On Thursday, October 22, 1863, the recently established Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association held the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Exhibition at the newly purchased showground’s in Sydenham (became Sydenham Park in 1894). There were classes for sheep, cattle, horses, shearing, dairy produce, pigs, poultry and implements.
‘In spite of the heavy rain of the preceding day’, reported The Press, ‘the morning of the twenty-second was fair and promising enough. The sun shone brightly, the shops were closed, flags fluttered in the breeze, 1500 people (a surprising number given that the population of Christchurch the year before was barely 3000) entered the showground’s gates…’
Skip forward to 2012 and the Canterbury A&P Association celebrated its sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) Canterbury A&P Show. TDM Events was part of a committee planning group tasked with developing the programme of events to celebrate 150 years of showing in Canterbury.
The largest Agricultural and Pastoral Show in the country, the Canterbury A&P Show averages close to 7,000 livestock and feature competition entries, comprising more than 3,000 animals battling it out in over 1,700 classes including sections for horse/pony, beef/dairy cattle, sheep, alpaca, llama, pig, wool, goat, dog trials, poultry, shearing & woolhandling, wine, mint lamb, woodchopping and vintage machinery.
The 150th anniversary programme included an official opening and unveiling of a commerative plaque, anniversary parades, vintage machinery display, replica 1900s trade sites, memorabilia displays and the publication of a book titled 'When Country Comes To Town'. The culmination of the celebrations was welcoming The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to the 150th Canterbury A&P Show.
TDM Events has provided event management services for the Canterbury A&P Show since 2001.