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‘It was a hard call’: Bradford home show cancelled this weekend

'We’re in a unique municipality — between two big guys, Barrie and Newmarket,' board of trade president says; event postponed to next fall
Genesis Gymnastics was among the booths at a previous Bradford Board of Trade Home and Lifestyle Show. The business, operated by Donna Katz, had planned to sponsor the kids zone this year, prior to the event's postponement.

Donna Katz’s first decision as Bradford Board of Trade president may end up being one of the most difficult of her term.

After seeing the number of participants dwindle, the board announced earlier this week it was postponing the annual Bradford Home and Lifestyle Show, which was slated to take place Saturday, April 27 at the Bradford and District Memorial Community Centre.

When the call was made, 17 vendors were committed to the show, a number that had dropped from 22 just a few days prior. Katz says the event has yet to bounce back from pre-COVID-19 pandemic interest, where it reached a height of more than 40 booths in 2018.

“It was a hard call — my first call as president — but we stand by it,” she said. “We were very close to the minimum threshold but then there were some withdrawals. It’s not something (businesses) were engaging in. The purpose of our board is to represent the business community. It’s always been our intention to serve them, listen to what they want and provide the best events for them. It was clear last week the numbers just weren’t there.”

Katz said she spoke with the vendors who had planned to participate and they all understood the decision. 

Billed as an annual “vibrant celebration of home improvement, interior design, landscaping, wellness, and more,” this year's version was to feature a mix of local businesses and artisans.

Katz's business, Genesis Gymnasticswas scheduled to sponsor the kids zone.

“It’s a lot of work to get myself there, to leave my business on a Saturday to stand there all day for such little showing,” she said. “That would not have been the best value for me. We made the decision it wasn’t the best value for those vendors who did commit. There were challenges on both sides, not just the vendors, but getting the traffic.”

Instead, the board will pivot and produce an event in the fall. 

“We’re in a unique municipality — between two big guys, Barrie and Newmarket,” Katz said. “To compete during the spring home show season, we’re just not going to draw like they do. We’re … moving it on the heels of Carrot Fest, where we can really do some promoting. We all want to see everyone succeed.”

Mayor James Leduc says the town support’s the board here. 

"Although we were looking forward to having a town booth at the event and engaging with the residents of BWG, we are confident that the (board) will execute a well planned event in the fall, with increased participation from the local business community,” he said. 

The board has several other events lined up for the coming months. For more, visit

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Chris Simon

About the Author: Chris Simon

Chris Simon is an award-winning journalist who has written for publications throughout Simcoe County and York Region. He is the current Editor of BradfordToday and InnisfilToday and has about two decades of experience in the sector
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