Media Centre
Independence of the Canadian National Exhibition Association
For Immediate Release………………………………………………………. January 27, 2012
Toronto – At meetings today and yesterday, the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and the Board of Directors of the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA) approved the terms of a Master Agreement for a new relationship in which the CNEA will become independent from both the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and the City of Toronto in 2013. Toronto City Council will be asked for approval of this new agreement at their March 5-6, 2012 meeting

The general direction to have an independent CNEA has been endorsed by the CNEA Board of Directors, the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, and City Council and was recommended by KPMG in its 2011 Core Service Review. The new agreement is among the early recommendations of the Core Service Review to be acted upon.

Chair of the Board, City Councillor Mark Grimes stated, “The independence of the CNEA is good for both the CNEA and Exhibition Place. The agreement will protect the Board of Governors and the City against any negative financial consequences and at the same time allow the CNEA to reach financial and organizational stability for the new independent organization.”

It will be beneficial for the CNEA to be independent from the City of Toronto to be able to determine and implement consumer strategies and fiscal decisions that are made in the interest of the CNEA and its visitors, as experts within the fair business.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Canadian National Exhibition," stated Brian Ashton, President of the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA). "We believe that as an independent business we can flourish and present an annual fair that will make Toronto and Canada proud!"

About the CNEA
The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is Canada’s largest fair and one of the top 10 fairs in North America. Founded in 1879, the CNE celebrates its 134th year in 2012, when it takes place from August 17th to September 3rd. Each year over the course of its late summer 18-day run, the CNE attracts between 1.3 and 1.4 million people. On average, it generates an economic impact of $58.6 million on the Greater Toronto Area and $80 million on the province of Ontario each year. For the past two consecutive fairs, the CNE has been awarded Eco Logo certification, confirming it as the "greenest" fair in North America, and the most "environmentally friendly" large scale event on the continent. For further information, visit


About Exhibition Place
Exhibition Place is Canada’s largest entertainment venue, attracting over 5.3 million visitors a year. The 192-acre site is an integral component of Toronto and Ontario’s economy, particularly with respect to conventions, sport, festivals, recreation, culture and tourism. Located at Exhibition Place is the award-winning Direct Energy Centre, Canada’s largest exhibition and convention centre, and Allstream Centre conference venue which is targeting LEED Silver certification. Since 2004, Exhibition Place has undertaken an environmental stewardship initiative, entitled GREENSmart; which includes the promotion of sustainable development, environmental initiatives and leading edge green technologies and practices across the site. Our environmental initiatives have resulted in award winning recognition across North America, such as the Platinum Waste Minimization Award from the Recycling Council of Canada and have established Exhibition Place as a world leader in energy-efficient technologies.



Dianne Young
CEO, Exhibition Place

Brian Ashton
President, CNEA