What to See & Do in the Capital
Photo courtesy of DesignPics Inc/Corey Hochachka: Northlands
Photo Illustration Tanner Young Publishing
During November in Edmonton, 14 champions will be crowned. There’ll be “lucky 13” new title holders in the rodeo arena and, later, a little ol’ football game called the Grey Cup will be played on frozen turf. I’m glad the cowboys have central heating — they don’t wear much for padding.
From Friday, Nov. 5, through Sunday, Nov. 14, Edmonton will be transformed into a cowboy’s Silver City. Alberta’s capital will enjoy not only a sea of good hats and a cattle drive through downtown, but for 10 days there’ll be more hard-won silver buckles, chromed-up trucks and luxury horse trailers than anywhere else in Canada — heck, maybe even the whole world! You’ll need a place to lay your head during the 10 days of whoop-up, and we’d like to recommend some hotels.
The Comfort Inn West Edmonton is a popular home away from home as they offer many free amenities. Plus, if you travel with your dog, it’s welcome, too! Another recommended hotel is the Union Bank Inn, which offers designer guest rooms and full complimentary breakfast plus daily wine and cheese delivery. There’s also the popular Holiday Inn Express Edmonton Downtown, with its clean, comfortable rooms, many free amenities and close proximity to all the downtown action.Now that we’ve got you squared away, here’s a rundown of some of the action:
River City Roundup
City meets country as Edmonton and visitors alike let loose to celebrate our frontier heritage during Canadian Finals Rodeo and Farmfair International. “Be Seen in Jeans” is strongly encouraged! Here’s a selection of planned events:
Chili Cook Off, noon
With proceeds going to charity, the Chili Cook Off is a great way to sample some of the best hot and spicy dishes downtown has to offer.
Cattle Drive and ParadeDowntown 11 a.m.
Nothing says “the rodeo is in town” quite like driving a 100 head of Corriente steers through the downtown streets, followed by a barbecue in Churchill Square.
River City Roundup All Star Luncheon, Northlands
Crowning of 2011 Miss Rodeo Canada, plus the season-leader saddle presentations and Canadian country music entertainment.Farmfair — Two Days of Free Admission
To encourage everyone to come down and experience Edmonton’s 37th annual Farmfair International, as well as see the new Expo Centre and enjoy the shows, displays, competitions, clinics and of course, shopping,
Northlands will throw open the doors for two days of free admission on the first and last days of this year’s event — Friday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 14.
Visitors will be entertained, educated and engaged with beefed-up cattle shows and events, high-calibre equine sales, competitions and clinics. Also expect a variety of small and specialty livestock programs. Enjoy a wagonload of western excitement including stock dog trials, team penning competitions, Canada’s Greatest Horseman and of course, the Canadian Finals Rodeo.
The theme of 2010 Farmfair is Genuinely Western, and a new addition to this year’s event is Home Grown Alberta, featuring foods produced from all across Western Canada. Home Grown Alberta features a cooking stage with ongoing shows that show audience members how to prepare these foods, many of them grown right here in Alberta.
Construction on Edmonton’s new Expo Centre (on the site of the former AgriCom) is complete and the 522,000 square feet of space makes it the premiere exhibition venue in Western Canada. Inside, you’ll find Dodge City Western Trade and Christmas Show, the shop-til-you-drop destination that attracts thousands of people looking for that genuinely western gift. This is also the time to shop B-I-G! Each year, Foster’s Covered Wagons brings in a tremendous showcase of trailers that range from utility to luxury living quarters nicer than my house.
4-H Family Day
The Alberta 4-H program has partnered with Farmfair to deliver a full day of programming dedicated to rural youth and Section4-H’ers. 4-H Family Day will host a variety of events and activities for members and their families including beef and equine clinics, canine agility demonstrations, 4-H information sessions, guest speakers and a beef-judging workshop.
Happy 150th Birthday, Canadian Herefords
Farmfair hosts a wealth of livestock shows and sales, including small and specialty livestock and more than 1,000 head of cattle, which includes the National Angus, Limousin, Lowline and Maine Anjou Beef shows. A momentous feature this year is the 150th celebration of Canadian Herefords in Western Canada.
