The BC Cowboy Heritage Society Newsletter Logo

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society
Official Newsletter

The Cowboy Times
2017 Vol #1 - February

Issued quarterly;
February, May, September, and December
To see the next issues click on the Vol   #72 or Vol   #73

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About Us


Hall of Fame

Heritage Award 



Trade Show

Western Art Show

Rising Stars



From the Editors
From the President
2017 Cowboy Festival
BC Cowboy Hall of Fame
Festival Art Show and Trade Show
Open Mic and Workshops
Two Festival Raffles

Thursday Night Dinner Dance
Alberta Bus Returns to Festival
The Joe Marten Award
2017 Poster Artist
100 Mile Concert Review
Horse / Cow Work Clinic
Spirit of the West Cruise

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From the Editors

Kathy and Mark McMillan

Kathy and Mark McMillan

Well first off I must apologise as this newsletter was supposed to be out last week ... just been too busy. We're trying to do some major winter time renovations on our house and trying to put the Cowboy Festival together at the same time. The renos are coming along great though, and the Festival looks like it should be awesome!!

Basically this newsletter is just to let you all know what's in store for the Kamloops Cowboy Festival and there is a lot of mirror articles of what's on the Festival page. So if something is missing here check out that page HERE -->.

As well as the Festival we'll let you know about a couple of other things in the wind ... a horse training weekend at 134 Mile, the poster artist, and the Hall of Fame information.

Kathy & Mark McMillan, Editors,

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From the President

Mark McMillan

February 2017, Pres report by Mark McMillan

Exciting News for 2017! We're really looking forward to having the whole Festival under one roof this year ... we're thinking, at least hoping, that it'll make things a whole lot easier in a lot of different ways, and yet we have been able to keep the schedules almost the same as in past years. In fact we have actually added a few extra shows this year.

It's pretty cool to see so many repeats ... entertainers, volunteers, sponsors, artists and trade show exhibitors ... some of which have been coming to the Festival for all 21 years!! You folks, too, the audience ... again some pretty dedicated participants, some of which have also been to all 21 Kamloops Cowboy Festivals!! A huge thanks to each and every one of you!

We do have some new faces this year, too. Some new vendors in the tradeshow, new volunteers, new sponsors and quite a few new faces in the audience, too. Welcome all of you and we hope you thoroughly enjoy yourselves this weekend.

Mark McMillan, President, BCCHS,

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

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 for the year 2017. 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.

The Horse Barn is now open on Sunday, too!

Festival Tickets avaiable at the Horse Barn!

The Horse Barn - Rafter HB!

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

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Alberta bus a go for 2017

Good News For Albertans!!
Frontier Bus Lines Coach / bus to the Kamloops Cowboy Festival

Alberta Bus Tour to the 2017 Kamloops Cowboy Festival

53 happy folks will join Laura and Keith as they head to Kamloops to enjoy the Kamloops Cowboy Festival.

Our official carry Frontier Bus Lines is making their third annual tour to the Cowboy Festival with a departure on March 16th, 2017 from Central Alberta. The tour will include deluxe motor coach transportation with an experienced tour guide, 4 nights at the Coast Hotel (host hotel for Festival), $15 daily breakfast coupon, a weekend pass to Cowboy Festival and all three dinner theater shows. Please check their website for details at: or contact them toll free at: 1-888-LET-S-BUS (538-7287).

Two BCCHS Fund Raiser Raffles!

The 2017 Commemorative Belt Buckle

This has become a favourite annual raffle. Tickets are $10 each and the winner will receive a solid silver, custom handmade, 2017 Kamloops Cowboy Festival commemorative belt buckle valued at about $750.00. It's a one of a kind buckle too, hand made by Merritt silversmith Richard Tenisch.

click to enlarge A past year's buckle shown

There are only 300 tickets printed for this raffle and they're $10.00 each. Tickets will be sold in the trade show area, at the information desk, and at the General Store - ask any volunteer!

click to enlarge An example of Hope River Metal Art - the raffle prize will be similar this year.

The 2017 second, but just as popular, raffle ...

There's two prizes on this one - the first prize is a piece of custom made metal art fire pit donated by Hope River Metal Art and valued at about $400.00. The second prize winner will receive two weekend passes for the 2017 Kamloops Cowboy Festival and three nights accommodation at the Ramada Kamloops!

