The Shawville Fair – the heart of the Pontiac

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Pontiac Perspective by Peter Gauthier


Pontiac Perspective by Peter Gauthier

The basis of a community is a sense of fellowship with others. This is most strongly displayed in community events, where all residents join together and participate in activities of common interest. For Shawville and the Pontiac, there is no greater community event than the annual Shawville Fair; it offers residents of the surrounding areas and visitors an opportunity to come together and enjoy what is great about our corner of western Québec.
The Shawville Fair has become a meeting place for the whole community. Everyone is invited. Families can enjoy the rides, be entertained by national and international performers, and participate in many activities. Perhaps of even greater importance, are the displays that show the many local products and produce available to residents. Of course, the heart of the Fair is the agricultural “competitions” where local farmers display and judge the quality of the products they produce or raise. Here future farmers have the opportunity to display their commitment to the land and their community.
Fun, festivity and companionship are the order for the days of the Fair. Truly, the Fair is a display of the heart and soul of the Pontiac. It is a marvellous way of making real sense of our community and its values, traditions and potential and putting it ondisplay to others from outside the region.
And in many ways, the Fair leaves its mark on our area and its residents. Prior to the event, people look forward to, and anticipate the many events and activities that will be offered, and during the Fair, all are active participants in the many activities. Afterword, memories are shared and appreciated. 
This seems to be an awful lot for one event, but the reality is this: there is only one event in the Pontiac that is on this scale, only one event that is focused on the entire community of our region. As such, the Shawville Fair becomes the event that embodies the community of the Pontiac. It is also a seasonal marker, a transition from summer to fall, a reminder of our changing seasons.
As we enjoy ourselves at the Fair again this year, let us remind ourselves of the importance of community. For here, at the Shawville Fair, we find a unique and complete expression of what the Pontiac is.