MRO Magazine

Exhibition facility looks ahead to return of events

July 5, 2021 | By Sandi Krasowski

THUNDER BAY – Al Law, manager of the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition (CLE) is optimistic and looking to the spring of 2022 when he feels things will be relatively back to a state of normalcy.

“We are hoping for the Home and Garden (show) in April followed by Project Pizza,” he said. “A lot of teachers have told us that they miss that. There’s a group of kids in the last two years in Grade 3 that missed it all.”

In the meantime, the CLE grounds are still keeping busy.

“The Coliseum and Heritage building are fully rented by the Thunder Bay and District Health Unit until the end of November,” said Law. “Our grounds are really the only spot we have open.”


CLE staff haven’t been back for over a year, but with the health unit on site, Law says they have brought back three staff.

These staff members perform general cleaning and sanitizing for the Heritage and Coliseum buildings and do maintenance work on the grounds.

He said that people have been changing the dates of their shags, changing wedding dates, some have been refunded, while some have gone to the justice of the peace and some have completely cancelled their wedding.

“We have had a lot of changes in dates for different events and we are booking into 2023 now,” Law said. “We are busy Monday through Friday because pretty much every day there are vaccination clinics. It keeps us hopping.”

The CLE offered rental relief (reduced rent rates) “because of the pandemic” to Thunder Bay Gymnastics, Bolder Bear Climbing Centre and the Country Market.

“At least there is positive movement and things are changing,” says Law.

The popular Ribfest that has been previously held at the CLE will take place at Lakehead University. The annual CLE fair has also been cancelled for this year.

On July 17, people can visit the Festival of India and Festival of colours on the CLE grounds.
By Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,  THE CHRONICLE-JOURNAL



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