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The BC Cowboy Heritage Society
Official Newsletter

The Cowboy Times
2018 Vol #3 - September

Issued quarterly;
February, May, September, and December
To see the next issues click on the Vol   #78 or Vol   #79

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About Us


Hall of Fame

Heritage Award 



Trade Show

Western Art Show



From the Editors
From the President
BCCHS Membership Info
New Poster Art
The 2019 Festival
100 Mile Cowboy Concert

The Student Scholarships
Summer Festival Review
Brett Kissel Canada Tour
Chris Harris Book Review
After the Fires on the Range
Spirit of the West Cruise

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From the Editors

Kathy and Mark McMillan

Kathy and Mark McMillan

A bit more on the 23rd Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival, March 14th to 17th, 2019, a bit more on the 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert, and some more stories and a book review make up this issue of the Cowboy Time.

As you read this newsletter we'll be on the Spirit of the West Cruise from Quebec to New York! Have a look at this article: Cowboy Cruise where you'll see where we are and find a link to our diary and photos.

Kathy & Mark McMillan, Editors,

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From the President

Mark McMillan

September 2018, Pres report by Mark McMillan

It's been an interesting summer and there's more fires popping up all around us but so far we've just experienced a lot of smoke. It's amazing how much the smoke blocks the heat from the sun ... which is very annoying when you're trying to dry hay ... but then I guess we can't complain ... after all it is only smoke.

We also had a summer full of interesting people, mostly from France and Quebec, that were staying here and working in the aftermath of last years fires ... find out more about the mushroom industry in the article below about Morels.

Looking ahead ... other then planning the Festival and Cowboy Concert, getting the student scholarships in, meetings for the Joe Martin Award and the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame, we're looking forward to a peaceful fall and winter.

Mark McMillan, President, BCCHS,

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

We haven't confirmed our next meeting yet but when we do we'll be sending out the usual notice by email.

Members: 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 annually. 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.

Festival Tickets will be available
at the Horse Barn!

The Horse Barn - Rafter HB!

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

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The 23rd Annual Kamloops Cowboy Festival Sneak Preview!

Some exciting news just rolled in ... we have now confirmed the attendence of a young female Texan that was the Western Music Associationís 2016 Female Entertainer of the Year and the Academy of Western Artists 2017 Western Female Entertainer of the Year ... Mikki Daniel!!

This is exciting for the Kamloops Cowboy Festival as I just touched on a couple of the many awards this girl has received. Mikki has some great testimonials on her web site: from some of the top western entertainers ... Red Steagall, Dave Stamey, Juni Fisher, and Michael Martin Murphey! We'll have her bio on-line in the near future.

Mikki Daniel
Mikki Daniel

The dates are March 14th to 17th, 2019 and yes, it's the 23rd Annual ... wow!

The Thursday night dinner dance ... This year we'll have Ed Wahl with his band ... ha ... well some might argue about who's band it is .. .like Hugh McLennan and Tom Cole :-) ... that's right the same band that played for Tom last year: Jim McLennan and Mike Dygert. Ed has played country dances down at the coast for years and is really looking forward to this Thursday night Kamloops Cowboy Festival Dinner Dance.

Add Tim Hus, Jean Prescott, Michael Fleming, Alan Moberg, Linda Nadon, Larry Krause and Tom Swearingen to the list and it should be another awesome Cowboy Festival.

Jean Prescott
Jean Prescott

Mike Fleming
Mike Fleming

Linda Nolan
Linda Nolan

Tom Swearingen
Tom Swearingen

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We've picked the 2019 poster art work

If you've been to the Festival art show in the last few years you'll know who photographer Mike Anfield is. In fact last year Mike won Best in Show, Runner Up, and Honourable Mention ... yup all three ribbons in one year!

So what better to choose for our poster art than a photograph by Mike Anfield.

Mike Anfield is a photographer now living in Knutsford BC. With his wife Natalie they operate several photography related businesses. Both Mike and Natalie's work have been published in magazines and books, and hangs on the walls of private collectors. Originally from Vancouver, Mike retired to his wife's hometown of Kamloops after a career in policing. A chance encounter with a crew of cowboys from the Frolek Cattle Co. in the Lac Du Bois grasslands led to Mike's first cowboy photos. Mike started photographing working cowboys when he could but quickly learned that to capture more than brandings and pregnancy checks he was

Mike Anfield's Photograph
Mike Anfield's Photograph.

Photographer Mike Anfield
Photographer Mike Anfield

going to need to get out on the range with the cowboys. After doing some riding at Sugar Loaf Ranch Mike decided he would need his own horse and of course a place to put it. This led to him and his family moving out to a small acreage in Knutsford where they keep the horses and run a few yearlings.

