The mid-August summer series rodeo held Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15 in Quesnel attracted hundreds of fans to the grandstands of the Gus Cameron Rodeo Arena and wouldn’t have been possible without sponsors, said Quesnel Rodeo Club sponsorship committee member Mel Petersen.
“It’s been tough economically for a lot of our local sponsors,” Petersen said.
“I knew the moral support was there but wasn’t sure if some of the corporate businesses, sponsors were with the ‘come and get on board as a sponsor’ this year, but it was very, very good.”
Multiple businesses had opened up their wallets to make the rodeo costing thousands of dollars to go ahead without a hitch.
Lhatko Dene Nation also stepped up to the plate and was the main sponsor with other First Nations such as Nazko providing support.
Without sponsorship, the two-day rodeo would not have happened Petersen said.
Three funding streams, including sponsorship, gate admission and contestant entry fees are what make a rodeo feasible.
Petersen said if any one of those three components are removed it is difficult to put a rodeo on.
It was several days before the club knew they would be able to welcome spectators for two days of action last month.
“We didn’t know we were going to have an audience until about ten days before our July rodeo,” Petersen said, noting the importance of young future rodeo stars being able to have a place to enter, compete and be acknowledged by the club while showcasing their efforts and dedication to the sport.
“Even if it cost the club money, all the club members committed to pony up ourselves, and the club will make up for the difference.”
From all reports he heard, Petersen said it had been a success.
This month will likely be no different, even though the club did not have enough time to organize to sell tickets.
Admission this year was by donation.
“We talked about it before how COVID-19 has hit some people financially hard, so a person who was in that situation we didn’t want them to say they can’t afford to go the rodeo,” Petersen said, adding they have always tried to keep admission costs to the family, community event as low as possible.
“It’s been a good turnout.”