Ponoka Ag Society Donates $50,000 to Phase III construction at Calnash Ag Event Centre
Over the past 115 plus years of being part of our community of Ponoka, the Ponoka Agricultural Society has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to local societies and organizations, as well as planning and hosting many community events. This past week, the Ponoka Ag Society donated an additional $50,000 to the cost of new construction that is happening at the Calnash Ag Event Centre, located on the south edge of town. Previously the Ag Society had contributed cash, items such as banquet tables, cattle handling equipment and panels, as well as many volunteer hours - during various stages of planning, fund raising, building and operation of the Calnash Ag Event Centre.
Starting in early 2007, the Ponoka Ag Society collaborated with the Town of Ponoka, Ponoka County, and the Ponoka Stampede, to bring to completion a long- held vision of many community minded individuals. The non-profit society, the Ponoka Ag Event Centre Society (PAECS), came into being through this collaboration; the goal of PAECS was to plan, fund raise, build and the operation of a facility that would be a multi -purpose, agri-recreational facility. It had previously been determined that such a facility would compliment the already existing facilities within our community, and that it would be a tourism driver and economic boost for the area.
The Calnash Ag Event Centre arena and barn have been fully operational since 2012; many events ranging from horse shows, multiple team roping events, cutting events, reined cow horse, 4-H shows & sales, events like the Festival of Trees, car and RV shows, and multiple barrel racing events - have been hosted at Calnash. What has been missing is a cover over the area between the barn and the arena.
The large area between the 2 structures has housed thousands of head of livestock for events, since the opening of Calnash. The weather has proved to be challenging at times – and during winter months it has been difficult to safely house livestock, thus limiting usage of the area during wintertime.
Practically since the barn was completed – the covering of this area has been visualized. Known as “Phase III,” – construction started on the project in mid-June, with completion slated to finish up within the next 2 – 4 weeks. We, along with many other users of the facility, are looking forward to the construction being completed.
Shown in the attached photo (L – R), are President of PAECS, Terry Jones; Ag Society Director Lauraine Weir; V-P of PAECS Blake Taylor; Ag Society Treasurer Joyce Winter; Ag Society Director Tammy Henkelman; and president of the Ponoka Ag Society, Sherry Gummow.
Local connoisseurs of vintage cars and trucks gathered over the weekend in the Town of Ponoka, to celebrate all things vintage - as well as the 40th anniversary of the Ponoka Piston Poppers. Fellow appreciators of antique vehicles, whether restored to their original condition - or turned into a "hot rod," - came from as far away as Nanton, Alberta, to join in the fun & festivities. On Saturday they went on a 2 hour cruise, returning to the Ponoka Stampede Stagecoach saloon for a tasty roasted pig supper. Ponoka Agricultural Society president Sherry Gummow was on hand to present the organizers of the event with a cheque to help with rental expenses. Ponoka Piston Popper President Ray Ward expressed his thanks to the Ponoka Ag Society for their assistance with this family friendly event. This is an annual event, if you missed it this year, keep it in mind for next.
Ponoka Agricultural Society president, Sherry Gummow, is surrounded by a bevy of junior competitors at July 14 Ponoka Roping & Riding Association event held at the Ponoka Stampede grounds. It was a very warm day, but it didn't deter these enthusiastic youngsters from putting their equine friends through their paces while barrel racing, pole bending, tying goats - and participating in roping events. Sunday was a repeat of Saturday's events, with competitors coming from Stettler, Erskine, Eckville, Rimbey, Lacombe, Ponoka and other surrounding areas. The PRRA has been providing area families with the opportunity to participate in rodeo events, from a very young age, for the past 40 years. Many past, present and no doubt, future stars of rodeo - got their start through events similar to this. Ponoka Ag Society is proud to support local organizations such as PRRA with their events. The $1200 donation helps pay for arena rental throughout the year
Since 1903, the Ponoka Ag Society has been actively involved in our local community. Whether planning & hosting local agricultural based communities such as Ponoka Ag Society Bench Show, collaborating with other organizations to move projects to completion - or sponsoring other local groups for activities or projects - we've contributed many hours of volunteer time, money & resources throughout the Town of Ponoka and Ponoka County.
On July 4, a group of 4-H'ers from Nova Scotia arrived here for a Youth Exchange. Things got off to a slower start than planned (10 hour layover due to plane problems) - but once they'd caught a few winks of sleep - they were ready to start their activities at MSW Farms with a hayride, BBQ and maybe even a horseback ride. Ponoka Agricultural Society was on hand to present a cheque to the Silver Valley Horse Club, the host club for this exchange. The contribution by the Ag Society will help this group complete their "Community Service" segment of this exchange. The group will be building bird houses at Ellis Bird Farm, and then installing the completed houses along the Battle River, in conjunction with Battle River Watershed Alliance. The Watershed Alliance will also be leading discussions about riparian health, and the impact of working towards healthy riparian areas around our community.