"I honestly didn't know the difference between a heifer and a Hereford when I moved up here. I always tried to pitch in and do my part though when I showed up and not just take photographs and leave. I think as I learn more about the cattle business my cowboy photography improves. I'm not often described as handy, but hopefully I am now more often a help than a hindrance."

Mike now takes most of his photographs from the back of his horse while working along side the cowboys. Along with selling fine art prints Mike produces calendars for a number of the local ranches.

Mike's work can be seen on his web site at:
and on Facebook at:

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The BCCHS & Mike Puhallo Memorial Student Scholarships

It's that time again ... time for the annual student scholarship submissions!

We award up to five, $500.00 scholarships each year so students get your entries in. The deadline is December 31st and you can enter in one of four different categories: a poem in the Mike Puhallo Scholarship (there could be two winners) and three in the BCCHS scholarship; a cowboy craft, a written short story, or art work ... a painting or drawing.

Find all the details on the Scholarships page including entries forms and all the rules.

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South Cariboo Summer Festival August 11th and 12th, 2018
The South Cariboo Summer Festival took place August 11th and 12th

Red and Helen Allan manned our BCCHS booth in the tradeshow at the Summer Festival and said it was a great weekend. They were promoting all that the BCCHS does including the Kamloops Cowboy Festival and the 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert.

This was a first time for the South Cariboo Summer Festival and hats off to all the organizers and volunteers!! A job well done!

Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate and some of the outside entertainment had to be cancelled but hey, no one can control the weather. Otherwise it was a fun and exciting event - I heard rumour that the Lawnmower Races were a big hit and that the Summer Fair is now registered in the lawnmower racing circuit ... this means next year should have some of the hottest machines in the country taking part.

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The 2019 BC Cowboy Hall of Fame
nominations are now being accepted

The deadline is November 1st so don't delay ... get that special someone you know nominated.

Nomination information and a nomination form can be found on the Hall of Fame page. There are a number of guideline categories including; Working Cowboy, Ranching Pioneer, Century Ranch, Competitive Achievements, Artistic Achievements, and Horseman but first and foremost, the nominee must be a working cowboy or rancher that has made his/her living physically working with cattle and horses in the Province of BC.

Nominations go to the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin in Williams Lake which is home to the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees memorabilia and is well worth a visit. They have a new location in the Williams Lake Visitor's Information Centre.

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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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Brett Kissel heads out on Part 11 of his Nation Wide Tour

Brett, the reigning CCMA Male Artist of the Year, has announced Part II of his historic "We Were That Song" tour starting mid September. You can see a full list of dates on Brett's Tour web site.

This Canadian music's most extensive tour has already seen Kissel perform 50+ shows across Canada from January to March of this year. But fans in communities reached out and wanted more! Now, for the first time in recent memory, a Canadian tour will be truly "Nationwide", with every province and every territory hosting a Brett Kissel concert!

Brett Kissel and We Were That Song tour
Brett Kissel - We Were That Song tour

We took in Brett's concert in Williams Lake in the Fall of 2015 and enjoyed every second of it ... Brett warned me ahead of time ... "There's no more yodelling Mark, it's upbeat and new country, not cowboy" ... well of course we knew this as we hear Brett on the radio all the time ... but hey ... it's still Brett and we loved it.

Here'a few photos from the 2015 Concert in Williams Lake:

Brett Kissel live in Williams Lake
Brett Kissel live in Williams Lake

Brett giving away his guitar in the audience
Brett giving away his guitar to a youngster in the audience

Brett with Kathy and Mark in 2015 in Williams
Brett with Kathy and Mark McMillan in 2015 in Williams Lake

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The 19th Annual 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert

In the last issue we announced that Tim Hus would be part of the 19th Annual 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert. In this issue we're announcing that Jason Ruscheinshy will be joining him! This is great news ... these are two tremendous male vocalists!

To top off the show we've asked Hugh McLennan to MC and entertain between sets ... with his awesome voice, cowboy poetry, and great humour added to Tim and Jason's abilities this should be a show to top all.

Tickets will once again go on sale in early December so that folks can get those annual stocking stuffers! We'll keep you posted on the home page at for details.

The date ... and this is important because it's not the usual 2nd Saturday in February this year ... we moved it ahead a week this year to accommodate Tim. This is because Tim Hus couldn't make it to the second Saturday as it's the weekend they celebrate Stompin Tom's birthday. So it'll be the third Saturday in February 2019 ... that's Saturday, February 16th, 2019.