”Come By“ the Stock Dog Competition
See the top dog handlers and their best stock dogs compete Nov. 8 – 9 in a superb demonstration of stock handling. The trainers have perfected the skill of focusing their dog’s instinct to herd animals in a controlled manner. If you’ve never been you’ve got to go; it’s the most amazing demonstration of focused intensity any-where. (No A.D.D. here!)
Ridin’ and Shootin’
From Texas comes clinician Craig Cameron, who demonstrates complete horsemanship, from beginning to winning. Cameron dedicates himself to those who educate their horses by first educating themselves.
For even more bang, Annie Bianco Ellett will pull her pistols from her holsters for a demo on why she’s the champ. Ellett is the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) World Champion Cowgirl and Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) Overall World Champion.
For equine day clinics, Lindy Barron, from Claresholm, will be conducting pre-purchase clinics this year. She and her husband have bought, trained and sold many horses we see in the industry today.
The adage “no hoof, no horse” is true, and this year a hoof clinic will be facilitated by Brooks’ Ian Zoerb. His clinic starts from the top of the legs and go right down to the hooves, and how it all fits together. If you have a question for Ian, he’ll have an answer for you.
Heritage Ranch Rodeo
Nov. 7– 9
One of the fastest-growing sports in Canada, the top heritage ranches in Western Canada are loaded up and ready to compete in the 6th annual Heritage Ranch Rodeo.
An average of 16 teams from working ranches will compete in bronc riding, team doctoring, wild cow milking, team branding, a catch ’n saddle horse race, team sorting and working ranch horse competition. The “grandfather of rodeo” provides plenty of challenges for the team and excitement for the crowd.
To enter a team, each ranch must be a current working ranch. Last year’s champion was the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site of Longview, Alta., repped by working cowboys Kirk Thomson, Nolan Pharis, Cody Thomson and Clint Stokke. While no longer a working ranch, the Bar U is grandfathered into the competition as they competed in the city’s first Heritage Ranch Rodeo.
The winners take home beautiful prizes handcrafted by talented artisans, who create the awards for the victorious ranches. They also showcase their handiwork in an artisan display area only for the duration of the Heritage Ranch Rodeo, so shop quick.
Nightly performances start at 7 p.m. for the pre-show and 7:30 p.m. for the ranch rodeo performance. Tickets required.
Growlin’ TummiesAn army, cowboys and kids all travel on their stomach, and whether you’re roving alone or with a posse, a classic eatery in Edmonton is The Old Spaghetti Factory. With two locations — one situated downtown and the other in West Edmonton Mall, comfort food is always close at hand. For a unique dining experience make reservations to feast at Japanese Village. It’s literally dinner-and-a-show as the cleaver-wielding chefs prepare your meal with pizzazz right in front of you.
Ca-Ching, Bling and Swing
Wanna try your luck? Then Casino Yellowhead and Casino Edmonton offer a wealth of games of chance, plus fine dining and nightly entertainment. Whether this is your first trip or your 37th, you’ve got to visit the famed West Edmonton Mall. More than 800 shops and services — plus the kids and grandkids will be well entertained! If you’d like to tip a cool one and hear some live tunes, Cook County Saloon is a jumpin’ cowboy hotspot offering live entertainment. Another popular place is the Wild West Saloon; they also bring in top-notch musicians so you can kick up your boots on the dance floor.
The Most Prestigious Rodeo in Canada
Canadian Finals Rodeo, Nov. 10 – 14
Six action-packed performances over five days at Rexall Place will thrill young andold alike, as the best rodeo athletes from Canada, the United States and the Land Down Under compete against the best bucking stock and the clock for the Canadian Championship titles — and more than $1.2 million in prize money. Combine that with thrilling acts, singing stars and the most incredible, heartfelt opening ceremonies for each performance and there is no doubt you’re at the CFR — the most prestigious rodeo in Canada.
You’re Their Kind of People
This is something you won’t read in every magazine, but here at Canadian Cowboy we’re a bit different. We’d like to thank all of our advertisers who chose to showcase their wares with us because you are their kind of people — and we’d like to thank you for continuing to make Canadian Cowboy Country Canada’s leading western culture magazine. Be sure to stop by our booth located in the Western Art section of Dodge City during the CFR!