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Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association Mourns Loss of Longtime Supporter

Staff and board members of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association (CREA) are mourning the loss of longtime Exhibition Association Chair Alice McKay.

McKay, who passed away August 25th, began her volunteer work for the organization in 1954.

“Alice was a driving force in the early days of the Association,” says CREA President Gerry Spielmacher. “Her dedication to this organization was recognized in the early 1990’s when we named one of our buildings in her honour. Alice continued working at the Rodeo and Exhibition until just a few years ago, and that’s indicative of her spirit and commitment to this community and this event. Our sincere condolences go out to her family.”

McKay, who was 93 years old, came to the Langley/Surrey area in 1918, and was a member of a prominent dairy farming family. She is survived by a son and daughter.

NEXUS Lane Hours Expand at the Pacific Highway Crossing

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, today announced that, in response to increased traffic congestion caused by construction at the Peace Arch (Douglas) border crossing, the hours of service of the NEXUS lanes will expand at the Pacific Highway crossing.

“The Government of Canada is committed to a safe and efficient border,” said Minister Day. “By extending the hours of service of the NEXUS lanes at the Pacific Highway crossing, we are taking action to facilitate the smooth flow of legitimate trade and travel while securing the border.”

Effective immediately, the northbound NEXUS lanes will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will continue to monitor traffic flows during construction of the new U.S. facility at the Douglas border crossing.

NEXUS is a joint CBSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that is designed to simplify border crossings for pre-approved travellers. NEXUS members can use NEXUS lanes at 16 land border locations when travelling across the Canada-U.S. border, including a location that was launched on August 18, 2008, at Coutts, Alberta-Sweetgrass, Montana. The NEXUS program is also available at eight major Canadian airports and at over 450 locations for the marine mode of transportation.

The NEXUS card is also an accepted alternative document to the passport under the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative when travelling to the United States by air (at designated airports), land and sea.

The CBSA is committed to ensuring the smooth flow of legitimate travellers across the border in the lead up to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

For more information, please visit the NEXUS Web site at

Editor’s note: although the press release doesn’t mention it, we have been informed that the hours for the southbound NEXUS lane into the U.S. are also being extended to 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily.

Jim King named Winner of the 2008 Good Citizen Award

Jim King was the proud recipient of the 2008 “Good Citizen Award” presented by Mayor Dianne Watts on behalf of Surrey City Council at the City of Surrey’s Annual Volunteer Recognition Banquet Monday, May 5, 2008.

Mr. King has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to public safety and to helping society’s most vulnerable. Mr. King is best known for his work with the Surrey Crime Prevention Society, with whom he served as Executive Director from 1997-2008. He served as President of the Surrey Chamber of Commerce from 2003-04 and was a founding member and past director of the Surrey Tourism and Convention Association.

Among his other notable volunteer activities, Mr. King has served as a Director of the Lower Fraser Valley Exhibition Association, the Friends of the Museum and Archives, and the Surrey-Delta Multi-Cultural Coordinating Committee. Mr. King has served as a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, providing his expertise and knowledge as part of the process of creating the Surrey Crime Reduction Strategy. He has also been a long time member of the Focus on Seniors Committee and continues to lend his considerable talents to the Surrey Foundation.

Mr. King has been a passionate advocate for Surrey and for making his community a better place for all its members. He has served as a mentor to many Surrey youth, supporting the arts community to beautify the City while also removing unsightly graffiti. He has also worked extensively with the children of new immigrants to help provide them with the support they need to succeed in school.

“Jim King has a long history of service to the people of Surrey. His selfless acts of volunteerism have enriched the lives of many,” said Mayor Dianne Watts. “It is with the greatest of pleasure on behalf of Council that I name Jim King Surrey’s Good Citizen for 2008.”

Salvation Army Thrift Store Closes

The Salvation Army thrift store, which has been a Cloverdale institution for 30 years, closed on March 15. This leaves Cloverdale without a thrift store, much to the dismay of pensioners, low income residents, and bargain hunters.

The thrift store occupied the main floor of a building owned by the Salvation Army at 5658 – 176 Street. The second floor offices have been mostly vacant for years, with the only tenant being the Surrey Delta Pro-Life Society.

