McGovern’s RV & Marine Campground – which features 76 spots, all equipped with electricity, water and a dumping station along with a general store and playground. It is just steps away from The Pines Restaurant & Casino and the many other events held during the spring and summer at the park.

The ENTREC Centre has helped turn Evergreen Park into the largest full featured exhibition facility north of Edmonton.

The ENTREC Centre was opened in 2008 and is 105,000 square feet. It features a 46,200 square foot main hall, which has hosted concerts by the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Serena Ryder, Big Wreck, Hedley, Blue Rodeo and Paul Brandt and is used for trade shows, graduations and other events where lots of room is needed; three 6,600 square foot salons; and four meeting rooms in the 2,000 square foot range each. Don Cherry visited the ENTTREC Centre in the summer of 2014 for a fundraiser for a local group.

There is also a huge foyer in the ENTREC Centre as well as administration offices for Evergreen Park staff.

Clarkson Hall is a 9,600-square-foot building that has been part of Evergreen since Day 1. It hosts weddings and other events for up to 500 people. It has undergone a recent renovation making it one of the best wedding/banquet facilities in the area. A rustic log building, the Oldtimers Cabin, is also available for use for groups of up to 50.

Evergreen Park also features an archery centre as well as an equestrian complex that includes permanent jumps and water hazards. The great expanse of Evergreen Park also allows competitive cross-country horse competitions to take place using the equestrian facility, the track and the picturesque trails through the spruce and pine trees throughout the park.

Troyer Town is an indoor playground and features bouncy castles, arcade games and a private party area from November to March. In the summer Troyer Town moves outdoors during the summer horse racing program.

The Park is also home to the Centre For Resource Excellence and Innovation, which has won an award for its tree planting pilot project and the hosts Grande Prairie Minor Baseball Association and its 12 diamonds.

Located on the southern outskirts of the city of Grande Prairie - population 65,000 - Evergreen Park is just minutes away from hotels and shopping centres.

Evergreen Park – experience it!

Executive Members

  • President: Rob Clayton
  • 1st Vice President: Bridget Hennigaar
  • 2nd Vice President: Ross Mather
  • Past President: Daryl Beeston
  • Leanne Beaupre (County Representative)

Directors

  • County Rep: Ross Sutherland
  • Robin Watson
  • Norm Tremblay
  • Tom Turner
  • Justin Tidd
  • Shelley Lazenby

Staff

  • General Manager: Dan Gorman

1910

The Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural & Exhibition Society is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1910 which oversees the development & daily operations of Evergreen Park.

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1911

By 1911, Alphaeous Patterson and his sons had erected the first frame building on what was to be later known as Richmond Avenue. Located where the CIBC stands today, the Patterson building housed the post office, land office and other departments. The second annual fair was held on the first floor.

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1912 - 1914

The Province of Alberta issued the original certificate of organization to the Grande Prairie Regional Agricultural and Exhibition Society on January 1, 1912. Exhibits were moved to the Agricultural Grounds. The minutes of the second meeting of the newly formed Council of Rural Municipality of Grande Prairie #739...

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1919 - 1951

The minutes were destroyed by fire in 1919. In 1920, the Agricultural Society purchased a quarter of land from A. Carveth, NE 1/4 - 25 - 71 - 6 W6. The 1922 Grande Prairie Fall Fair was bigger and better than ever in spite of WWI aftermath and hard times in the district...

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1952 - 1969

In 1952, the first Fair Queen, Patricia Patrick (now Pat Olsen) was crowned. Pat recalls “everything was regal - red carpet, cape and crown. Flag bearers with horses in front, a royal coach...

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1970 - 1994

Spring of 1978 brought the first Grande Prairie Stompede, promoting growth in the chuckwagon industry and attracting a whole new market...

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2000 - 2010

The turn of the century marked the beginning of a decade of transformation of Evergreen Park. A robust regional economy brought heightened expectations and the need for modernization of Evergreen Park’s facilities...

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2012

August 25th of 2012 Evergreen Park celebrated the 100th year of the agricultural society.

