Skip to content

New Life Outdoors Show coming to Clifford 'not just a boys' club'

Planned for the first weekend in May, the Clifford Life Outdoors Show will feature several outdoor activities with a focus on fishing, camping, hunting and cottage life

CLIFFORD –  Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice – a new event celebrating the great outdoors is taking over the Clifford Arena this spring. 

The Clifford Life Outdoors Show was created after brainstorming sessions between local businesses and the event organizer, Sarah McGoldrick determined an outdoor show would be a good option to help visitors and locals explore what the town and Minto have to offer.

Hosting up to 50 vendors with guest speakers and demonstrations talking all things outdoor living, the event will take place both inside and outside the arena during the first May weekend.

"We understand there's not a lot of retail here per se. But that doesn't mean there's no reason not to come here," said McGoldrick, who owns the Clifford Country Store. She believes it's the first of its kind in the area.

"(We wanted to create an event) to get people to come because in small towns like ours, where you blink and miss them, you've got to give people a reason to stop."

A combination of the Cottage Life Show in Toronto and the Niagara Outdoor Show, McGoldrick said the Clifford Life Outdoors Show is intended to encompass all of the outdoor activities with a focus on fishing, camping, hunting and cottage life but on a smaller scale. 

The event will also explore the increasing popularity of homesteading as McGoldrick has noticed more people, particularly millennials, trying it out to escape the craziness of the city.

"There's all these new interpretations of what outdoor life means, it's not just a boys' club anymore," said McGoldrick. "We want to make this event as inclusive as possible and show how people are getting outdoors in different's not just sitting outside by a stream fishing for six hours while the wife's at home." 

Having just learned to fish this year, while McGoldrick is new to the outdoors lifestyle she's hoping the event will provide both novice and seasoned outdoor enthusiasts from across the county a hub to share ideas and develop new skills while checking out the latest gear and promoting Minto tourism. 

"Most people get home from work, shut the door, turn on the TV and that's it. They might come out long enough to run to the convenience store or whatever, but they're not even participating in what's going on in their towns," said McGoldrick. "I would like to see that change." 

Minto council recently supported McGoldrick's request to waive rental fees for the arena during the event, calling the show a "fantastic" idea.

"Our facilities very often sit empty on the weekends and we've donated them before," said Mayor Dave Turton, during the meeting. "We have a bunch of volunteers in Clifford coming forward that want to get something new going and when we have volunteers wanting to do that, that's an excellent time to support them."

Still in the development stage, McGoldrick said the show has about a dozen vendors on board already but has no doubt they'll hit capacity by the spring as the event continues to grow. 

All event proceeds will be donated to the Clifford Rotary Club for "community betterment."

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program.

About the Author: Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isabel Buckmaster covers Wellington County under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
Read more