There are only 900 tickets printed for this raffle and you get 3 tickets for $10.00. Tickets will be sold in the trade show area, at the information desk, and at the General Store - ask any volunteer!

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Once again the Ramada will host the Thursday Night "Welcome to Cowboy Festival" Dinner Dance!

Featuring Ed Wahl teaming up with The Gordie West Band,
lead guitar player Jim McLennan, and fiddle player Wesley Hardisty!

$45 admission (including tax & gratuity) includes the Cowboy Buffet (the same as last year), lots of great entertainment, and the Dance! Shuttle busses will be available from the Festival headquarters. This year featuring Ed Wahl, The Gordie West Band, Jim McLennan, and Wesley Hardisty.

Happy Hour @ 6:00, Dinner Buffet @ 6:45, Entertainment @ 8:00pm.

The buffet will include: Buns and Whipped Butter, House Salad, Caesar Salad, Apple Cranberry Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Seasonal Roasted Vegetables, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Chipotle Mushroom Ravioli, Rosemary Pepper Roast Beef with Au Jus, Assorted Squares and Bars, and Freshly Brewed Coffee or Tea!

Tickets are available at the Ramada Kamloops: Ph:1-800-663-2832 and ask for Joan, or get them when you order your Festival tickets.

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The 2017 Kamloops Cowboy Festival Poster

The 2017 Kamloops
Cowboy Festival Poster

The 2017 Kamloops Cowboy Festival poster has been chosen. It features the great drawing by local artist Sarah Schryver. You can see more of Sarah's work at her dad's booth, Thompson River Boot Company, in the tradeshow.

Self-taught artist, Sarah Schryver was born in 1991 and raised in the Interior of British Columbia. Being a bootmaker's daughter, Sarah has always had an artistic background and draws much of her inspiration from early western influences.

Sarah's primary goal is to capture a moment in time that connects people to the equine essence and the lifestyle that surrounds them. Having ridden for a professional horse trainer, her knowledge of

horsemen and their equine partners allows her to portray powerful moment, captivating stance and touching emotions in a unique contemporary manner.

Sarah currently resides in British Columbia's Thompson Plateau, making boots in her father's bootshop, the Thompson River Boot Company. She remains devoted to portraying the equine world through her charcoal art, as well as preserving the western culture through bootmaking.

Sarah's work has been internationally awarded and can be seen in both western and fine art publications.

Sarah will have her work on display in the Trade Show at the 2017 Kamloops Cowboy Festival. Her art will be displayed in a double booth shared with her dad, Daniel Gordon, Thompson River Boot Company.

The 2017 Kamloops Cowboy Festival Poster artist is Sarah Schryve
Click to enlarge

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In case you missed the last issue, here's what's in store for 2017.

Here's a quick overview of the few changes in store for 2017.

Venue: The convention centre will be laid out a little differently allowing us an extra 260 seat theatre which will be located in the Ballroom. We will not be adding any extra chairs in the theatre like we did last year.

Trade Show: The number of booths will decrease. We are figuring on 29 booths in the Ballroom with 12 tables in the hall.

Art Show: The art show will be in the same location but will be sitting on half of the floor space.

Workshops: The workshops will be held in the room behind the art show.

Open Mic: Open Mic will take place in the Workshop room.

Ticket Prices: Basically all rates have gone up $5.00. The cost of the dinners in the dinner theatre will now be $35. Weekend passes will be $80, Feature passes $40, and Daytime admission $25.

Tentative 2017 Festival Floor Plan
Tentative 2017 Festival Floor Plan
click to enlarge

The 2017 Kamloops Cowboy Festival Entertainers lineup.

We once again have a great line-up in place and the weekend shows should be awesome!! Here's a list of performers:

  • Ben Crane
  • Bernadette Ducharme
  • Bud Webb
  • Dave Longworth
  • Ed Brown
  • Ed Wahl
  • Emily Ireland
  • Frank Gleeson
  • Gordie West Band
  • Hanson Family
  • Hugh McLennan
  • Jay Snider
  • Jess Lee
  • Jim McLennan
  • Kathy Moss
  • Kevin Davis
  • Leslie Ross
  • Matt Johnston
  • Matt Robertson
  • Mike Dygert
  • Naomi Bristow
  • Phylis Rathwell
  • Shelley Goldbeck
  • The Wardens
  • Trinity Seely
  • Wesley Hardisty

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Workshops, Seminars, and Open Mic for the 2017 Festival

Workshops and Seminars
Please note all workshops and seminars will be held in the Convention Centre
and there will be no workshops on Sunday.

