Canadian Olympic medalist Catriona Le May Doan will be this year’s Ponoka Stampede parade marshal. Skate Canada photo

Olympic champion Catriona Le May Doan to be Ponoka Stampede parade marshall

Stampede president Blair Vold updates Ponoka Chamber on new developments for 2018

Canadian Olympic speed skater, and Olympic medallist, Catriona Le May Doan will be this year’s Ponoka Stampede parade marshall.

With the 2018 Ponoka Stampede just over a month away, the Ponoka business community got an update on the 2018 edition of the rodeo.

Stampede president Blair Vold spoke to the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce May 15 at the Calnash Ag Event Centre.

“This year’s parade theme is focused on the 2019 Canada Winter Games (CWG) in Red Deer. We are proud to support this in a joint sponsorship with the Town of Ponoka,” he said, “And we are excited to have Catriona Le May Doan as our parade marshall.”

Vold added the hope is the partnership will help showcase the Stampede to a new audience, noting a strong contingent of CWG staff and sponsors will be entertained during the week-long rodeo. The hope is this could draw more sponsorship to the Stampede in the future.

“Ponoka is now among the top 10 richest rodeos in North America and is now the only Canadian stop on the U.S. Wrangler Pro Rodeo Tour,” he stated.

“Being able to offer that kind of prize money and keeping the tickets reasonably priced for families is really due to our sponsorships and we are very fortunate to have the support we do. Being able to enhance that sponsorship will help keep rodeo alive and will be a big part of what we do in the future.”

Vold noted a few of the highlights for this year include a new trick-riding show during the rodeo performances and country music superstar Trace Adkins’ concert to go along with a bigger field of rodeo competitors and a number of new chuckwagon drivers.

One item that won’t be back this year is the pre-Stampede bullriding showcase, with Vold explaining the event just wasn’t getting the support the Stampede board thought it would and that something like it may return in the future.

Stampede midway area being paved

Vold also spoke to the two big construction projects the Stampede has prioritized, the first of which is currently underway.

The midway area, that is also used for parking the rest of the year, is in the process of being paved while the recently announced new luxury suite grandstand construction won’t start until August.

“The new 16 suite grandstand will include a rooftop bar with a 360 degree view that will also be available for other events year-round,” he stated.

“It’s exciting, but it’s going to cost a lot, which is another reason more sponsorship money is important.”

The added capacity with the new grandstand will bring overall potential attendance for a single performance to over 10,000.

Chamber update

Chamber president Barry Grant noted the recent trade fair went well, with 30 per cent of floor filled with Chamber members while some of the new vendors helped with the positive growth of the event.

That said, some improvements are still needed as the curling rink attendance wasn’t as anticipated and the move to half-booths weren’t big enough for most vendors.

And, due to a conflict with Lacombe, the 2019 trade fair will run April 12 and 13 — two weeks earlier than usual.

In other news, the chamber is looking into setting up a speaker series featuring guests and topics of interest two or three times during the year. Grant stated this is in the planning stages with the hope of having the first session in September.


An update on the current and planned work for the Stampede grounds was part of the presentation from Stampede president Blair Vold, including the new luxury suite grandstand to be built in time for the 2019 edition. Image: Ponoka Stampede

Ponoka Stampede president Blair Vold spoke to Chamber members to update them on what is happening as well as to find out what more the Stampede can do to help them. File photo

Just Posted

Breaking: SuperNet provider Axia cannot guarantee continued service

Alberta’s health, schools, libraries, municipal governments at risk from delayed bidding

Highway 53 concerns being looked at

Speed zone change being contemplated, other issues will depend on who has jurisdiction

Court full as schools, parents dispute Alberta gay-straight alliance law

Justice Centre argues keeping parents out of the loop violates freedom of religion and expression

Research paper states low income earners hit hardest by dairy supply management

Canada’s poorest spend more of annual income on food staples than higher income earners

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

A look at what Canadian teams might do in the 1st round of the NHL draft

Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton in top 10 of upcoming draft

Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

Western lowland gorilla, 46, died in her sleep in California

Clearview and Wolf Creek school boards sign historic agreement

Partnership will help 2,000 high school students

Trudeau says he can’t imagine Trump damaging U.S. by imposing auto tariffs

New tariffs on Canadian autos entering the U.S. would amount to a self-inflicted wound on the U.S. economy

B.C. inmate gets 2 years in prison for assault on guard

Union rep said inmate sucker punched correctional officer, continued assault after officer fell

Temperature records broken across B.C., again

The first heat wave of the season went out with a bang across the province

Canada’s first national accessibility law tabled in Ottawa

The introduction of the Accessible Canada Act marked a key step towards greater inclusion

Police chief calls for mass casualty plan in Saskatchewan after Broncos crash

Former Saskatoon police chief Clive Weighill said the office was tasked with creating such a plan 13 years ago but none exists

Most Read