Entertainers and Performers that will be at
the 2018 Kamloops Cowboy Festival

March 15th - 18th, 2018

The Kamloops Cowboy Festival Logo

Our 22nd Anniversary!!

It's performers like the followinge that help make
the Kamloops Cowboy Festival
the Biggest and the Best of its kind in Canada!

There is also Open Mic performance spots throughout the weekend. If you are interested just show up.

You can use the following index if you are looking for a particular performer - just click on their name to find their photo and bio, or scroll down the page and check them all out.



Home

About Us 

Festival 

Hall of Fame 

Heritage Award 

Scholarships 

Newsletter 

Trade Show 

Western Art Show 

Rising Stars 

2018 Entertainers 

 

Alan Moberg
Ben Crane
Bj Smith
Brian Salmond
Bryn Thiessen
Butch Falk
Carol Heuchan
Chris Isaacs

 

Doc Mehl
Doris Daley
Ed Peekeekoot
Gary Prescott
Gary Fjellgaard
Gordie West
Hugh McLennan
Jason Ruscheinsky

 

Jim McLennan
Louis "Big Rig" McIvor
Mag Mawhinney
Mike Dygert
Notable Exceptions
Ryan & Hoss Fritz
Tom Cole

There is also Open Mic performers throughout the weekend. If you want to take part just show up.


Back to Index



Abe Zacharias

Abe Zacharias is an award-winning vocalist and songwriter who has performed in many parts of Canada and the US. His 1993 appearance on the stage of the Grand Ol' Opry and his 1997 Golden Heart Award (Country Gospel Male Vocalist of the Year) are two of his career highlights. Abe has gained a legion of fans through his more than 35 years of making music. He was especially pleased when one of them, country star Paul Brandt, credited Abe as being one of his important musical influences. One of Abe's songs Prairie Homestead from his Songs of the Sage and Saddle album has been receiving extensive airplay by the European Country Music Association. In December 2009 it went to #10 in the Netherlands and #8 in Belgium. Then in January of 2010 it went to #2 in Norway. For info & bookings see his web site at: www.azmusic.ca


Back to Index



Alan Moberg www.alanmoberg.com

Alan Moberg Born in Pender Harbour, BC, he has worked on the sea as a fisherman and on the land. His songs reflect the affinity for people who live close to the land, including the Native Indians. Alan Moberg has received an Award from BMI Canada (Socan) for "an outstanding contribution to Canadian music" as well as three from the BC Country Music Association during his long musical history. He has written, and sung, about BC in general, for well over 35 years! One of his best known songs is The Williams Lake Stampede. Alan Moberg seems to be reinvigorated with new recordings and a return to concert stages. He does for BC's interior ranchland and coastal rainforest what Ian Tyson does for Alberta cow country and Stan Rogers did for the Great Lakes. Moberg's melodic voice reaches into people's souls. Alan sings and listening hearts respond. Audiences love him.
Alan was inducted into the BC Country Music Hall of Fame in October 2008!

Back to Index






Ben Crane

Ben Crane is a complicated sort of character. As a singer, songwriter and concert entertainer he has been touring western Canada and the US for over 30 years - long enough to know better. As a top-selling illustrator with Leanin' Tree greeting cards he has slathered North America with his brand of slightly twisted humour. He is also a record producer, arranger, engineer, session player and graphic artist. He even had a stint as a regular columnist in Canadian Cowboy Country Magazine for 9 years. He works with Jeff Foxworthy on a line of Leanin' Tree cards, he's shared the stage with most of the western music icons and has even had a musical influence on the Sons Of The Pioneers. In short, he's not sure what he wants to be if he grows up. One thing's for certain, however - he is a family man with a strong faith and a deep love for the western way of life. Still married to his first wife after 25 years and with two daughters who even at the time of this writing don't mind being seen with him in public, one might be tempted to say that he's been successful in life. He does what he loves and loves what he does, and a feller really can't get any richer than that. And his Mom assures us that he really is quite harmless. Ben and his family live near Rocky Mountain House in west central Alberta, high on a ridge with a 150-mile view of the blue Canadian Rockies. For info & bookings see his web site at: www.bencrane.com