12:00 - Guitar as a backup picker - Jim McLennan
1:15 - Cowboy hat building - Tim from Cowboys Choice
2:30 - Saddles by Andy Knight

3:00 Workshop room - Open Mic Sessions

12:00 - Kevin Davis - song writing
1:15 - Jay Snider - cowboy poetry
2:30 - Mike Miltimore - what makes a great guitar

3:45 Workshop room - Open Mic Sessions

11:00 am till 4:30 pm Workshop room - Open Mic Sessions

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The Kamloops Cowboy Festival
Art of the West Show and Sale &
Festival Trade Show

The Trade Show is basically full with a good number of vendors taking part, with some great products - truly something for everyone. We hope you will be as pleased with this years' line up as we are and we hope you patronize as many as you can, to let them know what a great asset they are to the Kamloops Cowboy Festival! See the Trade Show page here.

Here is a list of the exhibitors that will be at the 2017 Festival

  • Back Country Horsemen Society of BC
  • BC Cowboy Heritage Society
  • BC High School Rodeo
  • BC Rodeo Association
  • Barkerville Historic Town
  • Ben Crane - Jinglebob Music
  • Canadian Cowboy Country magazine
  • Candice Camille Photography
  • Cariboo Saddlery
  • Charming
  • Connie Ellis Photography
  • Cowboys' Choice
  • Cowboy Classic Equipment
  • Creations by Bob
  • Dancing Loon Cree-ations (clothing & jewelry)
  • Ignite Custom Designs
  • Jack Pine Forge

  • Joan & Bruce Bartlett (bronzes & iron art)
  • Kactus Western Wear
  • Longhorn Rope Creations
  • Marney Bethall (book, prints, calendars)
  • Medicine Man Gallery
  • Mountain Legaues Art
  • Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin
  • O'Keefe Ranch
  • Ranches Only
  • Richard Tenisch, Silversmith
  • Ripple Creek Creations
  • Saddle Up Magazine
  • SweetWater Bronze
  • The Mushroom Lady (wildrags & Scarves)
  • Thompson River Boot Company
  • Unique Bling 'N' Things
  • Wilf Bennett (rodeo memories)
Once again the Art Show at the Festival has drawn a lot of interest from a lot of talent. 18 artists have been selected to partake in the juried art show with four sculptures, twelve photos and eighteen pieces of flat work (paintings and /or drawings) entered.

The flat work artists for the 2017 show are: Lesley White, Anita Klein, Ruth Moore, Harold Allanson, Debbie Lund, Donna Goett, Marlene Pegg, Charlene Parenteau, Donna Barker, Stefanie Travers and Judy Vanderveen. In the photography section Connie Ellis, Fiona Green, Mike Anfield and Natalie Anfield will have photos entered. The sculpture pieces were entered by Nancy McMinn, Joan Bartlett and Reg Parsons. See the Art Show page here.

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The BC Cowboy Hall of Fame Inductees are:

To be inducted at the Festival Friday, March 17th, 2017

Mark Grafton  - Working Cowboy/Horseman Mark Grafton

Mark Grafton - Working Cowboy/Horseman
Mark's family ranched in Oregon until 1960 when his Dad decided to move north. They bought a ranch at Woodpecker along the Fraser River between Quesnel and Prince George. They expanded using the Ag Lease Program and by purchasing land from neighbours. Mark grew up riding young horses, chasing yearlings and trapping in the winter. Between 1974 and 1979 Mark studied Animal Science at Cal Poly University in California. Here he met Laura, and they very happily returned to the north and put their energy into developing the Bar K Ranch north of Prince George with Mark as the manager. They spent 35 years on the Bar K raising cattle, horses, and a couple of boys. They took the ranch

from 400 auction cows to a herd triple the size. Mark gained a reputation for selecting quality cattle and purebred breeders took cues from his insight. He was often asked to judge bull shows. Mark's Father was a buckaroo and veteran of the US Cavalry, and he passed his horsemanship and stockmanship knowledge to his children. Mark, in turn, mentored many young cowboys and cowgirls who were eager to learn. Mark (and Laura) provided much leadership to the industry over the years: There was rarely a time when he was not volunteering with PG Cattlemen's Association, BC Cattlemen's Association and/or Canadian Cattlemen's. The philosophy of teaching didn't end at employees of the ranch; The Bar K also participated in "Agriculture in the Classroom" and hosted thousands of students while Mark was manager. With knowledge passed down from great horsemen, and his own experience, Mark began doing colt starting and horsemanship clinics. He also helped the 'Farm and Ranch Health and Safety Association' develop a teaching manual for the ranching community, and has given workshops for the SPCA. After retiring from the ranch in 2015, Mark still helps out and mentors the younger cowboys as needed. He also does horse training clinics and is a well respected judge at the Mane Event Trainers Challenge every year.

