The four Stampede Queen contestants will be among the helpers attending the 22nd annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo this weekend. Look for them taking tickets, selling programs and helping out at the dances.
In addition to learning more about horsemanship, public speaking, rodeo and the community around them the contestants have been touring local facilities such as the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin and the Tourism Discovery Centre where they discovered copies of the book Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, by Mark Leiren-Young.
The book is a humourous look at his adventures as a fledgling reporter who spent about a year back in the 1980s working at the Tribune.
Never Shoot a Stampede Queen put the Williams Lake rodeo on the literary map when it won the 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.
The book spent 16 weeks on the B.C. Bestseller’s list.
The title relates to one story in the book in which Leiren-Young talks about the public backlash he endured when the editor of the day chose to run the most unflattering picture he had taken of that year’s group of Stampede Queen contestants.
The book contains numerous humourous insights into what it is like being a reporter in a small town.
Leiren-Young is now working on a one-man theatrical review based on the book that will be premiered in Kamloops next year.
“A stage version of Stampede Queen was workshopped at the Arts Club in Vancouver a few months ago,” Leiren-Young says. “It is getting its world premiere next April at the Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops and is going to star Jessie Award winning actor and Bard on the Beach star Ryan Beil as um me …. and everyone else.”
He says Beil is best known for being the funny, young guy in all the A&W commercials.
“There’s interest from a bunch of other theatres, but everyone else has to wait for the premiere now,” Leiren Young says.
“I would love to bring the show to Williams Lake.”