CNE: Let’s Go To The Ex! (Aug 27 – Sep 7 2015)

Words+Images: Sumona Roy

Let’s Go To The Ex!

It’s that time once again to indulge in food and fun at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE).  This long standing tradition held in Toronto is a Canadian staple that brings people from different walks of life with many different cultures in one large area.

There are so many fascinating different facets to this Exhibition that make it fun and entertaining for people of all ages and interests.  When many of us are asked what we associate this Exhibition with we remember the standard Midway, the famous Food Building, the rows and rows of games, the music from the Bandshell, the various buildings with different goodies and of course the Air Show.

One would be the Sand Sculpture competition.  This particular event can be found at the Horticultural Building attached to the International Building.  Here we have many different countries competing with each other making sand sculptures to reflect a particular theme.  This past week we had teams working hard carving out their amazing reflective creations

Speaking of the Horticultural Building.  Did you know that the Ontario Horticultural Society hosts a yearly competition to features plants and flowers from gardeners from all over the surrounding area.  Each day focuses on a different competition ranging from African Violets, Houseplants, Dahlias, Cacti, Geraniums and much more.  All plants and flowers are on display for the general public and are judged by midday.

The International building has been host to many different countries from around the world featuring their own cultural backgrounds handicrafts and creations.  I particularly enjoy the entrepreneurs that travel from their own countries just to attend The Exhibition.  One woman from Senegal has made this her second year and says that she enjoys all the different people she meets and is proud to show her countries heritage and explain it to others.

There was also another man right from Kashmir, India.  He says that even though he is coming from a war zone he wants to show the global world that the people there are still making beautiful Kashmir scarves, shawls and jackets that are intricate and off high quality.  There is still a need for these people to make a living and have some support from the Global world.

I also met two men who teamed up to make sure that we do not forget about the plight in Nepal.  This team, one from Nepal and the other formerly of Tibet have joined forces and brought winter wares with them made from Yak wool and were donating 20% of their earnings to the people of Nepal to help with relief work.

Among the midst of all the different international stores there was one very young entrepreneur full of  excitement and passion. She was helping sell their amazing variety of teas and was giving out samples as well as explaining the health benefits of the different tea samples (visit Nirvana Tea).  She came with her parents and grandfather to spread the word about some amazing natural remedy tea predominantly made from Tulsi, but also other herbs and spices.  For those of you not familiar with Tulsi it is also known as holy basil, and is known to benefit us in many ways including oral care, relief from respiratory disorders, as well as treatment of fever, asthma, lung disorders, heart diseases and stress. Holy Basil, which has the scientific name Ocimum Sanctum has been considered one of the best medicinal herb that has been discovered.  This was a great find.

I was very pleased to see that the First Nations people were very present this year.  They brought originals of Christopher Morriseau’s art work, son of Norval Morriseau considered to be one of the most amazing First Nations artists in Canada and his work can be seen at the Canadian National Art Gallery in Ottawa.  There were also fresh maple syrup for sale as well as other maple syrup products.

Another exhibitor was from Quito, Ecuador.  They were selling products made from Llama and Alpaca wool.  Prices were very reasonable and I can say this with confidence since I just returned from the region about less than a month ago.

As I entered the Food Building first thing in the morning before I had started my day it was tranquill and quiet.  People were just starting to arrive just before 10:00 am. and I was very lucky to relax and enjoy some amazing baked goods and excellent coffee from  The Hula Girl Café.  Later in the day when I returned to enjoy some other food the hustle and bustle was at its peak in the building.

Overall I do have to say that no matter what the Canadian National Exhibition does not fail to entertain each year and it can appeal to anyone and everyone with its hidden gems or the main staples of entertainment.  I do recommend making trip before it ends on Labour Day and get your fill of fun.

Let’s Go to The Ex!!




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