Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage

May 05, 2010 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Kamloops Heritage Festival

KAMLOOPS, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 5, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament (Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo), today announced funding for the B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society.

This funding will support the 15th annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival, which is taking place from March 10 to 13, 2011. The festival celebrates cowboy culture and the ranching history of Canada with displays of poetry, visual arts, song, and a wide variety of music that includes western, blues, fiddle, and banjo genres. In addition, educational workshops cover topics and skills of cowboy heritage and culture, including yodeling, songwriting, saddle making, and ranch roping, as well as the promotion of visual and performing artists.

"Our Government recognizes the importance of celebrating our rich heritage and culture through events like this festival," said Minister Moore. "Our province's wealth of natural resources helped inspire generations of hard-working individuals, and this festival will help showcase their cultural contributions to the region."

"For the past 15 years, the Kamloops Cowboy Festival has provided residents with a wide variety of activities and cultural experiences," said Ms. McLeod. "This festival invites us to explore our history through contemporary interpretations of music, theatre, spoken word, and local celebrations."

"Our organization is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the music, poetry, and art of the Canadian West. We truly appreciate the support we receive from the Government of Canada," said Mike Puhallo, President of the B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society. "This support will be of great assistance in producing a world-class heritage event. A major theme of this year's festival will be the 200th anniversary of first contact and the evolution of the Indian Cowboy."

The B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society, incorporated in 1996, hosted the first festival of professional western arts in 1997. It has grown to include western heritage lecture series, school programs, writers' workshops, and performances at seniors' centres and elementary schools. The Kamloops Cowboy Festival is the Society's flagship event and has become the most prestigious event of its kind in Canada. The Society hosts a series of "Cowboy Concerts" in smaller communities and has a scholarship program that awards two $500 scholarships annually to two British Columbia post-secondary students for "the writer and artist best depicting the value of our western/cowboy heritage." The Society is also the founder of the Cowboy Hall of Fame, which is housed in the Museum of the Cariboo in Williams Lake.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $5,000 through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program gives Canadians increased access to the variety and richness of Canada's culture through professional arts festivals, presentations of live professional performances, and other artistic experiences.

(This news release is available on the Internet at under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
    and Official Languages
    Matthew Deacon - Press Secretary
    Canadian Heritage
    Western Region
    Perry Boldt
    A/Regional Manager - Communications
    Canadian Heritage
    Media Relations