The newly-elected Williams Lake Stampede Association Board of Directors. (Lorne Doerkson photo)

The newly-elected Williams Lake Stampede Association Board of Directors. (Lorne Doerkson photo)

Spotlight on Business 2022: Williams Lake Stampede Association

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It is never too early for the Williams Lake Stampede Association (WLSA) to be planning ahead for the next rodeo.

General manager Amber Nustad, along with the WLSA Board of Directors, is already booking contractors, announcers, stock providers, judges, entertainers and looking for sponsorship in order to give people enough time to plan for 2023.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 Stampede was organized during a short turnaround with a big push, but the association was able to pull it off.

A non-profit organization, the WLSA hosts events for the community year-round as well as offers facility rentals. While the property is city-owned, the association is in charge of everything inside the black fencing on the top and everything inside the white track below.

The association also owns the campground – open April to October – with actual dates fluctuating because it depends on the weather.

During Stampede, the association sells posters and merchandise.

Afterwards whatever is left over goes to the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin gift shop for sale.

Started in 1920 when the cowboys were mostly local boys and girls wanting to show off their talents, today’s rodeo features professional contenders from all over Canada, the U.S. and in recent years even Australia.

Nustad says the biggest benefit WLSA offers the community is the opportunity to come together for events, create a bond and celebrate, things that were missing due to pandemic restrictions.

During the annual general meeting in September, five new people joined the board of directors and Court Smith stayed on as president.

WLSA is always open to ideas and suggestions from the public on how to make things better or add new events.

The hope to expand the campground over to the land adjacent to the curling rink is still a priority for which WLSA is seeking funding.

There are a number of other improvements and renovations of existing features on the grounds on the WLSA wish list, but nothing has been finalized for the upcoming year.

The WLSA office is located at 800 Mackenzie Avenue South in the infield grounds, open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Next year’s Stampede takes place June 30 to July 3.

Spotlight on Small Business is a featured product in the Williams Lake Tribune highlighting Small Business Week Oct. 16-22.

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