By Mark McMillan
What started out 16 years ago, as a fundraiser for an injured cowboy, has turned into one of the most popular events in the South Cariboo.
Organizers say the 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert went over so well when they did that one for Danny Lytton in 2000, that they figured they’d carry on. They now use it as not only a fundraiser, but as a “preview” for the Kamloops Cowboy Festival, which is held annually on the third weekend in March.
It’s held a little over a month ahead of the Kamloops Festival and usually features entertainers who will be at, or at least have been at, the Kamloops Festival.
Gary Fjellgaard will be performing for the upcoming 17th Annual 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert at Martin Exeter Hall on Feb. 11. Gary is so popular and so busy touring, we’re lucky to get him, especially since he’s donating his time.
He’s a great supporter of the BC Cowboy Heritage Society and what they do, including both the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame and the five annual BCCHS Student Scholarships that the proceeds from this concert support.
Joining him will be the well-known Ed Wahl, a Vancouver city shipwright, who is an amazing singer and guitar player. Folks may have heard Ed at the 108 Canada Day celebration, the Barkerville Drover Day weekend, Cariboo Country Night, or at past 100 Mile Cowboy Concerts, as well as regularly at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival.
For years, he’s been known for his country music, usually at dances and events in the Lower Mainland, and more recently for his cowboy music.
Now, a cowboy concert wouldn’t be what it is unless there was some cowboy poetry in the mix.
This year Emily Ireland will join the show reciting her original cowboy poetry. Emily won the Spirit of the West Rising Star Showcase last year at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival.
At the time, she hailed from Abbotsford where she worked for well known horse trainer Cayley Wilson. Since then, and after winning the showcase with her poetry writing, she’s decided to move back to Alberta and go back to school … to take up writing for a career.
This concert became so popular over the years that organizers had to either add a second night or do two shows in the same day. It was decided a 2 p.m. matinee performance would be added to the 7 p.m. show.
This gives people from out of town, or folks that don’t like driving at night, a chance to see the concert – and the last few years the matinee has been the most popular.
Another main reason for the concert’s success is the ongoing support of its sponsors. There are a lot of very supportive and continuous sponsors – they’re listed on the concert page at www.bcchs.com.
One of the best things about this annual concert is tickets are only $15 each. Where else can you get three hours of awesome entertainment for $15?
Tickets can be found in 100 Mile at PMT Professional Chartered Accountants LLP, 100 Mile Feed & Ranch Supply and Work n Play. In Williams Lake, PMT Professional Chartered Accountants has them. For more information on the concert, phone toll free: 1-888-763-2221.