Back to Index






Bj Smith

Bryan "Bj" Smith Bryan (Bj) Smith is an Equine Canada & Certified Horse Association riding coach and is an experienced horse trainer, riding coach, packer, guide, clinician, survival expert, and Canadian Ski Patrol instructor. Bj had a full career in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and now routinely guides groups of wilderness travellers on horseback through the Rockies. His skill and knowledge as a packer and horseman has been recognized by the Alberta Trail Riders Association, and private equestrian clubs who have enjoyed his clinics. He consults with the Rafter Six Ranch Resort near Canmore, Alberta to facilitate their back country overnight horse business. He instructs the Olds College continuing Education equine program 'Wilderness Wrangler'. Bj's lectures and presentations are never boring or difficult to follow as he is a popular professional western entertainer. A winner of the Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Award, his performances have been featured at Cowboy Poetry Gatherings and Festivals across western Canada, the USA and on Cruise Liners. Bj has authored three books and is often featured on radio and televisions shows.

Back to Index



Bryn Thiessen

 

Bryn Thiessen is a self described Rancher/Poet/Cowboy and an extremely unique individual. He was raised with 4 sisters and says that he never learned to talk before going to school because he couldn't get a word in edge wise. In an attempt to make up for lost time Bryn began to write and recite poetry. Although Bryn is mostly known as a cowboy poet he says he'd rather rope a cow then talk about it. He raises commercial cattle and ranch horses as well as hiring out to neighboring outfits. No matter what he's doing he continues to find something to feed his slightly deranged mind. Bryn's first tape was made in 1990. It was followed by a book in 1994. Next, was a video in 2000, with the combined efforts of Chris and Sharky Schauer. From this video Bryn also produced a CD. Bryn lives with his wife and three kids at Helmer Creek Ranch, in Sundre, Alberta.

Back to Index





Butch Falk

Butch Falk A featured performer at many cowboy gatherings and festivals in Canada and the US. Butch possesses a unique ability to bring the most descriptive cowboy lyrics to life. His music literally transports the listener to another place and time. A dynamic contemporary performer, Butch is always true to the cowboy spirit in all of us. When Butch is not performing he is busy in his workshop building guitars or woodworking. Butch has performed throughout western Canada and the USA and performed at Cowboy Gatherings as far away as Tucson Arizona and Branson Missouri. Butch has performed at all the major festivals in Canada including Calgary, Kamloops, Pincher Creek, Stony Plain, Barkerville, Fort St. John, and many more. Nominated for the Academy of Western Artist's 'Rising Star Award' in 1998, Butch went on to become a Nominee for Male Vocalist of the Year in both 1999, 2000, and 2003. His song, co-written with poet Mike Puhallo, "Cinnamon", was nominated for the Academy of Western Artist's "Song of the Year". Another cut "Below the Kinney Rim" / Mike Fleming, made the Top Ten play list on western music stations as well as the Top 100 for the 1990's.

Back to Index


Carol Heuchan

 

Carol Heuchan Australian Champion Bush Poet, seven times Laureate winner and also the winner of the richest prize in poetry writing history - a thirty-four thousand dollar tractor!! (which she reckons she can't drive for nuts). A fair dinkum Aussie horsewoman, she has been riding, competing, and working with horses all her life - including in 'Man from Snowy River' country. She is an International horse judge and horse events commentator. But poetry has taken over, with four books and four CDs (award winning) to her credit. A new CD, 'Partners' was released in 2013. Needless to say, her heart is in horse poetry. But it sure doesn't stop there. Her writing runs the gamut - from true life experiences, from quaint to quirky, from heart wrenching to hysterical!

Back to Index





Chris Isaacs

 

Chris Isaacs A three-time winner of the Academy of Western Artists "Will Rogers Award", Chris Isaacs is a poet and storyteller who has lived the life that he writes about. He has seen life from a cowboy's point of view for all of his 60-plus years, and his poems and stories are alive with the heart and humor of life from a cowboy's point of view. He can usually find the funny side of any situation, and is considered by many to be one of the finest humorists in the country. Chris has been published in numerous magazines, including American Cowboy, Western Horseman and Cowboy Magazine. He has two books of his work published, Bringing it Home, and Rhymes, Reasons & Packsaddle Proverbs. He also has five albums of his poetry recorded. Chris has worked at many different aspects of the cowboy life from being a full time working cowboy, to rodeoing, to many years as a packer. In between jobs you could usually find him making a living as a horseshoer. He has a passion for good horses and mules, and has even owned a good dog or two. He currently day-works for area ranches and travels the country with his poetry.

