The BC Cowboy Heritage Society Newsletter Logo

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society
Official Newsletter

The Cowboy Times
2019 Vol #3 - September

Issued quarterly;
February, May, September, and December
To see the past issues click on the Vol   #79 or Vol   #80

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About Us


Hall of Fame

Heritage Award 



Trade Show

Western Art Show



From the Editors
From the President
BCCHS Membership Info
The 2020 Festival Sneak Peak
Keeper of the West Award

Gary Fjellgaard tour review
Ryan Fritz New CD - Review
Ryan Fritz House Concert
Sons of the Pioneers BC Tour
2020 Spirit of the West Cruise

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From the Editors

Kathy and Mark McMillan

Kathy and Mark McMillan

Well in this issue we'll give you a sneak peak preview of the 24th Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival. We're a long ways from getting everything together but we can tell you a lot of what's planned to this point in time anyway.

We had to get this newsletter ready early this time, as we were with Billie and Hugh on their 18th Annual Spirit of the West Cruise! Ireland, Scotland, England, France ... I'm bettin' we had a whole bunch of fun! We'll let you know how it's going as we travel as we'll have a running diary with photos on both Hugh's web site: and ours ... just look for the 2019 diary link. Oh ya, in this issue we'll also tell you where the 2020 Spirit of the West Cruise is going ... definitely a favourite, more affordable, and easier to get to destination ... get it here!

Also in this issue you'll find info on: the Sons of the Pioneers BC tour as well as a wrap up on their Alberta tour, an up-coming Ryan Fritz house concert, a review of Gary Fjellgaard's tour, the Merritt Pro Rodeo which we're proud to sponsor, a review on Ryan Fritz's new CD, how you can win a pair of weekend passes to the 2020 Kamloops Cowboy Festival, and who won the Keeper of the West Buckle at the 2019 Festival.

Kathy & Mark McMillan, Editors,

BC Tractor Parts . com
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From the President

Mark McMillan

May 2019, Pres report by Mark McMillan

From the President, Mark McMillan

Last time I wrote this Pres report it was pre-election and I said I'd update you as to the election results in the next issue. Well here's the up-date. I guess you gather because I'm the one writing the Pres report that I'm once again the President. Everything else is pretty much the same too ... Helen Allan is Vise President, Kathy is Secretary / Treasurer, and Caroline Muhlfellner and Red Allan are the two directors.

The AGM went well and we now have another year behind us ... and another year in front of us. I believe everything is on course. The Festival, although with some big changes, is coming together, the 100 Mile Cowboy Concert is looking good, and the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Joe Martin Memorial Award nominations should start rolling in anytime.

As I write this we're hoping the meadows all dry out so we can get some hay in the hay shed ... everything is so wet and this year we hope to be done early - wish us luck!! The reason is we leave early this year. August 23rd we head to Ireland and the British Isles and won't be home until September 15th, about the same time you'll be reading this newsletter.

Looking forward to another great year and working with a great bunch of volunteers again.

Mark McMillan, President, BCCHS,

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society
Box 137, Kamloops, BC, Canada, V2C 5K3

Members: The BC Cowboy Heritage Society would like to thank you for your support over the past year. We hope you will continue supporting the society by renewing your membership annually. Membership information, and a membership form, can be found on our web site at:

BCCHS Memberships
If you're not a member but are interested in what we do to preserve cowboy heritage in BC, then you should think about joining. There are no commitments whatsoever and your $20 membership ($30 for a family and $100 for corporate) would be greatly appreciated. Membership dollars go towards the society's administrative costs.

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The Horse Barn

The Horse Barn's web site is:

The Horse Barn!

We are so glad to have the Horse Barn as a major sponsor of the Kamloops Cowboy Festival.

Festival Tickets will available once again
at the Horse Barn!

The Horse Barn - Rafter HB!

The Horse Barn
517 Mt Paul Way
Kamloops, BC, V2H 1A9

The 2019 Horse Barn
Keeper of the West Award
This Trophy Buckle Was Won
by Bernadette Ducharme!

photo by Jerry Stainer
click to enlarge
This Trophy Buckle Was Won by Bernadette Ducharme!

photo by Jerry Stainer
click to enlarge
Bernadette Ducharme won the Horse Barn's Keeper of the West Trophy Buckle

In the photo Bernadette hears her name called out as Mark announces the winner of the Horse Barn's Annual Keeper of the West Award. There were a lot of entries this year, and a ton of votes from the audience, but Bernadette, singing a Mag Mawhinney song that that she had composed the music for, was the crowd favourite! Congratulations Bern!!

