Ed Hinkley.

Ed Hinkley.

Ed Hinkley: Fair minded

Chilliwack's Ed Hinkley, 35, as featured in The Chilliwack Progress Forty Under 40.

Ed Hinkley remembers walking the midway at the Chilliwack Fair as a youngster, recalling vividly the sights, sounds and the smells that made the annual event so special.

When he sees a child running through the crowd now with an ear-to-ear grin and cotton candy in hand, he sees himself.

“I remember putting my rabbit in the fair, putting projects in the fair, getting that blue ribbon that probably every kid in my age group got,” he said with a smile. “It was an experience for me and an inexpensive local outing for my parents.”

Hinkley is 35 years old now, and all this time the Chilliwack Fair has continued to hold a place in his heart.

Three years ago, he became a director, joining the 18-member group that organizes British Columbia’s second longest running fair (since 1873 and counting).

Two years ago Hinkley was elevated to the role of president, giving him the opportunity to push harder on some of his ideas.

Hinkley has watched Chilliwack change dramatically since he was a child, when the vast majority of the populace was tied into agriculture.

“Back in the day, 90 per cent of the population was in agriculture, and people were interested in it,” Hinkley estimated. “Now it’s maybe five per cent. Chilliwack was built on farming, but a lot of people living here now have absolutely no ties to agriculture. So we need things that appeal to their way of life.”

It’s not re-inventing so much as modernizing.

Hinkley wants to maintain the strong agricultural presence, but he also sees BMX and skateboarding displays, musical acts and roller derby.

He sees everyone in Chilliwack visiting the fair, as opposed to the 20,000 or so who do now (over three days).

“The big issue is with the community buy-in, because anything we try to bring to the fair costs money,” he said. “Getting city support with funds, or individual support with attendance and sponsorship, is key to getting the features and providing the shows that people want to watch.”

Hinkley works at it several hours a week, 52 weeks a year, trying to make his vision a reality.

Who can say for certain what the future holds. But if energy and dedication count for anything, the Chilliwack Fair is in very good hands.

 

Just Posted

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Syringes prepared with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Walk-ins welcome at upcoming G.W. Secondary vaccine clinic

Second consecutive Saturday Fraser Health has scheduled a same-day clinic in a Chilliwack school

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read