First run in 1938, the Canungra Show is an important social event in the community and assists to bind the residents of the region together. It is seen by the Committee as a reflection of the community it strives to represent.
It is run and organised entirely by a small band of volunteers who work throughout the year to put together one day of entertainment for the community.
In 1938, a group of Canungra locals came together to form the Canungra Agricultural, Horticultural and Industrial Society with a common goal of holding the first Canungra Show. A 440-yard ring had been erected in 1937 and a combined sports and show day held on 5 November that year, however the first Show was so enthusiastically supported by the community that a pavilion was built, dressing shed upgraded and members of the community rallied to assist in the running of the Show. Arthur Caswell, the founding President, was instrumental in getting this first show up and running and he remained President of the Society until 1954.
In 1939 the Show was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II and Australia’s immediate involvement. Although the Show continued in 1940 and 1941, with profits shared between the Show Society and the Patriotic Funds, all Shows and sports were abandoned for the remainder of the war. In 1946, with the district beginning to recover from the ravages of the war years, another successful Show was held. Since then, the Shows have continued annually, although the events and entertainment have changed to reflect changes in the community.
Of course the Photography, Produce, Cookery, Art and Crafts displayed in the Fine Arts Pavilion remain a focal point of the Show. Competitors take great pride in their creations and these Sections are always well represented by the locals, giving people the opportunity to showcase talents which might otherwise be hidden at home!
A list of competitors and office bearers of the Show Society through the years reads as a ‘who’s who’ of the district. Families such as the Corcorans, Finches, Caswells, Lawlers, Bensteads, Mahonys, Bradfields, Moriartys and Lawsons, to name a few (please don’t be offended – we couldn’t list everyone!) have been instrumental in keeping this great Australian tradition alive in Canungra over the years. Today it is a mix of new families and representatives of the older families who run the Show Society.
In the early years of the Show, the Cattle Sections were well contested, however the main focus was on dairy cattle: AIS, Jersey and later Guernseys, Friesians, Ayrshires. The Stud Beef Cattle Section was introduced in 1982, abandoned in 1997, but reintroduced for the 60th Anniversary of the Show in 1998. It remains a competitive Section to this day.
The Horse Sections have increased with the growth of the region as an equine recreational hub. From miniatures to thoroughbreds, the Horse Sections are always popular and draw both local competitors and those from around South-East Queensland. In 2008, the Draught Horse and Plough Horse Categories have been phased out, replaced by a Heavy Horse Category but a myriad of breed classes have been introduced over the years including Appaloosas, Arabians, Friesians and Australian Stock Horses.
In 2014, the Fine Arts Pavilion (or ‘Possum Hut’ as it was affectionately known) was demolished due to white ants and for two years the Fine Arts were displayed in the Secretary’s Box. This meant the Fine Arts could not expand and entries were fitted into the limited space available in the Secretary’s Box.
In 2016, the Show expanded into neighbouring Moriarty Park, with camel rides, Flyball for dogs and vintage machinery and cars all new features of the Show. The Fine Arts were then able to be displayed in the light and spacious Moriarty Park Hall, showing them off to full advantage and enabling the Chief Steward to promote the section to the wider community once again.
We hope you enjoy the Canungra Show every year.
First Canungra Show
5 November 1938
Photography, Produce, Cookery, Art and Crafts
Cattle Sections, Horse Sections
Would you like to join the Canungra Show Society and help run our events?