It is rumoured that the building has been sold, but it has not yet been announced who the new owner is, or what plans they have for the building.

Cloverdale Bike Park gets $10,000 boost from Victory Christian Centre

The Cloverdale bike park, located at the Cloverdale Athletic Park, recently underwent a significant overhaul. On Saturday October 13th and 20th, over 30 volunteers from the Victory Christian Centre rolled up their sleeves, put on a smile and went to work, removing rocks, tree roots and branches and compacting the soil throughout the park. Following the hard physical labour, the church followed up with a generous cash donation of $10,000 to the Bike Park project. Funds will go toward an addition to the Cloverdale bike park, offering a smaller racetrack with lower jumps primarily benefiting younger children. The cheque presentation occurred on Tuesday November 27th, with Councillor Linda Hepner accepting the cheque on behalf of the City from Pastor John Burns representing the Cristian Centre.

“This project is a great example of the community and the City working together to improve our park system”, said City of Surrey Councillor Linda Hepner. “The project would not have occurred this year or at the same level of significance without the energy and passion of the Victory Christian Centre and the volunteers they engaged over the past year. With their energy and hard work, this bike park will now serve as wonderful community legacy for the enjoyment of local families for many years to come”.

Cloverdale Athletic Park is located at 168 Street and 64 Avenue. Visit to find out more on the City’s parks system.

Cloverdale Rodeo to become Canada’s Second Biggest Payout

Cowboys to Vie for $360,000 in Prize Money in All New “Invitational Event”

The 62nd annual Cloverdale Rodeo will now be the second richest Pro Rodeo in the country. The Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association are pleased to announce that the 2008 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair will feature a brand new “invitational” rodeo format which will showcase the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world.

“In the past, the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) and Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) sanctioned contestants who qualified and competed in one of seven events in six rodeo performances at the Cloverdale Rodeo. The top score or time over the course of the weekend in each rodeo event would win a portion of the total prize money for that event, based on the final standings,” says Cloverdale Rodeo Chairperson Penny Smythe. “The new invitational rodeo format means the top twenty-four contestants in the 2007 Final World Standings in four rodeo events are invited to compete at Cloverdale in rodeo performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the top eight contestants in each rodeo event will compete in a very exciting 2:00pm Finals to determine the winner of the large Prize Money pay-out and Cloverdale Rodeo spurs.”

This new format marks the most significant change in the history of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair – with organizers anticipating even more exciting action and entertainment in the rodeo arena. Each rodeo contestant will compete twice and the combined total score/time will determine the top eight contestants for the Finals on Monday.

“We believe our traditional rodeo fans as well as new rodeo enthusiasts will come out over the May long weekend to experience the excitement of watching the world’s top cowboys and cowgirls in this new rodeo format, our 2008 Cloverdale Rodeo will be Bucking and Running with Broncs, Bulls & Barrels” says Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association President Gerry Spielmacher.

The Cloverdale Rodeo made international news in 2007 when it announced that it’s Board of Directors had decided to move away from the traditional pro rodeo format and drop three events from its program for the 2008 event – steer wrestling, tie-down roping and team roping. Eliminating these three traditional events meant the loss of official sanctioning by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

“The decision to eliminate the three traditional rodeo events was a very tough and difficult one for our Association. We respect the heritage of pro rodeo, but for our event, in our community, it was the right decision under the circumstances,” says Rodeo Chairperson Penny Smythe. “And because we no longer have all the required pro rodeo events, we were able to refocus our prize money into the events which are truly the most popular here in Cloverdale – Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Bull Riding and Ladies Barrel Racing. The re-allotment of the prize money means we can now attract the top 24 contestants in the world in each event to the City of Surrey, and in the end, we think this new rodeo format will make for one of the most exciting pro rodeo events in the world. We’re looking forward to 2008 and are very excited to welcome our longtime rodeo fans back to Cloverdale as well as new pro rodeo supporters.”

