2010 fair grounds
|Dates||10 days, ending
last weekend of July
|Location(s)||Northlands, Edmonton, Alberta
810,503 (record – 2005)
K-Days, formerly known as Klondike Days and Edmonton's Capital Ex, is an annual 10-day exhibition held in Edmonton, Alberta, usually near the end of July. In recent years it has attracted between 700,000 and 800,000 visitors each year. It runs in conjunction with A Taste of Edmonton and – from 2006 through 2012 – the Edmonton Indy.
The Edmonton Agricultural Society organized the first local exhibition on the original Fort Edmonton site on October 15, 1879. This was the first event of its kind ever held in what was then known as the North-West Territories. Edmonton's first fair showcased locally produced livestock, grain, vegetables, and handiwork and attracted 500 people. In 1893, the organization held the city's first spring exhibition, and in 1899, the exhibition grounds were relocated to Rossdale Flats (now Telus Field). The first parade to promote the fair was held in 1903. The fair did not organize a community parade in the 1930s and 1940s.
By 1904, the exhibition, ever gaining in popularity exceeded 20,000 attendees (5,200 on opening day) and relocated to its current site in Northlands in 1910. In 1912, it was extended to six days. It continued to be held through the First World War, even though the facilities were at the disposal of the Canadian Army. A similar arrangement was made during the Second World War, though this time with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
The exhibition brought about the name Klondike Days in 1962, with the theme revolving around the Klondike Gold Rush. The public embraced the theme with relish, dressing up in period costumes for the Klondike Days opening parade.
In 2004, Northlands Park celebrated the 125th anniversary of the fair exhibition. The Klondike Days Parade was also themed to commemorate the City of Edmonton's 100th anniversary in the same year. Fair attendance continued to climb upward, breaking the 800,000 attendance mark in 2005. However in 2006, attendance fell to 688,369, coinciding with the year that the name of the exhibition was changed to "Capital EX". Initially this was met with both protest and excitement from citizens. Some felt a name change was unnecessary, while others felt it was time to drop "traditional themes" citing that there was no longer an interest in dressing up in Klondike-themed clothing during the week-long exhibition.
Initially, Northlands decided not to release the 2008 attendance numbers due to an agreement with the Indy Racing League. However, Northlands revised their decision and released the attendance figures showing a total of 743,374 attendees, a drop of almost 30,000 from the previous year. In 2009 the attendance dropped again, by more than 25,000, to a total of 717,966, but rebounded again by 4% in 2010 to 747,660.
The fair was named the Edmonton Exhibition from its founding in 1879 until 1964, when it was renamed Klondike Days. The name change coincided with the introduction kitsch theme associated with the 1890s and the Klondike Gold Rush, which took place several hundreds of miles to the northwest, on the premise that Edmonton was a stopping point for prospectors headed to the Yukon Territory on the "all-Canadian overland route".
The name was changed to Capital EX, in 2006. There was some initial controversy over the change in name from Klondike Days, with many locals continuing to refer to the exhibition as Klondike Days or K-Days.
Ken Knowles, President of Northlands, explained that the rebranding “... was so much more than a name. It was about the programming and the opportunity to showcase the best of the region and the province”. The name change was recognized at the 2007 Alberta Tourism Awards, where Knowles stated “This recognition from the tourism industry is particularly gratifying as it reinforces our ongoing efforts through Capital EX to continue to celebrate our province and to build Alberta pride.”
Before the 2012 event, Northlands announced that the Capital Ex name would be retired, and a new name would be chosen by public vote. Event goers had six options to choose from, with K-Days being selected as the new name for the fair, announced on July 29, 2012.
K-Days begins 5 days after the Calgary Stampede, (4 days prior to 2009), making it end on the Sunday of July's last weekend.
- 2008: Thursday, July 17 to Saturday, July 26
- 2009: Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 26
- 2010: Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 1
- 2011: Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 31
- 2012: Friday, July 20 to Sunday, July 29
- 2013: Friday, July 19 to Sunday, July 28
- 2014: Friday, July 18 to Sunday, July 27
- 2015: Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 26
- 2016: Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 31
- Ellwand, Otiena (July 29, 2013). "Attendance at Edmonton’s K-Days one of the highest in recent years (poll)". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
- "General Information - Fair History" klondikedays.com February 5, 2005. Retrieved from Internet Archive on July 15, 2010.
- "Capital EX attendance up". Edmonton Sun. August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
- CBC.ca What's in a name? Capital EX less popular than Klondike Days – July 31, 2006
- "Capital EX attendance confidential". Edmonton Journal. 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- "Capital EX attendance figures released". Edmonton Journal. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
- "Capital EX attendance down from last year". Edmonton Journal. 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2009-07-27.[dead link]
- Travel Alberta 2007 Alberta Tourism Awards Announced – October 29, 2007.
- "Northlands shortlists 6 new names for Capital EX". CBC News. July 9, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
- "Capital EX — Name Your Fair". Retrieved July 29, 2012.
- "K-Days picked to replace Capital Ex". CBC News. July 29, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
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