File photo

File photo

Agrim Centre in Rimbey starting to host some events

The centre reopened at the end of June and is looking to begin hosting more events

It was a cautious opening for The Co-operators Agrim Centre in Rimbey back at the end of June and now they have begun to see more activity.

Agrim manager Tammy Burns explained the facility is naturally slow over the summer, even without the pandemic, and things tend to pick up as fall comes.

“We reopened on June 30, cautiously with a limited number of days for open riding,” Burns said in an interview.

“The priority was and always will be the safety of guests, users and staff. We have an online booking system users sign in on to manage the numbers inside at one time. We have increased cleaning, provide hand sanitizers and leave doors and gates open to minimize touches as much as possible.”

Burns added the facility is continually re-evaluating and will adapt as needed.

As for getting busier, the Agrim’s first big event since March is an Alberta Barrel Racing Association jackpot on Aug. 31.

“Everyone is cautious and understand that limits must happen to mitigate risk,” she said.

“Although some groups had cancelled or postponed events, others are embracing the protocols and moving forward cautiously and responsibly. Users right now are looking for a good alternative after being displaced by the pandemic and some are in a holding pattern.”

That said, it’s also been difficult to plan too far ahead right now as the guidelines can change quickly.

Meanwhile, it’s been an interesting time for Burns, who became the Agrim’s first general manager late last year following Ponoka County coming up with some funds to help the Rimbey Agricultural Society with a plan to improve their operation.

“We had a really productive and busy winter. Large events kept the facility moving and it was interesting to see how successful those events were, which guided me,” said Burns.

“COVID-19 stopped us in our tracks. Though, the pandemic has given me the opportunity to really look at the organization how it has operated in the past — what was successful and how to adapt.”

She stated the Agrim is one of many agricultural facilities in Alberta that are the best in western Canada and that helped when it came to drawing more sponsorship.

“We secured a name sponsor this spring when the The Co-operators stepped up to support the facility,” she said.

“This has created huge recognition as The Co-operators is a brand name and the Rimbey Agriculture Society board is very cohesive and supportive, embracing all the changes for the betterment of the organization and facilities.”

Part of that stemmed from Ponoka County hiring a consultant to assist the board through last year’s renovation of the facility and that the board realized that it wasn’t going to attract and compete with other facilities unless it adapted. That’s how Burns came to be hired.

For her part, Burns is looking forward to helping the Agrim grow and credits the society’s volunteers for laying some great ground work.

“They have a great vision to move forward and spent a tremendous amount of time ensuring the ground work was there succeed,” she said.

“Consistency is the key to success and the Agrim is a fantastic facility and deserves to be someone’s priority. It still has growing pains, but that is all part of the process. With dedicated time and consistency, it will flourish.”

To that end, Burns is presently working on a strong marketing plan to help increase use beyond the area and the usual equine and agricultural groups.

“I feel The Co-operators Agrim Centre is an extremely affordable all-encompassing facility that can host a multitude of events,” she said.

“The community and the town have everything users want to host and events and the atmosphere here is desirable.”

More information is available by heading to or calling Burns Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 403-704-9283.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

(File photo)
After several years in limbo, Parkland Manor to be torn down

Rimoka Housing Foundation has received funding and approval for the demolition

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Hinshaw says residents in long-term care and supportive living facilities will remain the priority as the province grapples with a looming slowdown in COVID-19 vaccine supply. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta long-term care residents remain priority in looming slowdown of COVID vaccine

There are 119 patients in intensive care and 1,463 people have died

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Black Press File Photo
Maskwacis RCMP lay charges for attempted murder, kidnapping, and flight from police

Female victim remains in hospital in serious condition.

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Calgary flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read