Alpacas win hearts at The Royal

TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Two breeds of alpaca got a lot of attention this week as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter's Fair Education Centres. Each breed is used for different fibre applications. The Suri breed is soft and most often used for fabric. The other breed, Huacaya, is processed for hand-knitting yarn or duvets. Besides learning about the doe-eyed animals, visitors are able to purchase alpaca products from several vendors.

When asked why she began raising alpacas, breeder Fiona Hunter of St. Catherines said, "I'm allergic to every other animal and alpacas are hypo-allergenic. I just wanted to have animals so these are the best to have." Her company, Pelham Alpacas, sells fabric made using the fibre from her white Suri alpacas.

"This is my third year coming to The Royal to volunteer in the Alpaca booth," Hunter continues. "I just love talking about alpacas!"

In the Northern Ontario Pavilion, Denise Martel of Meadowview Alpaca Farm in Bruce Mines is also happy to talk about alpacas. She is one of several exhibitors from the north with alpaca fibre or products for sale. "Alpaca is seven or eight times warmer than sheep's wool; it's the warmest fibre," she says. Besides being "really great," she adds that coming to the Fair gives her an opportunity to meet other breeders from southern Ontario and to show her products.

Detailed information about alpacas is shared daily at The Royal's education centre, which also features demonstrations explaining goat and cattle milking, and sheep shearing. Hunter hosts the alpaca demonstration where she talks about the animals, the difference between the breeds and the many uses for the fibre.

The Royal is supported in part by the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world's largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show. This year, the 93rd Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs November 6-15, 2015 at Exhibition Place, Toronto. For competition schedules, live webcasting, results and to purchase tickets, please visit

SOURCE Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

Image with caption: "Fiona Hunter and alpaca. (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)". Image available at:

For further information: Karen Poncelet, Marketing Communications and Community Relations Mgr, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, 39 Manitoba Drive, Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3, Direct: 416-263-3411 Fax: 416-263-3488


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