The Cold Lake Ag Society will not be receiving the full $25,000 it requested from the City of Cold Lake to support hosting the Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association (CPCA) races in June, but organizers will get $10,000 from the municipality to support the three-day event. 

On Dec. 12, council agreed that an allocation of $10,000 would be provided to the Cold Lake Ag Society, following a reassessment from the initial $25,000 request, due to budgetary considerations. 

Coun. Chris Vining expressed concerns regarding the requested amount, emphasizing the financial constraints faced by the budget. “I’m having a bit of an issue with the number because I know how tight things are for budgets and stuff, I’d be more aligned into the [$10,000] category for this.” 

Mayor Craig Copeland disagreed, advocating for a more substantial allocation. “I’ll be the one against it because I think they deserve [$20,000] as a major program.” 

Ultimately, the motion passed with the majority supporting an allocation of $10,000, despite the mayor’s opposing vote. 

The event 

The CPCA races are set to take place in Cold Lake June 14-16, 2024. Event organizers promise a weekend of adrenaline-pumping action and family-friendly festivities. 

During the City of Cold Lake council meeting held on Nov. 28, Chad Colbourne, a representative speaking on behalf of the Cold Lake Ag Society, formally requested a $25,000 funding allocation from the City. The financial support would be used to assist in covering expenses associated with the races. 

Colbourne explained the driving force behind the event. “Where the passion came from to put this event on was to bring something unique into this city that we haven’t seen. We have the concerts, we have music… we have these events already happening, but where is our tieback to rodeos, horses, and bring back the ag side of entertainment?” 

The CPCA races aren’t just about speed, they’re a showcase of skill, strategy, and the unbreakable bond between the drivers and horses. Drivers will race not only for victory in the moment but also to qualify for various motives throughout the race season, according to information presented to council. 

Determining the winning driver for each event involves a calculation of accumulated times over the weekend. In the case of the three-day shows, the ultimate winner emerges from the dash, adding a suspenseful element to the competition. 

Colbourne said the event extends beyond Cold Lake, resonating with communities across the region. “This is an event that hasn’t been here since 2011. It’s an event that’s going to draw in from all around the Lakeland, and most importantly, we will be able to share the sponsorship load amongst the Lakeland.”  

The event will also extend its reach beyond chuckwagon racing, offering a range of activities catering to all ages and interests. Organizers also want to tie Indian relay into the event. 

According to the information presented, the event offers opportunities for non-profit organizations to actively contribute to its execution. Non-profits can participate by providing various services essential to the event’s success, such as clean-up of the grounds and security. While these services will be compensated, the participating organization will receive a monetary donation based on the hours contributed by volunteers. 

“All the money that we are going to be putting together for this event is going to first of all take care of the expenses of running the event, but more importantly, any money that’s made from this event is going to be going back to the Cold Lake Ag Society,” said Colbourne.

By Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Dec 23, 2023 at 17:18

This item reprinted with permission from   Lakeland This Week   Bonnyville, Alberta

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