It was actually no surprise to me, as Bernadette does a terrific job on every song she sings ... and Mag, as we all know, writes terrific songs! In fact Mag also got an award this year at the Festival, the Joe Martin Memorial Award for the Preservation of Cowboy

Heritage in BC, for her writing of poetry and songs over the years. Bernadette has put music to 28 of Mag's songs, recorded 20 of them and released 16. She just started working on #29 this summer! Bernadette performs about 15 of them regularly at the present and still has to memorize the rest.

I asked Bernadette for a comment and here's what she wrote:
"I'd just like to say how very humbled and honored I am to have won this prestigious award. I know there were many talented entries. First, I'd like to thank Mark McMillan for inviting me to play at the "Kamloops Cowboy Festival", a

photo by Jerry Stainer
click to enlarge
Dennis, manager of the Horse Barn, Mag, Bern, Mark at the Trophy Buckle presentation
(L-R) Dennis, Horse Barn manager, Mag, Bern, Mark

photo by Donna Smith
click to enlarge
Dennis, manager of the Horse Barn, Mag, Bern, Mark at the Trophy Buckle presentation

fabulous event I hope to see thrive for many years to come. I'd like to thank Mag Mawhinney, for the pleasure and the honor she affords me in giving me her exceptionally beautiful lyrics to work with. Also thanks to our dearly departed friend, Bud Webb, for seeing something worthwhile in my song, and promoting me to Mark, and anyone else who'd listen, and for just being "Bud". And to all my fans who voted for me, who buy my CD's, and who come to my shows!!! Thank-you so much, I couldn't do this without all of you! I'd also like to thank the Horse Barn for presenting/donating the beautiful "Keeper of the West" buckle ... I wear it very proudly!!!"

Congratulations Bern ... a great award and to a very deserving singer! We'll be watching for you at future events, for sure!

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The 2020 Kamloops Cowboy Festival

We're a long way off and yet it's so close! Things are looking great again for 2020 and the 24th Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival.

The only major change, other then the faces in the entertainment line-up and a slight price increase for the meals, is the Theatre. We had a look the other day and things are in full swing with the reno ... the floor will be flat with a stage on top, similar to the Ball Room. We're not sure how tables will be set up yet, but they seem to be willing to accommodate. The seating number will definitely be quite a few less than in the past and there will be no balcony. In the next newsletter we should have numbers available.

Tickets will once again go on sale November 1st. Meal prices are going up, which we expected, but all door passes will remain the same price: Weekend passes are $80, Evening Shows are $40, Day Passes are $20, and this year dinner theatre upgrades will be $40 ... which makes the Dinner Shows $80 if you don't have a weekend pass. The Thursday Night Welcome to Festival Dinner Dance will go up slightly to $50.00. All prices include tax and gratuity. To view the menu simply Click Here.

Entertainment ... well, the hardest part of selecting the entertainment is deciding on who we have to put off until another year. The list of performers that want to come to Kamloops is huge and they're all top notch! Here's a list of those that we've contacted so far for 2020: Kristyn Harris, Doug Figgs, Lauralee Northcott, Butch Falk, Gary Fjellgaard, Naomi Bristow, Jason Ruscheinsky, Ryan Fritz, Tom Cole, Belinda Gail, Western Spirit Band, Brian Salmond, Kathy Moss, Jim Hamilton, Hugh McLennan, Geoff MacKay aka "Pappa Mac", Phyllis Rathwell, and Larry Miller. Pappa Mac will also lead us through Cowboy Church Sunday morning. How's that for a line-up? and we still have a few more to add.

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The BCCHS & Mike Puhallo Memorial Student Scholarships

Again this year we awarded up to five $500 student scholarships. The BCCHS scholarships can be for a written entry, an art entry, or a cowboy craft. The two Mike Puhallo Memorial Scholarships are for cowboy poetry. You can find all the details on the Scholarship page at

The entry deadline is December 31st and entry information and an entry form can also be found on the scholarship page of this website.

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Sons of the Pioneers Return to BC for
85th Anniversary Tour

Wow that's exciting news!! First though lets start out with a wrap up of the Alberta / Saskatchewan tour that the Sons did this past June. They performed in Leduc, Lloydminster, Red Deer, Lethbridge, High River, Airdrie, Camrose, Olds and Medicine Hat in Alberta, then in Saskatchewan in Moose Jaw and Prince Albert. Eleven cities in ten days!

Margaret Morrissette, of Old Rivers Western Productions Ltd., had this to share: "Big audiences, full houses, good weather, beautiful scenery. The harmony trail was truly memorable. The shows went very well and we had very good reviews. There are some pictures posted on the website. If you are interested you can go to We sold out of the new CDs!

The Sons of the Pioneers in High River Alberta with Canadian Fiddler Roy Warhurst who played with the Pioners in the 1990s
The Sons of the Pioneers in High River Alberta with Canadian Fiddler Roy Warhurst who played with the Pioners in the 1990s

Burton Cummings even went to the show ... in Moose Jaw ... and for the second time!