Back to Index


Doc Mehl

 

Doc Mehl Newly transplanted from Colorado to Black Diamond, Alberta, Al "Doc" Mehl weaves the history and the mystery of the West into his original "west-clectic" poetry and music. Doc Mehl's poems and musical lyrics have been featured on the website www.cowboypoetry.com, and his poems have been published in "Rattle" magazine. Doc Mehl's spoken-word recording "The Great Divide" was named "Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year" by both the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists. In the words of songwriter Jon Chandler, "Listening to Doc is like having Lyle Lovett in one ear ... and Tommy Smothers in the other!" Find Doc on the web at www.docmehl.com.

Back to Index



Doris Daley

Doris Daley Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists, the first time any Canadian, male or female, has won the cowboy poetry category. In 2007, 2008, and 2009 she was named one of the Top 5 cowgirl poets in North America by the Western Music Association, with other Top 5 nominations for best collaboration and best cowboy poetry CD. At the November, 2009 WMA Awards Show, Doris won top honours for Best Female Cowboy Poet and best cowboy poetry CD. As with her AWA Will Rogers Awards, she's the first Canadian to bring home top honours in the cowboy poetry categories.

Back to Index


Ed Peekeekoot www.peekeekoot.ca

Ed Peekeekoot Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Ed was surrounded by the many musicians in his family and their instruments. His first "real" guitar was purchased when he was 16. Ed studied Chet Atkins recordings and played in bands in the Clearwater, BC area while continuing to fill his own artistic toolbox. He has expressive skill on fiddle, banjo, dobro, and harmonica, as well as guitar. Ed has developed a solo style performance that at turns has people laughing, then crying. In recent years he has been working on another style of "roots" music - the true roots of his own Cree heritage. Ed's work has made its way across North America and into many different countries, including Germany, Australia, Japan, Israel, England, South Africa, and Taiwan - all this from his home base of Crofton, British Columbia.

Back to Index





Gary Prescott

Gary Prescott Raised on the family ranch near Bryan, Texas, Gary grew up helping with the cow/calf operation. As an adult Gary worked cattle in the deep South Texas brush when he was not drilling oil wells, and now runs a cow/calf operation south of Abilene in West Central Texas. He has three CDs to his credit. Considered one of the top songwriters of his day, Gary's songs have been recorded by artists throughout the United States and Canada. His song "Fair Blows the Wind", sung beautifully by his wife, Jean, received Song of the Year honors from the Academy of Western Artists. The song was then recorded by a recording artist from Ireland. Retiring from his "real" job in 2013, Gary now enjoys ranch life and cowboy music and spending more time with family and friends. In 2017 he recorded a new CD with his wife Jean called "Satisfied Hearts". Several of the songs are among the top ten most played songs by western Music DJs, according to Western Way Magazine. His pure and rugged cowboy voice lends itself to campfire or theater concerts and his songs stay true to the cowboy and western way of life that he loves.

Back to Index



Gary Fjellgaard
www.fjellgaard.bc.ca

Gary Fjellgaard was honoured with the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Award September 11th, 2005. Born on the Canadian Prairies in Rose Valley Saskatchewan, Gary moved to Prince George as a teenager. In 1970 music became a full time occupation. He has entertained at Cowboy gatherings from Calgary to Tucson. He now lives on Gabriola Island, on Canada's West Coast with his wife Lynne. They have four daughters and many grandchildren! His shows range from small theatre to the main still finds time to help the budding song writer at seminars and workshops stage of some of Canada's top festivals like the Big Valley Jamboree, the Merritt Mountain Music Festival, Canada Day Celebrations on Parliament Hill, and of course the Kamloops Cowboy Festival! He looks back on a rewarding career and gratefully acknowledges with fondness, the hundreds of towns and cities, and thousands of listeners who have been touched by his music. This past summer Gary was inducted into to the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame!


