Ontario Government Supporting Agricultural and Horticultural Societies

Published on July 13, 2021

Additional funding to offset lost revenue from cancelled fairs and exhibits

MISSISSAUGA – Today, Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore, welcomed the government’s action to provide $1.1 million in additional funding to offer continued support for the province’s agricultural and horticultural societies impacted by COVID-19.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Lisa Thompson.

The pandemic continues to place financial pressures on agricultural and horticultural societies across the province as many will be unable to hold their primary revenue-generating fairs and events again this year.

The government will provide up to $5,000 for each eligible agricultural society and up to $1,500 for each eligible horticultural society, equal to their 2019 grants. This is the latest investment from the provincial government to strengthen Ontario’s agri-food sector, ensuring sustainability of agriculture and fostering vibrant rural economies. This latest funding follows the January 2021 investment of $5 million to help support agricultural and horticultural societies impacted by cancelled events in 2020.

“I would like to thank Minister Thompson for her leadership at this difficult time for all Ontarians,” said Cuzzetto. “It's more important than ever to support Ontario agriculture, to ensure that an abundance of fresh and healthy local food remains available in our grocery stores as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis.”

The funding will enable agricultural and horticultural societies to offset membership losses and revenue so they can continue to meet their immediate financial needs and work towards planning future events within health and safety guidelines.

The current grant program requires agricultural and horticultural societies to operate their fairs, events and activities in order to qualify for funding. This automatic one-time payment replaces the 2021 grant so that agriculture and horticultural societies can receive the grant without having to hold their traditional fair or complete their community projects.

Supporting our rich agri-food industry – a $47 billion industry in Ontario – is an important element in Ontario’s economic recovery. Funding agricultural and horticultural societies at this critical time is one piece of a puzzle to sustaining and growing the agri-food industry as the province recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.


Quick Facts

  • The Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies is a provincial association representing more than 200 agricultural societies across the province.
  • The Ontario Horticultural Association is a volunteer charitable organization that encourages interest in gardening and related environmental issues representing 280 horticultural societies from across the province.
  • Ontario is working to address the economic impacts that COVID-19 has posed to many of the organizations that make up the fabric of our communities, and is now delivering an estimated $13.5 billion in total support for people and job creators as part of Ontario's Action Plan.


Background Information



Office of Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP
(905) 274-8228