Here's a little quote from Brenda about the High River concert. "The Sons of the Pioneers concert was amazing! The music & harmony was second to none and besides that they entertained. It was funny with a lot and serious as well. It was one of the best concerts that Bob & I have ever been to."

The Sons of the Pioneers supported a charity with this tour, too, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alberta and they raffled off and auctioneered 4 guitars during the tour. All proceeds went to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alberta.

Sons of the Pioneers will hit BC for seven performances in October!

The Sons of the Pioneers in High River Alberta with Canadian Fiddler Roy Warhurst who played with the Pioners in the 1990s
The Sons of the Pioneers L - R
Paul Elliott, Tommy Nallie, Dusty Rogers, Chuck Ervin, John Fullerton, Ken Lattimore

Long regarded as the most influential and prolific Western music group ever, the Sons of the Pioneers will tour through the theatres in these BC cities; Cranbrook October 7th, Trail October 8th, Oliver October 9th, Penticton October 10th, Vernon October 11th, Kelowna October 12th, and Chilliwack October 13th.

The Sons of the Pioneers are the gold standard for Western music, delivering thrilling harmonies, iconic yodeling, and poetic images of the West. Signature songs like "Cool Water" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", forever rooted in Western lore, are stirring new audiences of all ages. Both of these songs have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

How many guys get to join their father's group ... that was started 85 years ago? That's what Roy Rogers Jr ("Dusty Rogers)" says. "I think it's almost unheard of." Dusty joined the group last year as their MC and one of the main singers.

The Pioneers are the most decorated group in Western music, winning honours such as the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Western Music Association Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Texas Swing Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to name a few.

If you've never heard them you'll want to make sure to take in one of these BC shows. If you have seen them, I know you'll want to go again!

See more photos and get more info at their web site:

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The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin

presents the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame

Museum Logo

The Museum is located in Williams Lake, BC. For information on the Museum, and what it displays inside, check out their web site at:

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Ryan Fritz New CD - Runaway Remuda

Every song on Runaway Remuda is a Ryan Fritz original and Ryan plays his acoustic guitar on all tracks.

There are a few other pretty cool things about this new CD of Ryan's. The fact that a father and son work together is awesome! Ryan's son Hoss is on 13 of the 14 tracks. Mostly Hoss plays the upright bass but there are songs with electric bass and a couple where Hoss plays mandolin. It's obvious where he gets his musical talent from.

Another familiar name that appears on all 14 tracks is Ben Crane. Ben also engineered, mixed, and recorded this CD, in his Jinglebob Music studio, and he added his artistic talents by designing the CD jacket. Add a couple of other artists to the mix, including Jim McLennan, and you know this is a great record.

Ryan Fritz New CD - Runaway Remuda
Ryan Fritz New CD
Runaway Remuda

Ryan Fritz New CD - Runaway Remuda
Ryan Fritz New CD
Runaway Remuda

Favourite tracks ... well that's a tough one, they're all great. I like Ryan's sense of humour, as well as his wit, and "Cow on a Mission" fits. I guess I like it because it describes one of our cows to a tee. You can tell Ryan's the real deal ... he's been there and done that, which makes his song writing come across as truly enjoyable. Add his easy to listen to big baritone voice and he has an awesome new CD.

The best way to get a copy of this CD or any of Ryan's 6 albums is head on over to his web site at You'll find CDs and downloadable MP3s. Or ... you can go to iTunes or Spotify.

Now Speaking of Ryan Fritz
How About a Ryan & Hoss House Concert ...?

That's right, on Friday, September 27th, Ryan and Hoss will be doing a house concert right here at Meadow Springs Ranch. For information: send us an email and hope that we still have room. Tickets are $20 and BYOB if you like.

The following day, Saturday, September 28th, they'll be doing a gig at the Longhouse in Williams Lake. Tickets will be available at the door or on Ryan's web site:

Then on October 4th there's a dinner and Ryan Fritz concert at the A-P Guest Ranch south of Merritt. Info at:

photo by Jery Stainer
Hoss and Ryan Fritz
Hoss and Ryan Fritz at the
2018 Kamloops Cowboy Festival

The house concert idea is great and you'll never get a more one on one type concert. Gary Fjellgaard was here in June and it was awesome! (see that article here)

Here's a little about Ryan for those that don't know him:

Ryan Fritz is the real deal and he's an incredibly talented songwriter and singer. Although recently from Saskatchewan, and now from Alberta, Ryan was born in BC and spent time in BC, and at the biggest ranches that BC has - the Gang, Douglas Lake, and Alkali Ranch - he even cowboyed at 100 Mile Ranch :-). His son, Hoss, is now cowboying for Douglas Lake and plays bass for his dad. It's pretty cool to see a father son team sing together! They are both great musicians as well as working cowboys.

