Albertan singer/songwriter Duane Steele took to the stage to play a number of songs during the Rimbey Agrim Centre’s concert and dinner fundraiser

Concert fundraiser held for Rimbey Agrim Centre

Wrapped up in a night of great food and music, the Agrim Centre’s Duane Steele concert and dinner fundraiser

Wrapped up in a night of great food and music, the Agrim Centre’s Duane Steele concert and dinner fundraiser was a festive celebration for the progress of the building’s construction and the accomplishments of the board of directors.

“It made a statement how we are on track, how we’ll continue to be on track and how we’ll be successful in the future,” said Rimbey Agricultural Society president Tim Edge. The event brought in just over $3,000.

The centre’s construction is entering its third phase, the completion of the interior. The money raised at the fundraiser will help finish the boardrooms, kitchen and other amenities.

Approximately 200 people came out to the concert event to rejoice in the Agrim growth.

The fundraiser featured a dinner, Duane Steele concert as well as door prizes, 50/50 draws, a Plinko game and a silent auction run by Steve Ducharme of Dukes Autographs, based out of Edmonton.

Ducharme, along with running the silent auction, contributed more than $10,000 worth of hockey memorabilia to the auction. “We contacted him specifically to bring the sports memorabilia,” said director Ben Ostrem.

Director Will Mackinaw says it is events like the fundraiser that carry such a considerable importance for the centre. “They’re huge. This is our support. It not only helps the support it keeps the support. Without events like this it slows down.”

Mackinaw says as construction progresses the community is becoming more excited and invested in the future the Agrim Centre presents. “It’s exciting. They can see it’s not a myth, that’s what I like.”

“Once they see the skyline change to the eastern side of Rimbey the user potential groups are getting hot and heavy. It’s just caused a whole lot of fun and excitement,” said Edge.

Not only will the Agrim Centre be able to handle 4-H and cattle shows, but vaulting events, gymkhanas and full-fledged rodeos. Mackinaw added it would not be only for agricultural events. “If you want to hold a concert it does all that . . . It’s for the whole surrounding area plus this community.”

The project remains on budget but the extensively cold and snowy winter has presented issues. “They weather’s been tough of course for everybody. Overall it’s been progressing quite well,” said Mackinaw.

Over the course of the project the Agrim has been blessed with the generosity of many donor’s and sponsors. At the Fundraiser Edge mentioned a few: the Rimbey Exhibition Association, $30,000; Suncor Energy Services, $25,000; Eckrim Agencies, $25,000 and the Kevin Hopper Memorial Foundation, $5, 818.

Edge is projecting the building’s opening within the fourth quarter of 2014 and the centre will boast the largest door on a building in the province of Alberta. The door will be able to fit a combine header through without unhooking. “This is the largest door you can get without being an airplane hangar.”