Ag event centre society seeing growth and profits

Directors with the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) were pleased with the financial report during the society’s

Directors with the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) were pleased with the financial report during the society’s annual general meeting Feb. 24.

The group has seen some growth and profits, as shown in their financial statement and Gord Parker of Rowland Parker and Associates feels a surplus is important to ensure the building operates well.

Parker said the unaudited statement is in accordance with the Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.

Capital debt related to assets is relatively low, explained Parker, mainly because much of the ag centre was built on government grants and donations. “That’s a good thing.”

He suggests that PAECS will need a larger working capital in the event of an emergency. Revenue for 2013 was $1.16 million and expenses were $1.09 million, leaving the association with $78,272 of revenue over expenses.

Despite the small profit, Parker suggests more is needed for big projects.

“If you want to further any expansion or growth or development of the facility, you’re going to need some cash for that,” explained Parker.

“Most people look at a not-for-profit and say you shouldn’t make money. In this case, you have to make money. If you are generating $914,000 in capital debt, you have to pay it back,” he added.

PAECS currently has a line of credit for $1.8 million, which is guaranteed by Ponoka County. As of Sept. 30, 2013 the amount owing to that was $914,000.

PAECS president looks forward to the future

PAECS president Terry Jones said they had a busy year and he praised the staff and board members for doing a good job. “I wanted to thank the board for all the hard work… every decision the board made was for the good of the building.”

He enjoyed seeing many different equine events throughout the year. Jones said the board’s goal was to get local youths and 4-H clubs into the building and suggests they have accomplished that.

“With the events, it’s brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars of tourism into our community,” said Jones. “I think that was one of our main goals.”

The building was able to function on its own without assistance from the four partners, comprised of the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association, the Ponoka Agricultural Society, the County of Ponoka and the Town of Ponoka.

Jones said they intend to use the excess money to help with operations and to pay down its loan. He expects a busy 2014 as well with very few openings left for events.

There are two capital projects for the association this year: building a roof to connect the barn and the main event centre and constructing a sign to inform people of the various events.

PAECS looking for a new member at large

Since director Don Letwinetz had to leave the association last year, PAECS has been looking for a new member at large. PAECS vice-president Sherry Gummow said the group is looking for someone who has fundraising skills.

“Board experience would be valuable. Right now, we’re kind of lacking on someone to spearhead, to do some fundraising,” she explained.

A PAECS committee will interview and eventually choose the right candidate.

No changes to directors

There was no change to the executive of the PAECS board at its AGM.

Bylaws for PAECS state directors must step down after two three-year terms and some directors appear to be nearing the end of those terms.

The society was formed On July 18, 2008, when Terry and Danny Jones, Gummow, former director Greg Bowie and Dykstra signed the application to form a society.

Terry Jones said the association does not usually elect officers at the AGM but changes may occur soon.

“I’ll have to check and see, but nothing now,” he explained.

“When that came into effect wasn’t when we started the planning of the building. It’s when the building opened,” Jones added.

He suggested next year the Stampede Association may elect a new director.

Representing the Stampede Association is Danny and Terry Jones and Dale Olsen; for the Ponoka Agricultural society is Sherry Gummow, Cec Dykstra and Linc Drynan; for the Town of Ponoka, Mayor Rick Bonnett and for Ponoka County, Doug Weir.