Art show adds to Stampede experience

There was no reason to be bored during breaks in the action at the Ponoka Stampede last week, thanks to the Art and Gift Show across the street.

By Adam Eisenbarth

There was no reason to be bored during breaks in the action at the Ponoka Stampede last week, thanks to the Art and Gift Show across the street.

“When people come (to Ponoka) for the duration of the rodeo, it’s definitely something they can come and check out during the day when they have nothing to do. I just think it adds onto the whole show,” says vendor Inge Sybrandi.

The doors of the arena were open July 2 to 4 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the show was busy throughout the week with 35 vendors displaying a variety of items.

“Thursday was incredibly busy because of Canada Day, but it’s been busy throughout, it’s been much better than last year.”

Lewis Reid has organized the show for several years and says it’s a perfect fit for the Stampede, right across the street from the main attraction.

“It works really well because so many people camp here and when the performances aren’t on, they want something to do so this gives them something to do. So it actually works really well.”

While it’s not officially a western-themed show, many of the booths are associated with the western feeling. From a variety of art, jewelry and other products, the displays covered a wide variety.

With most vendors returning every year, it’s evident the show is a hit among those looking to display their work.

“The vendors consider it a very good show. It’s a low key show, we don’t have long hours, it’s not stressful.”

Vendors aren’t the only ones who seem to enjoy the show however, as the show is a welcoming area for people to stop in and have a look.

“The patrons love it because they don’t have to pay to come and see us. It’s just a good situation for everybody.”

The show continues to grow both in buyers and sellers. It was a popular spot throughout the week.

“The people that come to see this show come back year after year and we always get good comments so it’s something they like and that’s what it’s all about.”

Don’t forget to check out the Art and Gift Show next year as part of the 75th Ponoka Stampede experience.