Melanie ConsCanadian Farm News

Representatives of Chatham-Kent businesses and organizations gathered Wednesday evening at the Sons of Kent Brewing Company in Chatham for an Information Night for IPM 2018 Sponsors. They had been invited by local organizers of the 2018 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM 2018) and the Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) to learn about potential sponsorship opportunities. The massive public event will be held in Pain Court September 18-22and will showcase Chatham-Kent’s important agriculture, business and tourism sectors.

“We shared with potential sponsors the wide variety of exciting opportunities IPM 2018 offers to local companies and organizations to make their names known to people from across Ontario and beyond,” says Jamie McGrail, co-chair of the IPM 2018 Chatham-Kent Sponsorship Committee. “Many companies are sitting down with us to work out the details about how they can best promote their brands and serve our community all at the same time.”

A highlight of the evening was an announcement by Union Gas that it will contribute $25,000 to the event as a Gold-level sponsor.

Union Gas, one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for 2017, is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with over 100 years of experience and service to customers.

“An investment in IPM 2018 is an investment in the success of the event,” says IPM 2018 Co-chair Darrin Canniff. “That, in turn, is an investment in our community. We will be attracting a great many visitors to Chatham-Kent over five days and that’s good for local service providers and for business people to show their products and make new contacts. A conservative estimate puts the expected attendance at 80 thousand people,” says Canniff, “but some past matches have attracted many, many more people than that. I’m very optimistic!”

“Every match generates a substantial legacy fund that is reinvested in the host community,” adds Co-chair Leon Leclair. “The size of the fund depends on the success of the match, but we are talking about possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s great for Chatham-Kent!”

The IPM 2018 Sponsorship Committee invites anyone interested in being a sponsor to contact Jamie McGrail by e-mail at or telephone 519-352-9480, or RSVP to Deb Hawkins by e-mail at or telephone 519-401-4077.

The International Plowing Match is one of the largest outdoor agriculture and rural living events in North America.  IPM 2018 is organized by a Chatham-Kent committee of volunteers that includes in cooperation with the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, a non-profit organization who that works with local communities to host an event in a different Ontario location each year. IPM 2018 will see thousands of visitors, plowing competitions and a 100-acre Tented City featuring displays of life in Chatham-Kent, exhibitors’ products, agricultural education displays, and entertainment. An RV Park will provide approximately 1000 dedicated sites. For more information about IPM 2018, please visit