Hoss and Ryan Fritz
Ryan Fritz

It has been said that "Ryan Fritz can handle a pen as well as a rope".

Ryan's song writing started back when he left home to cowboy on the Gang Ranch. After honing his trade and many ranches later, he settled in Saskatchewan to raise his family on his own outfit. Ryan's music is inspired by the western and ranching lives of the past and the present. His own experiences of cowboying, stories of other people & his environment make for "lots of good writing material", says Ryan. He has released six albums to date including 'Runaway Remuda', just released.

See Ryan's web site for a more in depth bio:

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Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association - ACPA

Check it out at: If you're looking for a performer for an event, or if you are a performer looking to get booked for an event, then you'll find how on their web site. If it's a CD or book you need you'll find tons of them there, too! That's

Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association - ACPA

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Gary Fjellgaard
House Concert Tour

It was a first for Gary and he loved it. He says it was a lot fun of and he and Lynn met a lot of nice and interesting people ... and on more of a one on one basis, not like the concerts he's done in the past. Tickets were only $20 too, a lot less than most shows Gary does.

I only heard back from one of the other house concert hosts and they said it was great. They had 20 people there and it took place in a basement room ... a room that you'd think was made for such an event. We know a few people that attended, and they all loved it.

click to enlarge
Gary Fjellgaard
Gary Fjellgaard sitting on the hot tub at Meadow Springs Ranch

click to enlarge
Outside on the deck at Meadow Springs Ranch
Outside on the deck
at Meadow Springs Ranch

Here at Meadow Springs we had a great time. The weather turned that day and it was a little cool but everyone was prepared. We have a large covered deck and we were sheltered by the house on one side so it worked out fine. Gary was a little cold playing the guitar but we bundled him up in a fur coat during the intermission between the two sets.

He warmed up even more signing CDs. They say house concerts are not a place for big CD sales but they seemed to do pretty well here. Every time I looked over at the CD table during the break there were people there buying.

Something else good came out of that concert, too ... Gary said he'd like to come back and take part in the 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert again next year. Even after it took him eleven hours to get from Hope to Merritt last time, and he said then that that was enough winter touring ... "No More" he said ... but I guess he's allowed to change his mind :-) ... and I for one, am glad he did. Saturday, February 8th is the date to mark on the calendar. Tickets will go on sale in early December and we'll update you in the next issue.

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The Spirit of the West Cowboy Cruise!

Well as you read this we are only just back from this year's cruise ... Ireland and the British Isles. While we were on the Crown Princess Hugh announced to everyone in our group where the 2020 cruise was going.

"July 15th to 25th, 2020. The Ship, Holland America's brand new Koningsdam. The port we board at ... Vancouver BC. Our destination ... Way Up North!!

We'll get together and overnight in Kelowna then head up to the McLennan Ranch for a visit and sing-a-long. From here the whole group will ride a coach to the beautiful Sun Peaks Resort for sightseeing and an overnight stay. The coach will then take in the amazing Fraser Canyon en route to Vancouver where we'll overnight and then board Holland America's brand new Koningsdsam for a breathtaking return journey up the Inside Passage through Alaska.

click to enlarge
Your Spirit of the West Cruise hosts Billie and Hugh McLennan

click to enlarge
Ireland and the Bristish Isles
Your Spirit of the West
Cruise hosts
Billie & Hugh McLennan

The trip includes the incredible White Pass Railway in Skagway and much more. Now what makes this so nice is that it's a short flight."

Now the big news from Hugh ... "We call this The Spirit of the West and Friends bring it home cruise ... Billie and I will be stepping back from hosting cruises after 19 years of doing it and we want this one to really be special for everyone!" The Spirit of the West Cruise will however continue in future years and will support the Spirit of the West Radio Show, hopefully for years to come!

Get all the details at 1-800-530-0131 and see Hugh's cruise page at and their cruise facebook page.

Download the 2020 Cruise Flyer PDF here

click to enlarge
The Spirit of the West Alaska Cruise group in 2017
The Spirit of the West Alaska Cruise group in 2017

For more info contact Megan, Karen or Jim at Cruise Vacations: 1-800-530-0131.
Or see the cruise page at:

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Home of the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame!

Museum Logo

BC Cowboy, Ranching, and Rodeo Museum The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin is located in Williams Lake, BC and is the Home of the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame. It is located at the corner of 4th Avenue and Borland Street. Phone 250-392-7404 Email:

We highly recommend a visit to the
Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin in Williams Lake!
Check out their web site - BC Cowboy, Ranching, and Rodeo Museum

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