The Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society has been in existence for more than one hundred years, its origins older than the province of Alberta itself.
As the years and generations have come and gone, the social and economic development of both the MRAS and our surrounding community have remained intertwined through a shared history as well as programs and services built from the grassroots out.
Our non-profit Society has flourished and grown through the last century because we have always taken pride in providing programs and facilities for the young people in our community, many of whom have parents, grandparents and great grandparents who had served faithfully as members and volunteers in earlier eras, setting an example for the next generation to follow.
We rely on more than 300 members and over 300 volunteers to ensure that tradition of giving back to the community preserves our three large historical events, the Races, the Fair and the Rodeo while the summer Millarville Farmers’ Market and the Millarville Christmas Market in November are also important platforms in preserving our agricultural heritage.
As a Society, we know we have much to do if we hope to remain relevant in our community into the next century, particularly while continuing to embrace the traditions and values of our Founders.
Our vision is one that could have been written in those opening moments in 1905, when we say we want to be “an organization in which all members take pride and ownership in a self-sustaining, progressive and dynamic centre for the community, that preserves its history, traditions and natural environment to promote rural and agricultural experiences in a welcoming and co-operative manner.”
The facilities at MRAS have grown to become important focal points for community user groups but continue to bear the weight of more than 100,000 people who pass through our gates and use our facilities in a typical year.
We will be looking to upgrade our facilities and programming on a continual bases to meet our bold vision but will need the same spirit of commitment and cooperation we saw in the opening moments of our creation, when the newly formed Race Club bought the first land in 1905, when the Fair was formed in 1907 and when it all came together as the new MRAS with the Hall Association in 1951.
We urge you to come out and participate as a member or a volunteer or to simply have fun at our Markets and Events as we move forward into the next century.
Brent Foster, President, Millarville Racing & Agricultural Society, 2016
In the archives of the Glenbow Foundation a complete record can be found of the first meeting of the Millarville Race Club, dated May 1905. Three young fellows all had saddle horses of great renown and this would be the means by which they could settle who had the best horse flesh. Three weeks later they had a program in place and the first Millarville Race Meet was held on the 3rd of June 1905.
This year – July 1st will mark the 112th Running of the Millarville Races.
Another proud landmark event commenced two years later in 1907 with the introduction of the Priddis & Millarville Fair. In 1986 this unique one-day Fair was awarded the Canadian Association of Exhibition’s “Best Local Fair of the Year.” Every August we welcome over 6000 guests to our grounds and 2017 will be no exception when we celebrate 110 years of bringing our community together.
The Races and the Fair paved the way for the creation of five additional events hosted by MRAS:
For over a century the Millarville Racetrack & Agricultural Society has focused on bringing our community together through agriculture, education, activities and events. Our success lies with the generations of volunteers who dedicated themselves to this facility since 1905.
In 2014 the Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development implemented a new recognition program for agricultural societies that have been incorporated for 100 years or more. In 2015, MRAS proudly accepted this award of distinction at the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies (AAAS) annual convention in Edmonton.
This short account cannot capture the proud heritage and community spirit MRAS has provided to generations of families in Southern Alberta. We invite you to visit us and experience Western Hospitality at its finest.