Brandon Royal Winter Fair underway

It started as a horse and cattle show. That was 93 years ago. These days the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is a lot more. It has grown into one of the largest events in Southwestern Manitoba.

Bandit the German Shepard is a superstar. Part of an exhibit profiling national and local dog obedience schools. It's a popular event that attracts lots of people to the fair.

The birds of prey show is another crowd pleaser. While the birds swoop around the room, James Cowan explains how important they are to a healthy environment.

There's another group trying to get out its message here. An animal of a different sort. One that hopes to swoop down on Canadian voters.

The newly created Canadian Alliance party also has a booth at the Brandon Winter Fair. It's predecessor, the Reform party, counted on rural support. Now it hopes to use the fair to do the same.

Brian Chicoine buys space here every year for the same reason. He says it's all about promotion.

He's raising lowline cattle. They're half the size of other cows and easier to take care of.

"Nobody ever heard of them, so if you don't promote them and get out there, nobody knows what they are, so there's no resale if you don't promote."

More than 100-thousand people attend this fair each year.