EVERGREEN WINS EMERALD AWARD

Curious to know whether spruce seedlings planted in wetlands soils in the darkest days of winter can survive and even thrive? Just ask the latest winners of the Emerald Awards.

The Evergreen Centre for Resource Excellence and Innovation (ECREI), found on 14 acres (5.7 hectares) of forested terrain just south of Grande Prairie city limits in Evergreen Park, emerged as a big winner at the Alberta Emerald Foundation's awards event in Calgary on Wednesday night.

photo of Wetland Revegetation project site

ECREI won the award for the "community group" category emerald award

"I think it's confirmation that the group is doing the right thing, and being recognized for its contribution to educating the public and the global community at large," said Doug Kulba, a resource assurance specialist with Alberta Environment and Water, and a key player in ECREI.

The fact that the centre is run based on the sweat equity of more than 100 volunteers, including professionals and representatives from industry, was a plus as far as the Emerald Foundation was concerned.

The multitude of industry and government partnerships forged by the Evergreen Centre means it's able to run without any full-time staff or guaranteed funding - aspects that put it at the top of its category, said Alberta Emerald Foundation executive director Emmy Stuebing.

"Often when you think of a community group, you do think of a community garden or a smaller grassroots initiative; there were nominations like that," she said. "This year our judges just felt the Evergreen Centre was the best one."

Thanks to the land provided by the non-profit Grande Prairie Regional Agriculture and Exhibition Society, ECREI was set up in 2009 to dig into research around solutions for environmental challenges faced by industry.

The varied elevation of wetland and alpine boreal forest sites on the area make it a great microcosm for the kind of forest found near many oil sands sites, explained Kulba.

"It's a real-life situation where for industry, if they were doing resource development, it would be a place where everyone could relate to," he said. The site has enough land area to mimic ecosites found within oil sands regions, he said.

While the award carries no cash component, it can be seen as a stamp of approval from an outside, independent voice when it comes to making funding applications, explained Stuebing.

Emerald Awards 2012 Recipient Graphic

The judges were impressed with the research and the results that are coming out of the centre; if it was all theoretical but not able to be implemented, we wouldn't be recognizing it," she said. "It's important there's tangible results related to a project, and the judges felt there really are some good things coming out of the centre."

The award is "really a stamp of validation," she said, adding the judges are under no obligation to give an award in each category - a project or group must be truly notable in order to win.

A project undertaken with the Canadian Oilsands Innovation Alliance (formerly the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative) and Grande Prairie Regional College involved planting 600 black spruce seedlings in a wetland section in February 2011. So far, it's the centre's most resounding success.

"The project showed greater than 94% survival rate, so it was very successful," said Kulba. Based on that research outcome, 40,000 trees were planted in similar areas of southern Alberta in the Lower Athabasca region.

Low amounts of snow cover in the first year also showed the risks that dry years can pose to such tree plantations.

"We're learning from that, and we're going to make some changes to the feedstock," said Kulba. "That's why we do things; your failures put you one step closer to success. That's an important part of innovation."

Working towards innovative water crossing demonstrations is also a part of ECREI's research.

"When industry is building access roads into facilities, we're looking to reduce the amount of trees that are removed in the forest," said Kulba.

"When we remove trees and take the merchantable timber off, there's always a certain amount of waste, in terms of tops and limbs of trees."

That material is traditionally burned; ECREI is researching how to process that material and use it as part of a road surface, while keeping root structures in place to secure soil on the surface.

"The roots are a reinforcing structure; we want to minimize the amount of surface disturbance, which reduces the amount of erosion and potential repercussions of disturbing the soil in the first place."

With help from industry partners, who supply most of the equipment used at the centre, ECREI is trying to inspire industry to take creative approaches - "striving towards excellence, rather than just meeting the minimum standards," as Kulba put it.

The Emerald Awards began being handed out 21 years ago, and are meant to recognize environmental initiatives undertaken every year by large and small corporations, individuals, non-profit associations community groups and government.

- by Greg Amos, Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune