By Eraina Hooyer
The Town of Ponoka will get its 15 minutes of fame on television after a visit from Global Television’s Gord Steinke on June 27. The town was filmed for an episode of Your Town, a special feature that showcases different communities once a month.
Footage was shot of the Ponoka Stampede, the parade, stagecoach and filmed commentary from local members of the community including mayor Larry Henkelman, Blair Vold, owner of Vold Jones and Vold Auction Mart and Laura Wierzba, volunteer of the year and honorary president of the Ponoka Stampede.
Carey Keleman, economic development officer for the Town of Ponoka, feels that the coverage of the town will be helpful with its publicity around the province and the country.
“It’s a great promotion for Ponoka’s anchor event, the Ponoka Stampede,” said Keleman. “It will show how the community comes together to host a world class event.”
Steinke visits communities all over Alberta to show the people, places and interesting stories that each town takes pride in and brings these communities to life on televisions and computer screens across the province.
Brad Watson, chief administrative officer for the Town of Ponoka, was pleased that Steinke and his camera man came to the town and believes that Ponoka will benefit from this publicity.
“It’s an opportunity for outstanding exposure for Ponoka that will be aired at no cost and they do a very professional job” said Watson. “It’s 15 minutes of prime time TV that would normally cost a phenomenal amount of dollars from the community and Your Town will give Ponoka good quality exposure.”
Watson saw some of the filming take place at the Mile Long Parade and was told that with all the people that lined the sidewalks one would think that Ponoka was a much larger community.
Watson is looking forward to seeing the final result of the filming and feels that Ponoka will be well represented by this program.
“It’s an absolutely excellent way to get the message of Ponoka out there and show what our community is about,” said Watson. “It’s something that can say ‘come visit Ponoka’ or ‘come home to Ponoka’.”
Ponoka will be aired on Your Town at 6 p.m. on Aug. 6 on Global TV Edmonton. There are more opportunities to watch the program if you miss it by visiting http://www1.travelalberta.com/en-ab/index.cfm?PageID=2196. The Town will also be working to get the link up on their website at www.ponoka.org.
Your Town has been profiling communities since 2006 and Steinke has traveled to many rural Alberta towns to display each one’s ‘hidden gems’ and share the stories of these small communities that normally, people would not know about. For his work with this program Steinke has picked up two nominations from the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association for Your Town.