OTD: First World’s Grain Exhibition and Conference opens in Regina

On today’s date in 1933, the first World’s Grain Exhibition and Conference opened in Regina, Sask., where 50 acres were set aside for a tent city accommodating 3,000 visitors.

The event, which was held July 24-Aug. 5, saw dozens of displays—nearly three kilometres in total—on topics ranging from agriculture to science and world events. The academic presentations included relevant issues, including trends in the wheat market and causes of agricultural decline.

The first World’s Gran Exhibition and Conference was regarded as a significant public event during the depth of the Great Depression and attracted nearly 215,000 visitors.

1933 OVERPRINT

On July 24, 1933, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) issued a stamp to commemorate the event. The plan was to issue a stamp promoting the grain industry, but the department was unable to produce a new design and decided to overprint a 1930 20-cent brown-red pictorial stamp (Scott #175) that featured a grain-harvesting tractor. The inscription, overprinted in blue, reads: “WORLD’S / GRAIN EXHIBITION & / CONFERENCE / REGINA 1933.”

The Harvesting Wheat stamp (SC #175) was issued on Dec. 4, 1930.

The Harvesting Wheat overprint (SC #203) was issued on the opening day of the World’s Grain Exhibition and Conference.

‘GREATEST CASH PRIZE LIST EVER OFFERED’

According to The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan by the University of Regina, more than $200,000 in prize money was announced for the show’s grain competitions. Organizers claimed it was the “greatest cash prize list ever offered” and planned to build a massive exhibition hall spanning nearly 15,000 square metres and costing more than $240,000.

To promote the event, organizers released 800,000 prize lists in addition to 25,000 posters, 75,000 booklets and many other advertising items.

By 1930, participation in the show was confirmed from many countries around the world, including the U.S.; the U.K.; Peru; Guatemala; New Zealand; Belgium; Italy; Netherlands; Poland; Yugoslavia; Czechoslovakia; Siam; Chile; the Philippine Islands; South Africa; France; Switzerland; Australia; and several provinces of India.

For more information about the 1933 conference, see The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.

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