Markham Fair is the registered trade name of the Markham and East York Agricultural Society, which is a not for profit Corporation formed under the Agricultural Societies Act of the Province of Ontario. The Society operates and owns the property and buildings situated at the north-east corner of McCowan Road and Elgin Mills Rd E., Markham, Ontario.
The Mission of the Society is to encourage an awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community by:
As an Ontario Corporation the Society is governed by a Board of 24 Directors of which six nominated candidates are elected at each annual meeting for a three-year period and six junior directors (18 years of age and under 26) are elected for one year. Directors are elected by all members attending the annual meeting. The President (Chair) and two vice-presidents are elected from among the directors at a meeting following the annual meeting. The General Manager/Secretary/Treasurer is also appointed at this meeting.
There are over 800 volunteers involved with the operations, who fill the board seats and form some 75 committees, who share administrative duties and the Fair operating procedures.
The earliest date that has been confirmed for the original Society appeared in the 1844 edition of The British American Cultivator, which stated that The Township of Markham Agricultural Society had been formed with William Armstrong – President, David Reesor- Secretary, and George Hunter-Treasurer, with two vice-presidents and 20 directors, (two elected from each Concession).
The earliest recorded Fair held in Markham was in 1857 at the fairgrounds then located on the South East corner of the junction of Highways 7 and 48.
In 1977 the Fair relocated to its current site where the four-day fair is held annually on the weekend preceding the Canadian Thanksgiving.