History of The Fair
In 1910 Canadian Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier officially opened the first annual Pacific National Exhibition, known at the time as “The Industrial Exhibition.” The Fair was seen as a showcase of British Columbia to the rest of Canada and the world, and was the second largest event of its kind in North America, behind the New York State Fair.
Since the first Fair, the annual event has become the largest annual ticketed event in the province, and continues to draw in excess of 900,000 visitors during its 17 days.
Many significant events in the history of this province occurred during the annual Fair at the PNE. Throughout the Fair’s long life numerous technological firsts debuted at the PNE, including the first rotary telephone in the Pacific Northwest, and aircraft and rocketry displays. Many of today’s largest consumer shows got their start as a part of the annual Fair including: the Vancouver Boat Show, the BC Home Show and the Pacific International Auto Show, which all began as displays at the PNE.
Over the past 101 years, the PNE has evolved from its role as an industry showcase into a centre for entertainment and family fun. World class and award-winning shows such as Cirque Pop, City Rhythm and Bring on the Night were all created especially, and exclusively for the PNE.
Traditional favourites such as the Superdogs Show, created at the PNE in 1984 continue to thrill over 300,000 fair-goers annually.
For more stories and photos, open Pacific National Exhibition – 100 Years of Fun