The top 24 cowboys in the Bull Riding, Saddle Bronc and Bareback events, as well as the top 24 Ladies Barrel Racers, based on the 2007 Final World Standings, will be invited to compete at Cloverdale. The world’s number one ranked bareback rider, Bobby Mote of Culver, Oregon will be on the slate at the 2008 Cloverdale Rodeo, “every year I’ve come to Cloverdale because you know you are going to get on a good horse. Also, the fans are sure good, they know when they’ve seen a good ride or a good time, and it really helps to keep the energy up. I’m looking forward to coming up next May.” Another one of the world’s best, nine-time National Finals Rodeo barrel racing contestant Molly Powell says, “I am excited about the new format at the Cloverdale Rodeo for 2008! As a contestant, it’s refreshing to have a rodeo committee working to put more money in our pockets. Every performance should be exciting to watch and compete in!”

About the Cloverdale Rodeo:

The Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association is a non-profit association that operates the popular annual Rodeo and Country Fair each May long weekend. The 62-year-old rodeo event draws in top cowboys and cowgirls from around the world to compete. Each year over 20,000 spectators take in the rodeo performances.

The 120-year-old Country Fair is a celebration of our Country Heritage and Western Tradition with exhibits, arts and crafts competitions, horticultural displays, British Columbia’s largest traveling midway and hundreds of free with admission family events, displays, shows and attractions. Over 70,000 guests enjoy the Country Fair annually.

The Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. The 4-day Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair generates in excess of 5 million dollars in economic spin-off to the City of Surrey and surrounding communities.

The annual event also continues to support Breast Cancer Awareness & Research through its “Are to Tough Enough to Wear Pink” fund raising campaign. Since starting the campaign in 2006, the event has raised and donated a total of $8,900.00 to the Crystal Gala Foundation, a Fraser Valley Breast Cancer Foundation.

The 2008 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair will run the May long weekend, May 16 to 19, 2008. For further information on the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair visit:

$13 Million Builds New, Green Surrey School

The Province has approved almost $13 million to build a new, environmentally friendly elementary school in a growing area of Surrey, announced Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon today.

“The Surrey school district is experiencing tremendous growth in student enrolment,” said Falcon. “The Province is responding to the rapid growth in the area with a new, greener school that will provide a safe, more effective learning and teaching environment for our students and staff.”

The new school has been designed according to sustainable design principles promoted by the Canada Green Building Council, supporting the Province’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020. Environmental features of the school include:

  • Better building and landscape design features, such as a smaller building footprint, effective storm water management, light-coloured roofing, sun-shades, and tree retention and replacement during construction to lower the ongoing energy costs and impact of the school on the local environment.
  • Large windows that open in classrooms and more windows in other areas to allow better light, cleaner air, better ventilation with a lower environmental cost and an overall brighter, better learning environment for students.
  • Drought resistant and native plants that require less water.
  • High-efficiency motors and features such as motion detectors to lower the energy costs of ventilating, heating and cooling the building.
  • Low toxicity materials, paints and finishes.
  • Better environmental management during construction to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

“This new school will be a safe, environmentally friendly place for students and staff to receive and deliver a high quality education,” said Education Minister Shirley Bond. “I’m pleased that we’re able to support this new school in a growing area of Surrey.”

“The board is really pleased with the government’s decision to support this new school initiative,” said Shawn Wilson, Surrey Board of Education chair. “As Surrey continues to grow by 1,000 citizens a month, providing high quality and accessible education services is a major priority for our board. The children and families of the Clayton community will be well served with this new neighbourhood school.”

Built for 400 elementary and 80 kindergarten students, the new Clayton Centre Area elementary school will bring down enrolment pressures on the four surrounding elementary schools: Clayton, East Clayton, Hillcrest and Don Christian. Construction on the new school is expected to begin in spring 2008 and be complete by fall 2009.

Canadian Professional Rodeo Association President’s Message

Hello Members,

This past month has been a challenging learning experience for us all. During this time, we lost the ability to showcase all of the major CPRA events in one of our largest markets and at one of our more prestigious rodeos. What saddens me is that this outcome could have been different had we done an adequate job of properly supporting each other, and had we managed our venues proactively. The final outcome of Cloverdale may also have been different if a little more time had been allowed for dialogue before the final decision on that rodeo had been made.