Back to Index




The Gordie West Band

The Gordie West Band web site is: www.gordiewestband.com


The Gordie West Band
You may have seen this duo at one of many cowboy festivals in BC and Alberta or promoting the Calgary Stampede throughout North America. Gordie West and Mike Dygert (aka The Gordie West Band) are a couple of guys with a thirst for the folklore of the west and a yen to play good, old cowboy music! Gordie West, who lives a short drive north of Kamloops, began playing in country bands in his teens, spent close to 20 years touring overseas where he released 5 albums and now combines a singing career with life on his land north of Kamloops. He has a voice range that can showcase the ballads of Marty Robbins and the yodel stylings of Wilf Carter. Mike Dygert hails from Cold Lake in north eastern Alberta. When he's not with Gord, you might catch playing with the Western Spirit band or other western music colleagues. He has a dry wit that will leave you wondering "where'd he come from" and "how'd he get there"! Together they make the show come alive with music, song, and good humour.


Back to Index


Hugh McLennan Photo by Deanna Kristensen

Hugh McLennan and his wife Billie live the life they love - shared with their cattle and horses in some beautiful country! Hugh has spent a lot of years training horses for the public and specializes in starting colts and developing them for ranch work. He spent many years working in radio and TV but his heart was always in ranching and cowboy life. Sixteen years ago Hugh started the Spirit of the West radio program with the objective to bring the livestock industry to the general public using the real words of the people on the land along with the music and poetry of the west. As well as many other awards, Hugh's show was named Canada's Best Agricultural Radio Program in two different years. His speaking engagements take him all over North America. Hugh's web site is: www.hugh-mclennan.com

Back to Index




Jason Ruscheinsky

Jason Ruscheinsky is a BC boy to the core. Born on the BC coast and raised in the Cariboo interior, he grew up working on friends' and neighbor's ranches most of his high school life. This young cowboy and avid outdoorsman has an immense love for the outdoors, old fashioned living, and all things cowboy. Coming from a highly musically inclined lineage, Jason's talent and love of music seemed to be bred into his genes. Within the past few years Jason has flourished as a musician, playing countless shows and venues within the Cariboo area, and has performed alongside such talents as Alan Moberg, JR Goodwin, and Hugh Mclennan. He placed second in "Cariboo idol", did well in his first appearance in the Kamloops Cowboy Festival Rising Star Showcase, and won the same showcase the following year! He was unable to make our mainstage the following year (last year) because of school, but has made time to make it this year!!

Back to Index


Jim McLennan

Jim McLennan Jim's reputation as a finger-style guitarist, composer and arranger has produced an enduring legacy as one of Alberta’s finest guitarists. He recorded for Stefan Grossman's iconic Kicking Mule record label in the 1970s, and has been featured in Guitar Player magazine. Jim's first solo CD, Six-String Gumbo, was a Western Canadian Music Award finalist for Instrumental Recording of the Year. US National Finger-style world champion Bob Evans says this about Jim's acoustic playing: "Jim has one of the smoothest finger-style guitar deliveries I had ever heard." Jim will be playing backup guitar for who ever wants him throughout the weekend.

Back to Index


Louis

Louis "Big Rig" McIvor Louis started playing guitar at 12 years old and 5-string banjo at 14. Raised on his Family's Carnival where he entertained in his off-time and acquired his Class 1 license ... hence the handle "Big Rig". After 23 years driving semi Louis started with NL Broadcasting in 2006, first on weekends, then afternoons, and now The Big Rig Breakfast show! Louis played in his brother's band who opened for many great Canadian Artists including Jefferson Starship! He won the "On Air Personality of the Year" in 2012, 2013 and 2016 from the BC Country Music Association and he hosted the Rockin’ River Fest 2017. Last year he opened for the Louisiana Hayride in Kamloops and went over so well that they've asked him back this year!! This will be his first appearance at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival and he's looking forward to it ... and so are we!
Banjo and all ...

Back to Index




Mag Mawhinney

Mag Mawhinney Mag is an award-winning, western roots poet who was named the 2012 Cowgirl Poet of the Year for the Will Rogers Awards, sponsored by the Academy of Western Artists. More recently, she was nominated TOP FIVE for 2014 and 2015 Western Music Assn. Award of Excellence for Cowgirl Poet of the Year. She has been a featured performer at every major cowboy festival and other events in Western Canada and into the US. Her recitations have also been aired on TV and radio. Her passion for writing extends to freelancing and she's been published internationally in numerous magazines, anthologies, newspapers and web sites. In recent years, Mag has turned her hand to songwriting and her fourth poetry book, "Western Spirit", won the 2013 Cowboy Poetry Book of the Year from the Western Music Assn. It contains poems, songs, photos and a 13 track music CD in which eight musicians from Canada and the US sing the melodies they've composed for her lyrics. Mag resides on Vancouver Island.