Miles Kingdon - Working Cowboy/Horseman
From his earliest cowboying days almost 40 years ago on the vast Canadian prairie pasture lands to BC's historic big cow outfits, Miles Kingdon has certainly worn out his share of custom saddles. His formative years spent at Douglas Lake Ranch under such respected horsemen as Stan Murphy and cattlemen Mike Ferguson and Orval Roulston, set the stage for later lead-off positions at large established commercial ranches in the Nicola Valley. Notably, Miles held cowboss positions on the Bar K and the Gang Ranch; he was the manager at Empire Valley Ranch, and eventually served ten years as manager of cattle operations at Quilchena Cattle Company. The geographical diversity of these big outfits has

Mile Kingdon  - Working Cowboy/Horseman Miles Kingdon

provided Miles with a true cowboy's grasp of practical horsemanship and livestock handling in all weather conditions, in all possible circumstances. Miles bases his philosophy of helping horses through the historic and traditional Californio style applied horsemanship. In addition to the clinics, camps and workshops, Miles also offers a customized training program. It is throughout these 40 years in the industry that Miles has recognized the true meaning of an equine partnership built on trust, confidence and respect. Miles has spent time in both Mexico and California studying horsemanship and this, along with years of colt starting, is the knowledge and the traditions he is now passing on through horsemanship and horse training clinics. Miles has also done clinics for Extreme Mountain Trail, he's judged the Californio Bridle horse show, judged lots of working ranch horse competitions, and he's been a well respected judge at the Mane Event Trainer's Challenge for years. Miles now manages a yearling pasture for Nicola Ranch and he cowboys for Coldstream Ranch when needed. Tim O'Byrne, former Gang Ranch cowboss and current publisher/editor of Working Ranch magazine, says: "Miles and I covered a lot of country together over the years, and I know he credits much of his practical horsemanship and low-stress cattle handling skill set to decades of daily exposure to the land, cattle, dedicated cowboys and cowgirls, and the many horses he was so blessed to ride on his remarkable journey."

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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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The 17th Annual 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert

Saturday February 11th, 2017

The 100 Mile Concert is the main fundraiser for the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame and the BC Cowboy Heritage Society Student Scholarships and it's also a bit of a promo for the Kamloops Cowboy Festival. The matinee show sold out a few weeks ahead of time like it has the past few years and the evening show was more Cariboo style with folks holding out till the last minute to decide. Gary Fjellgaard, Emily Ireland and Ed Wahl all put on a super show and everyone went home happy. Hard to believe that tickets for this show are still only $15 each ... for a three hour show of quality entertainment. How can you beat that?

Ed Wahl
Ed Wahl

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland

Gary Fjellgaard
Gary Fjellgaard

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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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The 16th Annual Spirit of the West Cruise!

There are still about 5 spots left and they will probably go quick ... there are already right around 200 folks signed up to go!

click to enlarge
The 2017 Spirit of the West Cruise is off to Alaska

The 2017 Spirit of the West
Cruise is off to Alaska

See or call Cruise Vacations
Download the Cruise Brochure

That's right - North To Alaska is the 2017 destination. The Holland America's ship "ms Noordam" will depart Vancouver on June 18th, 2017, with Billie and Hugh McLennan and the Spirit of the West group! The cruise will sail over a seven day period taking in; The Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and Steward (Anchorage).

Following the cruise the Spirit of the West group will enjoy some of Alaska's most spectacular scenery en route to Denali National Park with it's unforgettable Tundra Wilderness, and the very best chance of seeing both Mount McKinley itself and Denali's iconic wildlife. Transportation to Denali National Park will be on deluxe motor coach and the return trip to Anchorage will be on the luxurious domed cars of the McKinley Explorer.