We have a great responsibility to be an asset to our industry, not a liability. We MUST do our part to keep our sport PROFESSIONAL. Any negative situation, such as what occurred, sets a precedent that may affect the entire sport of rodeo, not just rodeo in Canada. Remember, we are the benchmark for many organizations; the amateur organizations and the junior/youth organizations look to us to be role models maintaining the highest standards. Are we truly doing all that we can to ensure the future of professional rodeo for generations to come?

I challenge each of you to look at your own contribution to the sport. Are you following the rules? Are you raising the standard? Are you maintaining the highest level of integrity? How can you expect your association to be greater than the sum of its individual parts unless these parts epitomize the best that the sport has to offer? We all love professional rodeo. We already see the good in what we do. Now I am asking you to “help us help you” to show the rest of the world as well.

The situation in Cloverdale will continue to be dealt with for some time. You will see changes in tie-down roping coming from your board with the cooperation of the tie-down ropers.

We cannot ignore the reality of what occurred. Our world is changing and we must change or risk losing some things that are very important to us. What happened in Cloverdale was the first warning shot towards government legislation of our sport. Be proactive.

The contestant involved with the incident in Cloverdale was fined and was suspended. He received a three rodeo suspension and a $1,000 fine. The suspension has been served and the fine has been paid. I must add that he is appealing this ruling.


CPRA Addresses Cloverdale Rodeo’s Announcement

The Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA) is aware of the decision made by the Cloverdale Rodeo in Surrey B.C. to no longer hold all sanctioned events at their 2008 rodeo.

The welfare of the livestock involved at all CPRA sanctioned events comes first, they are protected by a strict set of rules and enforcement of them is of the highest priority to the CPRA. The Cloverdale committee made the decision to cancel some selected rodeo events in the future after an unfortunate incident in the tie-down roping event where an animal was injured. The contestant involved was immediately disqualified by the CPRA pro officials and could face further disciplinary action from the CPRA board of directors.

The CPRA understands that the Cloverdale Rodeo is held on property owned by the City of Surrey and the rodeo must comply with local official’s wishes regarding the rodeo. We feel this has contributed to their decision to cancel these events in the rodeo.

The CPRA stands behind the sport of professional rodeo, all events must be conducted under the association’s rules which provide for the proper care and handling of all rodeo livestock.

The CPRA board of directors will further address this incident and the issues surrounding it at their next meeting in June. A decision regarding the CPRA sanctioning of future Cloverdale rodeos will be made if and when an application to sanction the Cloverdale Rodeo is received.

The CPRA has worked diligently over the years to assist the Cloverdale Rodeo in producing a top-notch CPRA sanctioned rodeo. The CPRA board looks forward to reviewing the 2008 sanctioning request and proceeding with what they feel is in the best interest of the CPRA.

Cloverdale Rodeo Announces Major Changes to Event Programming

The Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association today announces plans to make significant changes to its event for the 2008 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair, slated for May 16 to 19, 2008. Effective immediately, the annual Cloverdale Rodeo will no longer include tie-down roping, team roping, cowboy cow milking and steer wrestling as part of its rodeo program.

“Over the last 61 years, the Cloverdale Rodeo has been known as one of the top rodeo events in North America,” says Association President Gerry Spielmacher. “This decision, reached after significant discussion, reflects the feedback we’ve received from thousands of rodeo fans who attend our event here in Cloverdale. Further, we feel this decision needs to be made at this time due to an unfortunate incident, which occurred at our Saturday afternoon rodeo performance, resulting in an animal being euthanized,” added Spielmacher.

The Association is currently in discussions with its governing body, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association (CPRA) regarding the continuation in some form of its longtime affiliation with the organization. Numerous attempts by the Cloverdale Rodeo to lobby its rodeo sanctioning body to change event rules to further protect the animal athletes against injury in the events in question have not been successful, ultimately resulting in this decision by the Cloverdale Rodeo to eliminate those events altogether.

“The Cloverdale Rodeo Association values its relationship with the CPRA, and therefore this decision was extremely difficult for us, but we felt we no longer had any choice,” says Spielmacher. The Rodeo Association will announce 2008 rodeo programming details in the coming months.