Here's a little about all three:

photo by Donna Smith
Tim Hus
Tim Hus will be back in 2019

Some quotes about Tim Hus:

"Tim Hus may well be the ultimate in Canadiana songwriters"

"It seems that Tim Hus is the new lion of country music. One of the best country albums I've ever heard. No lie."

"Tim Hus has a voice sweeter than a Husqvarna chainsaw, a wit that is sharper than rusty barbed wire, and a list of songs longer than a Saskatchewan fence line!"

Jason Ruscheinsky

Jason not only won the Rising Star Showcase at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival a few years ago but last year he won the Horse Barn's Keeper of the West Award, An award presented for best new song or poem of the year at the Festival.

I think we ran out of awards for Jason but I know he'll be performing to get your votes ... he always does! Within the past few years Jason has flourished as a musician, playing countless shows and venues within the Cariboo area and abroad.

photo by Jerry Stainer
Jason Ruscheinshy
Jason Ruscheinsky

photo by Jerry Stainer
Hugh McLennan
Hugh McLennan

Hugh McLennan

Hugh McLennan doesn't need any introduction ... everyone knows him! Whether you've heard his award winning Spirit of the West Radio Show, been on one of their Spirit of the West Cruises (that's where we are right now as you read this), been to the Kamloops Cowboy Festival ... or any one of many cowboy festivals or gatherings around the continent, seen him at the cattle or horse sales ...

The 100 Mile House Cowboy Concert, Saurday, February 16th, 2019, Martin Exeter Hall.
Two shows to pick from: a 2:00 matinee or a 7:00 pm evening show!! Tickets $20

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Some good after the fires on the cattle range

It was an interesting summer this year ... did you wonder what all the tenters were doing out on the cattle range this summer? In the burned off areas? Well despite all the devastation from last year's forest fires they did create a huge boost for the economy. As well as the construction industry, in the area, we actually benefitted too.

Morel mushrooms grow in certain conditions after forest fires and the dollars involved in harvesting, buying, and exporting these little delicacies is staggering ... and we ended up with a little portion of this. For three months we had the family owned business, Wild West Foragers, renting our Bunkhouse and running a drying operation as well as an export business from Meadow Springs Ranch.

Morel Mushrooms grow in certain conditions after forest fires
Morel Mushrooms

Morels on the drying racks
Morels on the drying racks

Ben and Celia ran the show here and they were busy! Ben spends the winter studying maps of the fire areas and planning the summer harvest. He makes sure that mushroom pickers know where and when to be and hires subcontractors to run buying stations (4 buyers were set up in our area). A good picker can make several hundred dollars a day (cash) and the buyers make a percentage of this. Ben pulls out of the ranch in the evening with his pickup and a cargo trailer and heads to his buying stations collecting the day's harvest. He would return somewhere during the early hours of morning to unload ... several hundred pounds per day!

Boxes of Morels on pallets
Boxes of Morels on
pallets ready to ship

The mushrooms were then placed in a 53 foot refer trailer that spent the summer just outside our main gate. From here they were spread out on drying racks to air dry and then into huge wooden driers to finish off. Once completely dry (it takes 10 pounds of fresh to make one pound of dried) they were placed in boxes and stored until a delivery truck was arranged. Once it arrived pallets of 12 boxes were loaded and several thousand dollars of Morel mushrooms were on their way abroad.

Morels on the truck heading abroad
Pallets of Morels on the truck heading abroad

It was a great experience for us as we not only learned a ton about wild morels, and the business, but we also met a ton of great folks! A lot of these folks were from Quebec and abroad and although we didn't learn more than a couple of words of French we did enjoy their presence ... and most of them spoke English. We even had a couple of them out on horseback!

We met one of the buyer's parents and sister that were here on holiday to visit their son. It turns out that they live just minutes away from Quebec City where we will spend a few days this month ... and Sabrina has spent time as a tour guide in Old Quebec City! Wow ... I think this meeting was meant to be!

Sabrina from Quebec on a horseback ride
Sabrina from Quebec on a horseback
ride at Meadow Springs Ranch

Speaking of Quebec ... we're on the Spirit of the West Cruise as you read this article ... You see our diary and photos ... see here for more info.

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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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Chris Harris Book Review

Ranching, Glaciers, Wildlife, Volcanoes, Grasslands ... Chris Harris captures all of Central BC in his newest book: British Columbia's Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, A Photographer's Journey

I know Chris has thirteen books published but this newest book, "British Columbia's Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, A Photographer's Journey", really caught my eye when it first came out in 2016. It could be considered a geography text book, a history and information book, a coffee table book of incredible photos, or a book of things you didn't know about your own back yard ... whatever the case, it's definitely a book that can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone!