There's an option available, too, if you're coming from Alberta ... you could take the Rocky Mountaineer Rail Package.

Here is a photo of the 2016 Spirit of the West group

The 2017 Spirit of the West Cruise is off to Alaska

click to enlarge

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The Joe Marten Memorial Award
for the Preservation of Cowboy Heritage in BC

will be presented during the Kamloops Cowboy Festival
main evening feature show on Saturday, March 18th.

Diana French
Diana French

For over a decade and a half the BC Cowboy Heritage Society has been presenting The Joe Marten Memorial Award for the Preservation of Cowboy Heritage in BC. The BCCHS mandate is to promote and preserve cowboy heritage in the Province therefore this award, as well as the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame, are top priorities.

This award is given annually to someone who is influential in promotion or preservation of cowboy heritage in BC in any number of ways, but often a cowboy craftsman, and author, a poet/story teller, an artist, western promoter, or historian, are honoured. This year the recipient fits in a few of these categories; Diana French was the curator of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin in Williams Lake for close to 30 years, she has wrote three ranch related books, and she was the push behind the Museum partnering the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame and making the Museum the home to its memorabilia as well as swinging the Museum's focus to cowboys, ranching and rodeo.

All of these accomplishments make Diana French a very deserving recipient but she's also lived the life, too. She started her ranching experiences in the little community of Chezacut where she took her first teaching job in 1951. Here she met and married Bob French, the son of a pioneer ranching family in the area. Over the years they lived in a few different Cariboo / Chilcotin communities before finally settling, with their family of five boys, in Williams Lake in 1970.

Diana taught school for their first year in Williams Lake but after that she became a reporter, and later the editor, of the Williams Lake Tribune. She still writes a weekly column for the paper.

Diana has always been active in community activities, too. She was a trustee for School District #27 for two terms, and has served on numerous municipal, provincial and federal boards ranging from the Salmonid Enhancement Commission to the Knowledge Network. After Bob retired in 1987, the couple were caretakers at the Williams Lake Stampede grounds for two years.

In the early 1980s Diana became involved in the city operated museum and in 1986, when it became a non-profit society, she was on the board of directors. Because of Williams Lake's ranching history, (the Stampede, the stockyards, and many of BC's original ranches are in the Cariboo Chilcotin) the directors of the museum adopted a ranching / rodeo theme for the museum. Diana was the curator, a volunteer position, for almost 30 years.

In 1997 she heard of the newly formed BC Cowboy Heritage Society and contacted founding member / president Mike Puhallo, indicating her interest. This led to the MCC becoming partners in the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the home for the Hall of Fame collection.

Diana has published three books. Ranchland, partnered with photographer Rick Blacklaws, is all about the history of ranching and cowboys in BC. Both the Road Runs West and Women of Fine Mettle, include stories of well known, and not so well known, women involved in ranching.

As an author of three ranch related books, the years as a curator of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, and as the push to give the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame an ongoing home for inductee's information and memorabilia, Diana French definitely deserves to be added to the list of recipients for the Annual Joe Marten Memorial Award for the Preservation of Cowboy Heritage in BC.

The BC Cowboy Heritage Society will present Diana French with the Joe Marten Memorial Award during the evening feature show at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival on Saturday, March 18th. For information on the BCCHS call 1-888-763-2221 or see their web site at

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Horse / Cow Work Clinic

Miles Kingdon and Mark Grafton (who will both be inducted into the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame on March 17th at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival) are doing a great job with their horsemanship clinics which I'm really happy to see are helping out and geared towards youth. Jasmine and Kevin Bedford and the 134 Mile Ranch will be hosting a couple of these workshops this summer - July 26th & 27th - Youth Workshop, July 28th - Green Horse Handling, July 29th & 30th - Weekend Workshop. They will focus on horsemanship and then translate that to cow work - how to work your horse and the cows

Horsemanship clinics geared towards cattle work
Horsemanship clinics geared towards cattle work

134 Mile Ranch
The clinic will be held at
the 134 Mile Ranch

with the least resistance and stress. The Green Horse Handling will involve a full day of how to safely handle and continue the training of your green horse. Both Mark and Miles are well respected horsemen and clinicians, as well as working cowboys, and many will have seen them at the Mane Event in Chilliwack where, for years now, they have judged the Trainers Challenge. For more information on these clinics contact Jasmine Bedford at 250-981-9920 or

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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. Its 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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