Public health restrictions once again kept the annual 4-H auction at the Pacific National Exhibition online.
This year’s event took place August 20-21 with the assistance of DLMS Auctions, which also stepped up to facilitate last year’s online auction.
“A live auction was not held this year as the COVID restrictions and uncertainty did not allow for a full 4-H Festival to happen at the PNE,” says Christie Kerr, director, fair operations & special programs with the PNE. “The online auction allowed the PNE to support those members who were unable to arrange for private buyers.”
The event saw a total of 35 animals sold, including three steers, eight sheep, four goats and 20 hogs. All told, 21 buyers bid a total of $28,882.05 for the animals.
The virtual auction was not what organizers had hoped for, given the bright prospects for a full reopening of the province under the provincial restart plan announced earlier this summer. The recent reimposition of a province-wide mask mandate and introduction of mandatory vaccination cards for participation in public events have thrown a further twist into plans for this fall’s fairs.
“Given the increase in COVID infections, it’s not really a surprise,” says Janine Saw, executive director, BC Fairs.
She says the association, which represents BC’s agricultural fairs and exhibitions, is working with regulators to figure out a way forward for its members.