The Calnash Ag Event Centre’s electronic sign is in the ground running, with the majority of the project complete.
Project co-coordinator Doug Weir says the sign was originally contemplated with the design of the building, which opened its operations in 2011, but a humidity problem that would cost $100,000 to resolve put it on the back burner.
In the fall of 2013, Weir joined the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society and began to push the issue. “I suggested we do the sign and the board agreed,” he explained.
Using Led Sign Supply, a company out of Calgary; National Neon Displays LTD., also from Calgary; and Ponoka’s In Town Electric, the sign was constructed and installed on the west side of the property near Highway 2A.
“It’s taken approximately a year to put together,” said Weir.
So far $113,000 has gone into the project. The ag centre’s four partners, the Town of Ponoka, the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association, the Ponoka Agricultural Society and Ponoka County contributed $15,000 each. The balance was paid by the Calnash Ag Event Centre.
With the board new to the idea of electric signs, Weir says the project saw its share of challenges, but they were no deterrence. “You just have to swerve around the bumps,” Weir said.
He says the biggest mountain to overcome for himself and co-coordinator Sherry Gummow was to educate themselves on the best option to meet the end goals. “It’s just a different language when you’re talking about electric signs.”
The sign was primarily put in place to promote the abundance of events that take place at the ag centre.
Advertising will also be sold for display on the sign, but Weir says the board is not at that stage yet, as they need to delve deeper into rates and other factors. “That’s a steep learning curve.”
The base of the sign still needs work and in conjunction with the project, a fence will be built along the front of the property, parallel to Highway 2A, as a safety measure for livestock. Weir says there are no cost estimates for the remainder of the work yet.