A long-standing – and much missed – Cloverdale Rodeo tradition is being revived this weekend with a “Rodeo Month” kick off dance, featuring rising country music sensation the Chris Buck Band.
Proceeds from the May 2 Kickoff Dance, 7 p.m. at Shannon Hall on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds will support the newly-founded Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation.
The foundation provides high school scholarships and assists youth seeking to better their community through projects and initiatives.
Cloverdale’s Rick Hugh chairs the foundation’s scholarship committee and sits on the foundation’s advisory board.
Hugh says he remembers the dance was traditionally sponsored by the Cloverdale Board of Trade (now known as the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce), and was held on the first weekend of May, leading up to the rodeo and country fair on the May long weekend.
“It was an opportunity for folks to get together in anticipation of the upcoming rodeo and fair,” Hugh said. “Often times, the entertainment for the night was provided by local musician Vic Pierce and his sons Shane, Kelly and Jodi.”
This Saturday’s dance – hosted by the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair – is presented in the spirit of rekindling some of that excitement, in hopes of starting off the month in celebration leading up to the May 15-19 event, which draws tens of thousands to the fairgrounds.
The Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation is offering three, $1,000 scholarships.
Youth volunteers in Grade 12 are invited to apply. It’s open to past and present student volunteers of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair who are in their graduation year.
The scholarship is based on participation with the rodeo and fair, community involvement, academic performance and demonstration of leadership qualities.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, May 20. Application forms are available online at www.cloverdalerodeo.com.
Puneet Kaur Sidhu of Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary and Ariene Dol Cabantog of Johnston Heights Secondary schools were awarded scholarships last year.
Hugh, who grew up in Cloverdale, remembers another fond tradition – street entertainment and street dance along 176 Street in the lead-up to the Cloverdale Rodeo, usually after the bed races on Thursday night. Bands would often perform on a flat deck truck, and the whole street would be blocked off.
“A popular band over the years was Elmer Tippe (father of entertainer Rick Tippe) and his band Super Country,” he says.
The Chris Buck Band was named the B.C. Country Music Association’s 2014 country club act of the year. Fronted by Chris Buck, who got his start as a performer and songwriter at 13, after he lost his “best buddy” to cancer, eventually forming a cover band. Buck, meanwhile, began writing and playing guitar every day. Eventually, the band became one of the busiest bands in B.C., starting to perform its own compositions. In 2014, the band released its debut album, Buck Wild.
Tickets are $20 each (ages 19 and up) and are available at the Rodeo office, 604-576-9461. More details are available on the website www.cloverdalerodeo.com.