Renfrew Bid To Host 2021 International Plowing Match Takes Shape

A pitch to bring the International Plowing Match to Renfrew in 2021 is taking shape. 

The idea is to hold the massive celebration of agriculture and rural living, and the plowing competition, RVs and tent city that come with it, on 600 acres of land near the Mat-e-way Activity Centre.  

Renfrew Reeve Peter Emon says they’ve been meeting with organizers and nearby landowners in recent weeks to keep advance their case.

“I met with the President of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association and some of their staff”, Emon said.

“He had been up and toured our site, and our proposal, and at first glance, liked it”.

He says support from neighbouring Admaston/Bromley Township, and the County of Renfrew, will also be a positive push for the bid.

Emon says the community has proven it can host big events.

 “We’ve shown as a community that we can do it.  Renfrew has increasingly sought out larger opportunities”, Emon noted.

“We have the brew fest in Renfrew every fall, we have had the Taste of the Valley, we’ve had Bluegrass, and Saw Tech.  We’re getting better at hosting events, and our community is getting better as hosting events as well”.

Emon adds that the area also has more tourism draws now that it sits at the heart of two trail systems.

“We’re pretty confident because of our proximity to Ottawa, Kingston, Belleville, Trenton, North Bay, we’re in a really ideal spot to do that, and with the Algonquin Trail, and the K and P Trail, those trails could generate some side-by-side and ATV traffic as well, which would be unique to this event as well”, Emon said.

It’s estimated the event would bring in 100,000 visitors, and almost 30 million million dollars to the local economy.

It would also require an estimated 1000 volunteers to help out in a variety of capacities.

A timeline on a decision for the 2021 host community from the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, the group that organizes the IPM, isn’t clear yet. 

The West Nipissing area, near North Bay, will be hosting the 2019 IPM in the fall, while a location for the 2020 event hasn’t yet been determined.

The Pembroke area hosted the International Plowing Match back in 1994, which was widely considered to be a resounding success.