The original Princess Louise Park Committee came into being in 1985 after the Town of Sussex had taken over the former DND property in the 1970s. At that time, the Chamber of Commerce was approached by the Town of Sussex to develop a plan for the area. The overall guidelines for the plan were that it was to become a center for agriculture, recreation, and culture. In 1987, the Fredericton-based engineering firm ADI Group Inc. was commissioned to develop a Comprehensive Development Plan for Princess Louise Park.
A part of that plan was to develop an area specifically for animal / livestock related activities. In 1998 the Princess Louise Park Show Centre Inc. was formed as a non-profit organization with the mandate to complete this project.
Assistance was received from the Town of Sussex, the New Brunswick Departments of Labour and Agriculture Fisheries and Aquaculture, ACOA, the BDP non-commercial program, Development Assistance Program, corporate and individual supporters, and countless hours of in-kind labour donated by Volunteers, the Town of Sussex, members of the Sussex Fire Department, RCMP, local service groups, and 4-H Clubs. The first barn was constructed in time to house the RCMP Musical Ride in the fall of 1999 and the center opened for business, with an open-air event arena, in June 2000.
Recognizing the physical and seasonal limitations of an outdoor arena, plans were made to implement a second phase for the project – enclosing the arena and adding other facilities and amenities to make the facility’s event season longer and to allow for optional uses. Construction began and the final facility was completed and ready for use in 2004 event season.
The effect was an immediate increase in event bookings and the season was extended to include the period from late April through to the end of October. Since first opening in 2000, the number of events more than doubled as of 2005. By 2007 the Show Centre had contributed over $10 million to the economy of the Sussex area and Kings County, New Brunswick.