Kemptville could roll out the welcome mat for over 80,000 visitors next year. The International Plowing Match (IPM) and Rural Expo may be coming to town. 

The Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) is eyeing the Kemptville Campus as the likely site for what it dubs ‘tented city,’ with local farmers offering up land for the plowing competitions.   

Cathy Lasby, OPA Executive Director, pitched the idea to North Grenville Council last night.

She noted the IPM has a rich history, dating back to 1913, when the first event was held on the property that now houses Sunnybrook Hospital in downtown Toronto. Lasby explained that last year’s event, held in Verner, attracted 81,517 visitors over five days. 

She says the approximate economic impact for a community that hosts the IPM is $25 million. The IPM is the largest event of its kind in North America, according to Lasby, and regularly makes the top 100 list put out by Festivals & Events Ontario. 

She noted the IPM is the only event in the province where the legislature shuts down for the day, so that the premier, leader of the opposition and all members of the legislature can attend.

The Grenville County Plowmen’s Association, which celebrated its 100th Plowing Match last year, was on hand to support the proposal. 

Mayor Nancy Peckford says she is honoured that the OPA would consider hosting the IPM on the Kemptville Campus grounds. She explained the property means a lot to the community and North Grenville wants to seize this opportunity to sow the seeds for a really auspicious future for the campus.  

North Grenville Council passed a motion endorsing the bid to host the IPM in 2021.