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UPDATE: Funding request to fix up Falkland Stampede grounds approved

Community association applies for, and will receive, almost $470,000 to upgrade and fix the grounds
The Falkland and District Community Association has been granted nearly $470,000 in funding from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District for upgrades and repairs to the Falkland Stampede grounds. (Morning Star - file photo)

UPDATE: THURSDAY, JAN. 18 10:37 a.m.: Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors unanimously approved the Falkland and District Community Association’s (FDCA) request for nearly $470,000 in funding to help upgrade the Stampede Grounds. Directors approved the request at their regular meeting Thursday morning, Jan. 18.

“I’m ecstatic,” said CSRD Area D Falkland director Dean Trumbley, who was approached prior to Christmas by the FDCA about Interior Health concerns and some repair components that could have affected the 2024 Falkland Stampede.

“CSRD staff immediately jumped into action upon my requests and the FDCA board worked really hard over the holidays to get something to me,” said Trumbley. “To get something like that, that is so important to our community, approved and guaranteeing the future of the stampede is beyond exciting for me. Super happy for the community.”

Trumbley said the repairs and upgrades will be done prior to the 2024 Stampede May 18-20.

Further updated with Trumbley comments at 11:53 a.m. Jan. 18


Falkland’s hallowed Stampede Grounds could be getting some much-needed upgrades.

The Falkland and District Community Association (FDCA) has applied to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District for nearly $470,000 in funding. The association – founded in June 1925 – is prepared to commit to contributing nearly $100,000 of in-kind and labour support to help achieve upgrades to make the grounds safer, more accessible and bring wiring up to code.

“Over the years the grounds have had many upgrades but our grandstands, fence and concession booths have suffered many years of use, wear and tear, and weather,” wrote the FDCA in its request to the CSRD board. “With most of the work being needed all at once we do not have the funds to fix these much needed assets.”

Among the items listed in the project’s scope:

• Wood fencing along Highway 97 replaced. The current fence was erected in the 1960s;

• While electrical services inside the grounds have been changed and updated several times, old wiring and services still exist. The association wants to remove the old wiring and upgrade to current wiring and services inside the grounds;

• Railings on the lower grandstands and announcer’s booth do not meet code, and rotting wood on the stairs and ramps need to be replaced. The FDCA also wants to add accessibility features;

• The association will remove one of the current concession booths permanently. One will be decommissioned and used for storage, and one booth is too old to repair. The plan calls for demolishing the current booth and rebuild a new facility that can be certified by Interior Health and used by local groups for fundraising during events;

• One of the covered grandstands has to be taken down due to age, resulting in the loss of valuable seating for events. The association would like to add a roof to the current stand to help make up for the loss of the covered seating.

Volunteers throughout the years have built the grandstands, announcer’s booth, concession stands, and many other structures.

“The Stampede grounds are used not just for rodeo but also local community events such as Canada Day Celebrations, family events, car shows, farmers markets, weddings, music festivals and much more,” said the FDCA.

“It is also a sense of pride to the settling families, some of whom are still in the community today, but also to the former and existing community members and its neighbors who have long used these grounds as part of their upbringing and connection with their community.”

CSRD staff is recommending approval of the funding request to a maximum of $466,543.

The Falkland Stampede is one of Canada’s oldest rodeos, held on the May long weekend of each year. The 2023 rodeo was the 103rd event.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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