Manitoulin Rodeo committee spurred on by Island support

MANITOWANING—The second annual Manitoulin Rodeo in Manitowaning is scheduled for June 28 and 29, the closest weekend to Canada Day, and despite some setbacks with municipal support for funding backing, the committee is pushing ahead and counting on the patronage of the Island community to see this event successful.

“It’s disappointing to not have backing for funding for items that would be used for every community group, but at the end of the day the rodeo is based on the rodeo,” said Kyla Jansen, Manitoulin Rodeo chair.

She explained that her committee is on a drive for donations and sponsors as well as volunteers for this June’s event. She was also pleased to note that as the rodeo is in its second year, it is now recognized as an official sanctioned event and will be advertised accordingly across the rodeo circuit.

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She says that the committee realized that the new date for the rodeo, June 28 and 29, is the same weekend as the Mindemoya Lions Club’s Homecoming Weekend, “and we do apologize for that,” but the June weekend or a weekend in August were the only options available. The August weekend, Ms. Jansen explained, is also her busiest weekend as proprietor of the Honora Bay Riding Stables so it was ruled out by the committee.

Despite the fact that the municipality of Assiginack did not sign on to the rodeo committee’s Trillium grant application for rodeo funding (the application is currently under review), “we have applied on our own—it’s now a wait and see.”

This year, there will be some changes to the rodeo such as no events on the Friday night of the weekend. Ms. Jansen said the committee has decided to make the rodeo itself the centre of attention, building on the event from there and, hopefully, in the years to come.

On the Saturday morning of the rodeo, the day will begin with the Manitoulin Horse Club horse show with its members showcasing their western and speed events followed by the star of the weekend—the rodeo and its cowboys and cowgirls from across Ontario and Canada.

Saturday evening will conclude with a ‘redneck truck pull’ and a possible horse pull, followed by a dance where the community can mix and mingle with the cowfolk from the circuit.

On Sunday, back by popular demand, is the children’s rodeo.

Ms. Jansen said that a sanctioned event also means a higher caliber of cowboy but this also means a higher payout is needed too so Manitoulin sponsorships are in great need.

“I’ve heard that many of the cowboys are looking forward to coming back,” she said. “After the Powassan Smokin’ Spurs festival, which is the full package, Manitoulin was their favourite.”

The Manitoulin Rodeo will be hosting a number of fundraising activities this spring, so keep watch in future editions of this newspaper as to how to support their endeavours.

To contact Ms. Jansen, email her at kyla@hbrstable.com or phone 705-368-6032.

“We’re looking forward to a great show,” Ms. Jansen added.

editor@manitoulin.ca