Rodeo Hall of Fame finds new home in Ponoka

  • Mar. 23, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Lester Gurnett

It makes complete sense. What will soon be one of the finest agricultural events centre in all of Canada will host the finest rodeoers the county has ever seen.

The Canadian Rodeo Historical Association (CRHA) and Ponoka Ag Event Centre (PAECS) Society reached an agreement that will see the Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame (CPRHF) find a new and permanent home in the new Ponoka Ag Event Centre.

The hall of fame, which was founded in 1979 during a gathering of rodeo alumni at the Canadian Finals, had been without a permanent home for several years. Board members for the (CPRHF) are pleased to have found a facility where their mission to ‘honor and distinguish outstanding contestants, animals and builders in the Canadian Rodeo Arena can be fulfilled.

“There are 157 Inductees and 18 Legends in the hall of fame,” said CPRHF president Lester Gurnett. “Some of the artifacts are currently being held in storage but most have not come forward due to the lack of a permanent facility. All hall of fame board members are in agreement that, because of its central location and rich rodeo and agricultural heritage, Ponoka is the perfect place to showcase the artifacts and recognize the history of pro rodeo in Canada.”

The hall of fame will be primarily located in the upper viewing area and will display the history of rodeo in the country using 3,000 to 4,000 square feet.

Charlie Cutforth, PAECS president, believes the centre is the perfect place for the hall of fame.

“We’re very excited to partner with the Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and we look forward to incorporating the hall of fame into the centre,” said Cutforth. “Having the artifacts present there will not only provide an additional attraction to users of the facility but will draw others to our community who intend to visit the hall of fame specifically. It will create a rich and warm atmosphere, provide educational opportunities for youth and it fits in nicely with our objective to build on Ponoka’s agriculture heritage.”

The centre is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2011 and planning is already underway to determine how the displays can be incorporated into the space.

“The Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame will work nicely on the second floor. Most of the displays will be set up along the perimeter and will be total movable to allow for versatility of the space. We intend the second floor to be used primarily for functions and educational opportunities; the hall of fame artifacts will enhance the experience for those who use the facility,” said Cutforth.

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