Trade Show getting too big for arena
New technology and pony rides top list of attractions this year

by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services

NNSL (May 09/97) - The spring trade show is bustin' out this year.

An overwhelming response has resulted in 116 inside exhibitors and eight outside so far, says Cheryl Best, executive director of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce.

The 15th annual trade show is open to the public this weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Yellowknife's community arena.

Last year the chamber said it might expand its boundaries due to a waiting list. There was a waiting list again this year as well. The top bleachers of the arena will also have booths this year, says Best.

Evan Quenneville is co-ordinating the event for the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce.

What's new this year is an outdoor pony ride for kids and a two-minute free satellite call to anywhere in the world is offered at one of the booths, he says. New technology figures bigger this

And new and old chamber members as well as non-members are packing the rafters.

Business people, some who've been in the trade show since 1985 like Arctic Art Gallery, will be on hand, he adds.

Free carnations will be distributed on Mothers' Day, Sunday to mothers and there's well over 100 prizes, Quenneville adds.

A model of the HMCS Yellowknife ship will also be on display, and Kingland Ford will have about a half dozen 1998 vehicles on display, Quenneville says.

For those who've never been to the show, it's a festive atmosphere normally jam-packed with people.

Last year about 7,000 people attended the two-day show.

Admission is $2 per person and children under 12 can attend for free when accompanied by an adult.

Outdoor show planned for next year's trade show

Yellowknife's spring trade show has gotten so big that organizers are planning to hold dual shows next year.

The plan is to put together an outdoor exhibition.

Cheryl Best, executive director of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, said that this year's show was sold out in February.

"We've been sold out every year, and this year, we sold out in February," she said. "We're thinking we may have to start another show. It would be an outdoor show."

While they are in the planning stages, Best said that some kind of dual show is a go for next year.

"So watch for that," she said. "There are no dates set, but it's definitely on the books."

Sandra Stirling, owner of Overlander Sports, said that the idea of a dual-show may work.

"I have mixed feelings on if it would work," she said. "It could be a good thing or it could be a bad thing."

Stirling said that the recent boat show didn't seem to have a big turnout, and wouldn't want to see so many different attractions happening at the same time to decrease the crowds for the spring show.

"Everyone would have to participate," she said.