The first book Chris published has sold over 20,000 copies and the second over 15,000 copies. He started out with books of photos but his newer books are more about education, still with all the great Chris Harris photos, but with tons of interesting, and a lot of totally unknown, historical and geographical information. I think this book could, and should be used by teachers in the classroom.

I'm born and raised in BC and I've seen a lot of our beautiful Province ... or at least I thought I had until I started reading this book. It spans the centre of BC

Chris Harris at his studio
Chris Harris at his studio

Chris Harris in his studio
Chris Harris in his studio

from the Pacific Ocean to the Cariboo Mountains and I literally had no idea what we have here in BC. "Two distinct ancient rain forests, the tallest mountain massif of BC, Canada's highest fjord lake, ancient glaciers, the last pristine bunchgrass grassland on earth, rattle snakes, prickly pears, rubber boas, and a network of massive glacially fed rivers." Chris talks about the nesting waterfowl, the Itcha volcano, BC's wildest herd of Mountain Caribou, three massive volcanic fields, ancient civilization, the Great Bear Rainforest, Canada's third highest waterfall, the mother herd of North America's rebounding bighorn sheep population, the world famed Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit, a sand dune as large as a mountain, and ranches out of legend. One of Chris' opening paragraphs says it all, "This is the British Columbia almost no one knows ... ".

"I have a simple goal" says Chris, "to tell some stories and share some photographs of this home I have come to love above all others, the Cariboo and Chilcotin Plateaus and their mountains. I'm passing this gift on". Supported by ... in partnership with ... Cariboo, Chilcotin, Coast Tourism Association. One of the first pages in the book caught my eye right away. We caught a wild horse a couple of years back and page 5 of this book gives some back ground of the wild horses in the Brittany Triangle and what DNA tests have revealed ... interesting.

30 years of Chris' adventures are combined into this one book, plus a whole lot more! Its unique, too, as even the big name photographers from around the world have not been here and seen these Phenomena ... Chris is the only one to have photographed, or even seen this area.

This area of BC is spectacular in so many ways ... it has the only interior rain forest on the planet (all others are coastal). The receding glaziers exposing new life ... the very first plant, the first anything, to appear in millions of years. Chris, with his wife Rita, fly into these areas with their canoes. Chris explained another normally unseen piece of Mother Nature's work, "when we're out paddling on one of these glazier lakes the air bubbles are popping beside the canoe ... air bubbles being released from below ... air that's 50,000 years old. It's amazing!!"

"British Columbia's Cariboo Chilcotin Coast" would be a really special gift for someone, someone that has everything, or ... spoil yourself with a unique treat. Truly a book that anyone and everyone can enjoy! The stories are interesting and the photos are typical Chris Harris - spectacular!! To get a copy you can phone the studio at: 250-791-6631, email: or Chris invites everyone to come and visit the studio gallery at 5577 Back Valley Road, just north of 100 Mile House, BC. You can also check them out and/or order books online at

Many books can be found on the internet, and maybe now a days it seems the way to go, but holding this book in your hand, and seeing the scenery come to life in Chris' photos, can't be duplicated digitally ... it is truly a must have book.

Chris Harris in his studio
This new coffee table size book is a full 10 1/2 inches square.

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The 17th Annual Spirit of the West Cruise!

is under way!

Canada - New England ... Quebec City to New York!!

An 11 day adventure (with an optional 3 night New York post package) with Billie and Hugh and other passengers that have said that this cruise is on the top of their bucket list. This time on Royal Caribbean's "Adventure of the Sea"!

Latest Update:

That's right there's about 180 of us on the Adventure of the Sea as you read this newsletter. We left Quebec City, after a scenic three day visit, on September 19th to sail down the St Lawrence to the Atlantic Ocean, the Maritimes, and the New England Coast. Those of us that chose the three day extension will then spend time in New York City!

By the time you read this Billie and Hugh have probably announced where the 2019 Spirit of the West Cruise will be headed, too. To see the details, and to see where we are and what we're doing, including photos, check out: and/or If you are interested in the 2019 cruise, and it is definitely a bucket list trip, you should probably contact Megan at Cruise Vacations: 1-800-530-0131.

click to enlarge
Quebec City to New York

Quebec City to New York

See or call Cruise Vacations

    Here's the places we'll see on our current trip:

  • Quebec City
  • Fairmont Chateau Frontenac
  • Charlottetown, PEI
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Saint John, NB (Bay of Fundy)
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Portland, Maine
  • Cape Liberty, New Jersey

Here is a photo of the 2017 Spirit of the West group

The 2017 Spirit of the West Cruise is off to Alaska

click to enlarge

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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. It is 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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