Kamloops Cowboy Gathering

One of the jam sessions at the festival includes (from left) Jim McLennan, Mike Dygert, Matt Robertson, Ed Brown, Ben Crane, and Kevin Davis.

The 21st Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival was a huge success, so much so that they’re “back in the black,” says Mark McMillan, festival organizer.

The festival, which invites many of the top cowboy poets and musicians from across the West, also features an art show and marketplace.

The Joe Marten Memorial Award for the Preservation of Cowboy Heritage in B.C. was presented to author and curator of the B.C. Cowboy Museum, Diana French.

Congratulations to the winners of the Mike Puhallo Memorial Scholarship, sponsored in part by Canadian Cowboy Country. First place went to Camilla Mann of Victoria, B.C., for her poem, “The Long Haul” and second place went to Megan Christensen of Abbotsford, B.C., with her submission, “The Night Rider.” These poems will be published in future issues of the magazine.

The festival also corralled their gathering in one venue this year and the response from festival patrons was very positive. With longer breaks between sets, folks had more time to visit the art show and marketplace, grab a bite to eat and have a good visit. The organizers added in the Ballroom and the acoustics got rave reviews. Even with the famous machine-gun delivery of Cariboo poet Frank Gleeson, folks commented that “they listened to Frank and heard every word.”

For more, visit the B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society website.