KEMPTVILLE — After a two-year hiatus, the annual International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) revs back to life this month with the traditional spectacle and array of attractions spread over hundreds of acres over five days.
The 2022 IPM takes place Sept. 20-24 on two sprawling Kemptville-area sites — the newly erected ‘Tented City’ opposite the former Kemptville College campus on County Rd. 44 and the actual plowing competitions 10 km away at the Bennett family farm on County Rd. 43.
Shuttle buses are provided to move people between the sites. More than 40 entertainment acts have been lined up, including the recently announced Hunter Brothers as the big name music headliner on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 24). Hailing from a Saskatchewan farm, the five Hunter brothers have been making waves on the country music scene in recent years with three certified-gold singles in Canada. 2022 marks the 103rd edition of the IPM, a huge affair that shifts to a different rural community each year.
Calamity has caused the IPM to skip only a half dozen times in its history, including four years during the Second World War and the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m super excited to see people back together,” said Virginia Govier, marketing director for the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, which has put on the event in coordination with local volunteers since 1911. “I’ve always felt shows like the IPM are about the plowing and agriculture, but it’s also about the connection, seeing neighbours and colleagues.”
A typical IPM can draw as many as 75,000 visitors and may take two to three years to organize in normal times. However, planning for the upcoming Kemptville edition had the challenge of trying to build momentum for an event at a time when it seemed pandemic restric – tions might never end. “It’s had its unique challenges,” confirmed Cassidy Reaney, marketing director and advertising chair for the local committee. It was only in May of this year, Reaney added, that she and many others began to feel that the 2022 IPM would really happen. Volunteer numbers are now up to 800, Reaney said.