Wellesley Fall Fair ambassador Amanda Lebold will be representing the township at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto this weekend.
In vying to become the Ontario Ambassador of the Fairs, she’ll be up against 60 other fair ambassadors from across the province. The winner will spend the next year as a representative of the CNE and touring Ontario’s agricultural fairs.
“I’m excited to represent the small town of Wellesley at the provincial level,” said Lebold in an interview. “I think that it’s an honour – I’m proud of where I live and feel absolutely honoured to represent the Wellesley North Easthope Agricultural Society in the big city of Toronto. I look forward to embracing every moment and just having a lot of fun.”
Now in its 48th year, the competition takes place August 16-18. Each contestant will have a five-minute interview in front of a panel of judges who evaluate community knowledge and involvement, CNE knowledge, agricultural background, along with personality, poise, and presentation.
Participants are also expected to deliver a one-minute speech on pre-selected topics. Lebold chose to prepare her speech on the topic of advancement of technology in agriculture. The top seven semi-finalists perform their speech again, and then the three finalists will answer an impromptu question, before a winner is ultimately crowned.
More than 3,000 contestants, male and female, from some 100 communities have participated in the competition since its inception. Aside from the title, there are many learning opportunities available for participants throughout the weekend, including public speaking workshops.
“One of the things I’m looking forward to is the ambassador workshops just because there’s lots of cool information at those,” said Lebold. “I want to soak up as much knowledge as I can when I’m there.”
Lebold says she has enjoyed her time as a Wellesley Fair ambassador since she was crowned at the 2018 Wellesley Fall Fair from among three hopefuls.
The role as a Wellesley Fair ambassador is an opportunity to immerse oneself in the community through event participation, including at the St. Clements Santa Claus Parade. The ambassador also represents the Wellesley North Easthope Agricultural Society at various outings such as the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies convention in February. There are also plenty of networking opportunities during their year holding the title.
Lebold said one task she particularly enjoyed was running the social media campaign for Wellesley Fall Fair ambassador and Wellesley Fall Fair Instagram pages, as it ties into her future education.
“During my time, I learned a lot more about myself, agriculture and my community. Overall, I think the program really gets you stepping out of your comfort zone,” said Lebold, on the experience. “I would consider it a leadership program – it helps with interview skills and just how to really represent yourself. It really gets you out there in the community.”
Lebold grew up on a dairy farm in Wellesley Township where she helped out her family with chores. She recently graduated from Waterloo Oxford District Secondary School and was involved in a variety of sports and programs, including soccer, volleyball, and field hockey. She also maintained a spot on the honour roll over the years.
“If someone would have told me five years ago that I would be the 2018/2019 ambassador, I really probably wouldn’t believe that in a second,” she said.
Lebold took the leap of faith participating in the local ambassador competition in 2018 after she was nominated by the 2017/2018 Wellesley fair ambassador, Katie Kniesel. Lebold will be attending Conestoga College in September for the advertising and marketing communications program.
The next ambassador will be named at this year’s Wellesley Fall Fair, which is scheduled for September 10-11.