Western Workshops to Enhance Your Skills
Life may have been slower back in the day, but it wasn’t any easier for small business. Even silversmiths struggled to carve out a living.
Kelly McRae, owner and operator of McRae Silver in Pincher Creek Alta., remembers the industry as being close-lipped when she opened her doors for business 17 years ago. “People didn’t have access to information or other makers. They weren’t willing to share their knowledge and the skills weren’t being passed on,” she said.
Thankfully times are changing. The International Guild of Bit and Spur Makers recently introduced a new information-sharing direction aimed at welcoming new and existing artists to come together and learn new skills.
In February, McRae held such a workshop. The four-day Spur Makers workshop, a Canadian first, hosted Guild Stamp Holder and TCAA member, Russell Yates, from Rotan, Texas, and six other spur makers from Alberta and Saskatchewan. “It was great,” says Kelly. “We worked on a collective spur build for four days. Everyone came with a skill to share.”
This new direction is vital. “It will bring people to a whole new level of craftsmanship and ensure the skills are passed on. This is a huge step in the traditional western arts world.”
International Guild of Bit & Spur Makers
If you are interested in hosting or attending a cowboy artisan workshop, contact the International Guild of Bit & Spur Makers.
Aug 18?–?30, 2013
NimbleFingers Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Workshop
Workshop Directors: Craig Korth and Julie Kerr
The NimbleFingers Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Workshops offer two, one-week workshops to promote fun, non-competitive learning, group learning, electives, organized jam sessions, and many other spontaneous activities.
Sorrento, B.C., 1-877-321-3494, email@example.com, www.nimblefingers.ca
Jul 21?–?25, 2013, Jul 27?–?31, 2013
Camp Calvin Fiddle Camp
Fiddle, Piano, Guitar
Instructors include (founder) Hall of Fame fiddler Calvin Vollrath, many Grand Master Fiddlers, and renowned piano and guitar instructors. Instruction is offered in fiddle, piano and guitar with a variety of workshops held throughout the week. Students from the age of 8-80 take part each year at various levels.
St. Edouard, Alta. (About 2½ hours north of Edmonton Int’l Airport)
780-645-7748, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.campcalvin.ca
Working Cowboy Workshop
Instructors: Peter Gonnet and a range of working cowboys.
Learn some new tricks of the cowboy trade and perfect your working cowboy skills in roping, cattle handling, doctoring from horseback and more.
Hanley, Sask., 306-867-8906
Check website for dates
Cow Horse Clinics
Justabouta Ranch, established in 2003, is located on two sections of grasslands in Hanley, Saskatchewan and offers frequent working cow horse clinics at home and various locations throughout the year.
Dale Clearwater, Hanley, Sask., 306-544-2421, email@example.com, www.justaboutaranch.com
Kim Taylor Photography Workshop
Instructor: Kim Taylor
Multi-award-winning Western photographer Kim Taylor is offering unique photography workshops for the cowgirl — shooting from the back of your horse. Whether you get together a small group for a weekend at a guest ranch or gather a group for a workshop on your own ranch, Kim (and her horse) will join you for an enlightening and fun learning experience that covers exposure, natural light and composition.
403-949-2389, cell 403-519-9211, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oct 8?–?10, 2013
Elements of Design for Western Craftsmen
Instructors: Mark Drain and Chuck Stormes
Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA) and National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum presents a workshop instructed by TCAA silversmith Mark Drain and TCAA Saddle Maker Chuck Stormes. Topics will include: applications in layout, fabrication, engraving, scrolls, leather carving and more.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Okla., 405-478-2250, Ext. 277
May 31?–?Jun 2, 2013
Ladies Only Ranch Roping Clinic
Instructor: Keith Stewart
This 2½ day clinic focuses on classic ranch horsemanship and how ranch roping is applied to practical working situations. The clinic outline is designed to further a horses training and preparing it to do a job. Instruction includes dry rope and roping cattle. Riders do not need to have previous roping experience.
Key Ranch, High River, Alta., 403-395-3395