Back to Index



Notable Exceptions

Notable Exceptions Jennifer Epps and Judy Coder are Notable Exceptions, the Western Music Association's 2015 Harmony Duo of the Year. These two originally met at annual gatherings of the Western Music Association in Albuquerque, NM. Judy was there with a cowgirl band from KS (Cowgirl Swing), and Jennifer was there with a cowgirl band from WA (Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band). Year after year they'd stay up until the wee hours, jamming and harmonizing with some of the best musicians in Western music. In 2014 Judy was invited to tour Canada with Horse Crazy; she relocated from KS to WA a few months later to become the band's permanent rhythm guitar player. The duo formed shortly afterward. Nowadays, the duo spends most of the year on tour. Their debut CD, "New Day", was released in October of 2015; a second release, "Souvenir", will be released in January of 2018. Their current road schedule includes a summer of shows throughout the Northwest, and a five-month winter tour in the Southwest.

Back to Index



Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz writes songs about a life he loves. A life that has taken him Cowboying on the Big Outfits in Canada like the Gang Ranch, Douglas Lake and Ranching with his Family on their own place in Saskatchewan. Performing at House Concerts, Cowboy Gathering's and branding parties, each of his songs tell a story with a catchy tune, mixed with a tasteful performance. His writing and composition will take you right out to that Big Country where History, Tradition and a new Generation are living out the Cowboy Life. With five albums to date, including "Wind Blown Buckaroo", his song "Give A Boy A Rope" was nominated for song of the year in the Academy of Western Artists and in April 2017 Ryan received a prestigious Wrangler Western Heritage Award for his song "Keeper Of The West". A title that ad-here's to his heart.

Back to Index



Hoss Fritz

... and joining Ryan on stage will be his son ...

Hoss Fritz is a Ranch raised musician with a strong desire to play Western Music. He has been accompanying his Dad, Ryan Fritz on stage for a couple years with his Bass guitar and recently stand-up Bass and mandolin giving life to the music he loves. Performing on stages in Texas, Oklahoma & Elko, a big complement came his way after a show in Alberta when Ian Tyson came up afterwards and said "Good Job Young Fella"!

Back to Index



Brian Salmond and Tom Cole

Tom Cole and Brian Salmond These tall lanky cowboys are the image you would expect of men who have spent their days on the back of a horse raising cattle. Tom and Brian grew up on their family's respective ranches in northern BC. Their poems, songs and stories reflect the western lifestyle. Brian Salmond has an unusual and refreshing twist on his writings. He has the uncanny talent to see the humorous side of seemingly every situation and is able to record it on paper for others to enjoy. While delivering his poems to an audience it is apparent that Brian is also gifted in relating his stories to others.

Tom Cole is a larger than life tall drink of water (6'6) that can quench your thirst for country music. His rich baritone voice was made to sing cowboy songs. His approach to the music makes the listener believe every word he sings.

Tom, along with his band consisting of Mike Dygert and Jim McLennan, will be the featured dance band at this year's Thursday night "Welcome to Cowboy Festival" Dinner Dance! Read more about this on the Festival page!


Back to Index


Open Mic

We can't hire everyone, so our Open Mics allow others a chance to perform at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival! This includes the already known professionals and up-and-coming talent! Every year we end up hearing new entertainers on the open mics and quite often invite them back as paid performers the following year! If you are interested in performing on the open mic just show up and add your name the list!

Back to Top



The BC Cowboy Heritage Society
Box 137, Kamloops, BC, Canada, V2C 5K3
Phone:1-888-763-2221
Email: cowboys@bcchs.com


 

Home       About BCCHS       Kamloops Cowboy Festival       BC Cowboy Hall of Fame       Heritage Preservation Award
Scholarships       Newsletter       Trade Show       Membership
Rising Star Showcase       Western Art Show       Festival Entertainers

 

This website built and maintained by MSR Web Design at Meadow Springs Ranch