A unique NFT called Finding the Balance, created for the CNE Canadian Polish artist Voitek Pendrak.

CNE Becomes the First Canadian Fair to Launch an NFT

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) has commissioned multi-media Canadian-Polish artist, Voitek Pendrak to create commemorative collectible that re-imagines an iconic archival image with pandemic timestamp, marking its first NFT.

The non-fungible token, or NFT, is called Finding the Balance, and its development makes CNE the first major fair in Canada to enter the metaverse artworld. Created from a digitalized iconic CNE image of a tightrope walker circa 1965, Toronto-based photographer and multimedia artist Pendrak was asked to revive the archival image to modern day relevancy by layering in the global symbol of the coronavirus on one scale, and a COVID-19 vaccine vial on the other scale. With an animated Canadian flag in the backdrop, the three-dimensional NFT speaks to the balance that Canadians must strike in this time of continued pandemic-related ambiguity and change, says the Exhibition.

A unique NFT called Finding the Balance, created for the CNE by Canadian Polish artist Voitek Pendrak.

Finding the Balance is now available for sale on Rarible. CNE fans can also bid on a limited edition NFT (release of 100) from the CNEA archives of Freddy Mercury in concert at the Bandshell in 1980. 

“The CNE has been sharing fine art with Canadians since its inception in 1879; and to be able to engage in a form of sharable art in the 21st century metaverse is a pioneering step for the CNE as we celebrate our storied past and readily embrace the future,” says CNE CEO, Darrell Brown. “Having broken ground with the soft launch of our first NFT in 2021, the release of Finding the Balance is a way for the CNE to re-connect back to its roots in the arts and simultaneously embrace creative innovation. This is only the beginning as we intend to pursue multiple forms of virtual entertainment as part of our overall programming and product offerings.” 

This year, CNE held its first large-scale in-person public event in two years. As part of its mandate to keep the health and safety of guests a top priority, the CNE has partnered with Toronto Public Health to host a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic during the Fair. The TPH COVID-19 pop-up vaccine clinic will resume from Wednesday, August 31 to Monday, September 5 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. inside the Enercare Centre Galleria (Hall D) to offer booster shots and vaccinations for adults and children aged five and older before back-to-school. 

Voitek Pendrak’s multi-media art has been seen and experienced by thousands of CNE visitors this year through the immersive art exhibition, A Trip through 103: Therapy for the Soul, inside Salon 103 of the Enercare Centre.  The exhibit is a sensory exploration that combines generative art projections, mixed with audio artworks and live performances.