Bernadette Ducharme sings at last year’s Stampede Street Party.

Bernadette Ducharme puts music to cowboy poetry

One of the performers taking to the Let R Buck stage at the Williams Lake Stampede this weekend is singer/songwriter Bernadette Ducharme.

One of the performers taking to the Let R Buck stage at the Williams Lake Stampede this weekend is singer/songwriter Bernadette Ducharme, who has made a name for herself in B.C. with her pure talent and originality.

She writes her own tunes and also puts music to the poems of some of the biggest names in BC cowboy poetry.

Ducharme said that writing music for cowboy poets is incredibly satisfying, Ducharme said. “The first poet I wrote for was a Horsefly local — Bruce Rolph. I put music to his poems The Old Felt Hat and Ghosts of Stockyards Past.

“When Bruce’s family heard The Old Felt Hat they all cried except for Bruce, and people tell me that when they hear Ghosts they get goosebumps and the hair stands up on their arms.

“Mag Mawhinney from Vancouver Island is another cowboy poet I’ve written for, and she said when she heard Ghosts she was literally sitting on the edge of her seat waiting for the next word.”

Ducharme, by request, has put music to 10 of Mawhinney’s poems and has written music for a poem by local cowboy poet Frank Gleason and is working on more.

The current president of the BC Cowboy Heritage Society asked her to take former president and cowboy poet Mike Puhallo’s six books of poetry and make some songs.

On the stage during Stampede weekend she will perform a few country cover tunes and mostly originals or B.C. cowboy poems put to music.

People of all ages, including children, respond to Ducharme’s music.

“I think connection with kids when it comes to country music is so important — keeping it alive for the next generation,” she continued.

“Cowboy and country music is unique and wonderful. Most of the songs I sing are true stories, often with haunting melodies. You’re going to feel something, and that’s important to me.”

“When an audience is engaged it impacts the performer strongly — it makes you want to be there even more. I love and appreciate my audiences.”

Ducharme will have two CDs available at her Stampede performances, Pieces of Me and One Boot in the Stirrup.

She performs at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and 11:45 a.m. on Friday  on the Canadian Tire stage in the Let R Buck Saloon behind the Stampede Grandstand.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Williams Lake Highway 20 bump to be repaired once load restrictions are lifted

A historical slide area is actively causing ripples in the road

First annual Forest Service Road Clean Up For Wildlife goes until May 31

Taking place from May 16-31, the contest is open for anyone to enter

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Editorial: Tragic loss

The death of Captain Jennifer Casey of CFS Snowbirds has been mourned across the country

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read