Stampede report shows continual growth

Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association (PSA) continues to be financially strong, its membership was told

Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association (PSA) continues to be financially strong, its membership was told at the annual general meeting to review financial statements and reorganize the executive.

Gord Parker of Rowland, Parker and Associates, presented members with a snapshot of the statement. He said the review engagement report, which is a step below an audit, gives a clean opinion. “Overall you’re still in a strong cash position, you have positive working capital and you have managed to reduce the bank debt.”

There are assets totalling $5.77 million in 2012 compared to $5.81 million in — the big difference is in the capital assets for the association, which donated land to the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS) with a value of $1.4 million.

Expenditures and revenue shows a loss of $72,814 for 2012 due to “donating a parcel of land to the ag event centre.” Income from operations was $296,611 in 2012 compared to $273,884 in 2011.

“So the operating income is comparable and actually has improved year over year,” said Parker.

He praised the association for being able to increase revenue after the 75th anniversary Ponoka Stampede in 2011. “It was a question all of us had going in was if it was going to be a one year spike, and it wasn’t.”

Parker explained how the Summer Send Off shows a loss of operations because of the Stampede board’s financial year-end date. The first concert began Sept. 1, 2011, which is also the first day of the board’s financial statements and is accounted for; the second Send Off started Aug. 31, 2012. The first day of the Send Off is in the current statement with the rest in next year’s.

“It also does report the first day, which would be Aug. 31, the Friday in this year,” he explained. “We had to do some wonderful cut-off work…in 2013 you will pick up days two and three of this year’s.”

He added the festival ran a loss of approximately $3,000. Revenue from the event shows ticket sales of $176,764 and beverage and liquor sales at $107,459. Total revenue is $377,374. Total expenses are at $380,330 with artists’ costs at $217,571.

Also on the agenda was the election of officers; the first position needed to be filled was president. Rick Wierzba completed his two-year term and vice-president Joe Dodds was nominated and elected into the position.

“I’ve sure enjoyed the support in the last two years,” said Wierzba. “The way everyone just kicked in has been fantastic.”

He feels the weather and the addition of the truck giveaway were some of the things that helped the Stampede run well.

Dodds congratulated Wierzba for his efforts. “First of all, I think we’d like to thank you Rick for being president. You’ve had two years, you’ve had your ups and downs; you had your dirt, you had outriders. You also pulled off a hell of a 75th and last year you set an all-time attendance (record).”

He also thanked the members for their support.

“I personally feel we can do anything we want to do, especially if we work together, which we will,” he said.

He believes the next two years will be a time to make the Ponoka Stampede grow.

Ken Krossa, organizer of the 13th Rodeo Challenge, which gives physically or mentally challenged children a chance to compete at the Stampede. He thanked the association for the support, “to remind all of you guys you’re part of something special.”

He read some letters of thanks from parents whose children competed.

Coun. Rick Bonnett and Coun. Izak van der Westhuizen were in attendance and Bonnett feels the association hosts an entertaining rodeo. “The town as a whole benefits more than the town realizes.”

Dodds is looking forward to what the future brings for the stampede. “I can’t wait to see 100,000 (ticket sales) during the stampede.”

He reiterated what every past president before him said, “What makes the Ponoka Stampede is the volunteers.”

Dodds wants to see attendance grow and prize money increase for cowboys.

It is the largest professional seven-day rodeo in Canada and one of the top 10 in the world, said Dodds. He would like to see that tradition continue.

Wierzba was proud to have taken on the president’s role during the 75th anniversary and despite the disappointment of changing to two chuckwagon outriders from four, he praised the association and volunteers for making it work. “It just happens, it’s a network from top to bottom of the board.”

Mike Stretch was elected vice-president for a two-year term, and Terry Jones, Greg Butterfield and Danny Jones were elected directors for three years.