Stampede board, financially secure and looking to expand

With an ever-increasing number of visitors attending the Ponoka Stampede each year, the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association

With an ever-increasing number of visitors attending the Ponoka Stampede each year, the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association has gained an even stronger financial position from where they were sitting at last year’s annual general meeting.

At the meeting, held Oct. 31, members of the association were told assets and profits were both up from last year. “Overall the association is in a pretty good financial position,” said accountant Gord Parker of Rowland, Parker and Associates.

The total assets grew from $5,771,995 to $5,933,845 and the association’s liabilities are at $349,000, which is down $120,000 from last year. “So basically the net assets, or the equity component, is up approximately $315,000,” said Parker.

Total profit landed at $315,000, up $20,000 from last year. “It’s a good result and the Stampede board members, all the volunteers and everyone that contributes to it should be proud that they’ve been able to raise that much money,” said Parker.

This was the first year the annual Jace Harty Memorial Bull Riding ran under the Stampede’s umbrella, which added approximately $100,00 to the Stampede’s gross revenue. The memorial also added an $80,000 increase to the association’s direct costs.

With their stronghold of resources, the association is planning on making the Ponoka Stampede “not just bigger, but better,” said President Joe Dodds.

The two headlining concerts are already being planned and director Blaine Vold is working on bringing in other entertainment acts as well. “They won’t be seen anywhere in Canada before,” said Dodds.

For now the specific plans are being held until closer to the Stampede to grow the surprise element.

West Coast Amusements are also returning and bringing new rides and attractions.

The Ponoka Stampede is delving further into the digital world by adding a redesigned website, expected to be up and running by January, and well maintained Facebook page to their repertoire. “The way society is, social media is very important to the Ponoka Stampede,” said Dodds.

The Jace Harty Memorial is retuning as part of the lineup, as well as the final night of showdowns. “That’s a very positive thing,” said Dodds, who knows the highlights and sponsors the showdown attracts is crucial to the Stampede.

“I’m really looking forward to the next year,” he added.

Dodds isn’t the only one seeing a bright future. Newly elected mayor Rick Bonnett is also excited to see continual growth, both with the Stampede and, in conjunction with other areas of the town.

“With the new council and new mayor, it’s a whole new era of change and the way that we want to operate,” said Bonnett.

“You guys bring a ton of people into this town and you do a great job of putting on a great, great stampede. You do a great job for the Town of Ponoka and it’s the Town of Ponoka and the rest of us that need to step up,” he added.

Bonnett is looking forward to working with the board members to drive interest in the town. “You guys are going to play a big part and we’re going to be coming to you a little bit and asking for some help back and forth, just to round up some troops.”

Past president Rick Wierzba announced the election of officers and Gary Harbin, Greg Gordon, Don Hart, Blake Butterfield, Dale Olsen, Jason Cline and Jim Harbidge were appointed directors for a three-year term.