Skip to content

Innisfail Trade Show highlights future of energy

Town’s momentum on energy transition underscored with exhibits, series of speakers and even electric vehicles
Attendees at the final Innisfail Energy Hub workshop held on March 9. The town has become a provincial leader on the discussion of energy transition, and that will be underscored this coming weekend at the annual Innisfail & District Spring Trade Show through a series of speaker presentations and exhibits. Photo courtesy of the Town of Innisfail

INNISFAIL – The town’s full-throttle commitment to be an energy leader in the province takes centre stage this weekend at the annual Innisfail & District Spring Trade Show.

The two-day event at the Innisfail Twin Arena, which is sponsored by the Innisfail & District Chamber of Commerce, begins Friday, March 31 from 5 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. The trade show continues Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The trade show will feature more than 100 vendors, food trucks, children’s activities, and the best of the best when it comes to the future of energy.

“Developed as an initiative of the Innisfail Energy Hub (IEH), the focus area at the show will feature electric vehicles, exhibitors involved in energy production and transmission, and a series of speakers addressing a wide range of topics related to the future of energy,” said Ken Kowalchuk, communications coordinator for the Town of Innisfail and IEH participant.

He noted the IEH was formed in September of 2022 as a collaboration between the Town of Innisfail and the Energy Futures Lab (EFL), an Alberta-based coalition working to accelerate the transitions occurring in the energy system.

“This forum (trade show) gives us the opportunity to talk to people about the work we’ve been doing over the past year and about some of the changes happening in the energy system,” said Kowalchuk.

Representatives from the IEH will be available on the red surface at the Innisfail arena to talk with community members throughout the show.

“The town has been working diligently for the last year with the Energy Futures Lab around imagining what Innisfail’s future will look like as our sources of energy transition from our traditional ones of oil and gas to include geothermal, solar, electric and hydrogen,” said Coun. Janice Wing, town council’s representative on the board of the Innisfail chamber. “Being able to partner with the chamber relative to the trade show was logical because leadership from the chamber have been a part of the conversation relative to the energy transition all along.

“This is actually the first big public presentation of what this work has been about,” said Wing, adding she believes the energy transition issue has grabbed a credible foothold in the minds of Innisfailians. “It has and it's been surprising actually for all of us. We've got lots of businesses that are working on projects and products that are more carbon neutral and they are paying attention to their own production methods.”

Along with the dozens of business booths and exhibits, and a smokies on a bun offering by FortisAlberta, Sean Collins, chief executive officer of Varme Energy, will start with a Friday presentation beginning at 5:45 p.m. on his Edmonton-based company’s planned $175 million waste-to-energy plant.

Following a Servus Credit Union-sponsored pancake breakfast on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. the trade show will then have a full line-up of energy-based presentations.

At 11:30 a.m., Leanne Kubiseski, senior advisor for emerging customer solutions at FortisAlberta, will give a presentation on the company’s Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Pilot Program.

Electric vehicles will again be featured an hour later at 12:30 p.m. with representatives from Alberta Municipalities making a presentation entitled, ‘Myth Busting: The importance of understanding electric vehicle basics.’

At 1:15 p.m., Robert Bilton, president and chief executive officer of Bilton Welding and Manufacturing Ltd., will be making a presentation on Hydrogen and the Future of Energy.

His company recently announced its partnership with Canadian Pacific to develop ground-breaking hydrogen-powered locomotive engines, an energy transition project aimed at revolutionizing the rail transportation industry.

At 2:00 p.m. Eryn Beddoes, a project manager at Red Deer Polytechnic, will be presenting her institution’s journey towards becoming a net zero institution through its Green Campus Master Plan.

“All of the speakers are wonderful,” said Wing, adding the annual trade show has become a signature event for the town. “The trade show has always been a great community celebration where people have always enjoyed that very first event of spring. The format is a little bit different, but at the end of the day you will be able to see your favourite local businesses and catch up with your neighbours after another winter.”


Johnnie Bachusky

About the Author: Johnnie Bachusky

Read more