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Neither Rain Nor Canuck Play-offs Keep Crowds from 65th Cloverdale Rodeo

It was a fun-filled May Long Weekend as the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair celebrated 65 years of family fun and cowboy and girl action. Crowds giddied-up for the exciting sights and events and enjoyed fair weather Friday and Monday while toughing it out in true cowfolk fashion rainy Saturday and Sunday.

The 65th annual Rodeo showcased the world’s top cowboys and cowgirls in Canada’s second richest pro rodeo payout, and offered up more than $360,000 in prize money. Standout winner was Clayton Foltyn who finished first overall in bull riding. As the lone competitor to stay on his animal during the full 8 second ride, Foltyn took home $50,000 in the final and $54,300 overall.

There was upset for the two BC competitors who made it through to the final round. Despite a hard-fought effort, Merritt bull-rider Ty Pozzobon was unable to stay on his animal for the required 8 seconds. Meanwhile, after taking a wide turn during ladies barrel racing, Kamloops native Laura James finished second-to-last with a time of 15.59, only .45s of a second away from the first place winner’s time.

“We were able to bring out a very strong field of competitors for our 65th annual rodeo,” said Cloverdale Rodeo Chairperson Penny Smythe. “The high calibre of competitors helped attract a good number of diehard fans and rodeo newbies, proving rain and Canuck playoffs were no match for live Cloverdale action.”

In total, more than 15,000 people turned out to see one of North America’s premier pro rodeos during five performances held throughout the four-day event. “Attendance for afternoon rodeo performances was excellent. The sun was out for Monday Finals, drawing an enthusiastic crowd to what proved to be the most exciting rodeo action of the entire event,” Smythe added.

The Country Fair attracted long weekend crowds in excess of 77,000, up more
than 5000 visitors from last year.

Lord Tweedsmuir Cheer Team Wins National Title

Lord Tweedsmuir CheerleadersThe Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers cheerleaders have a lot to cheer about, and they do it better than any other cheerleaders in Canada.

Led by team captain Kelsey Boule, the 19-member squad won their division at the Canadian National Cheer & Dance Championships May 13 to 15 in Niagara Falls, Ont.  The Panthers claimed the top spot in the small senior advanced division, despite strong competition and an injury to one of their own.

“I’m just really proud of them and all of their hard work,” said Lord Tweedsmuir vice-principal Cynthia Weldon, who chaperoned the team. “It’s great to have been part of the trip that put a national banner on our gym wall.”

The Panthers delivered two, 2.5-minute routines. In their final performance Sunday, Grade 11 student Alexandra Purgavie hyperextended her knee and had to hobble off the mat mid-routine. The rest of the team carried on with a flawless performance that earned them a championship trophy bigger than their smallest squad member.

Judges will take off points for mistakes, but not for injuries, and so Alexandra’s departure only motivated the Panthers to finish strong for her.

“When the girls came off the mat, they burst into tears because they knew this was the last time they were going to compete together,” says Loretta Scott, the team’s staff liaison. “Three of the cheerleaders are graduating this year, and one is struggling with a chronic injury and not able to come back next year.”

The squad has been practising together more than 12 hours a week since September, plus conditioning for several hours a week individually.

The Panthers were thrilled to win their division, but getting proof of their victory home – the trophy – was another challenge altogether. Initially, WestJet required the team to check the award as baggage because it was too big to qualify as a carry-on. But when a baggage handler indicated to team captain Kelsey Boule that it would be destroyed by the other suitcases in the luggage area, the cheerleaders convinced a plane steward to allow them to wrap the structure in their team jackets and stuff it into the overhead compartments.

The Canadian National Cheer & Dance Championships is the most prestigious cheer event in the nation, with more than 300 teams from Canada and the U.S. vying for a title.

Ribbons Cut to Officially Open Cloverdale Recreation Centre

Cloverdale Rec Centre OpeningAn estimated 500 people were in attendance on Saturday to mark the official opening and ribbon cutting of the new Cloverdale Recreation Centre. The free family-friendly event included live entertainment, a family BBQ, a bouncy castle, sports activities, face painting, a senior’s tea, community displays, and prize giveaways for those in attendance.

“The new Cloverdale Recreation Centre is a much needed addition to the growing Cloverdale community, where many young families are choosing to call home,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “The facility is part of the Build Surrey Program, the largest capital construction program in the city’s history. We are building new recreation infrastructure throughout Surrey in order to create strong, vibrant, healthy communities.”

“The new recreation centre is a beautiful new landmark facility that will offer a broad range of health and wellness programs for all ages,” said Councillor Mary Martin, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Committee. “The centre has many welcoming and functional spaces including a drop-in weight room integrated over two levels and devoted fitness studios. There are also three gymnasiums, a wellness room, two preschool rooms, a child-minding area, a youth activity room, a senior’s lounge, and several multipurpose rooms.”

The event also included an unveiling of a public artwork piece produced by Robert Studer, an award-winning glass artist and designer. “Robert is an award-winning glass artist and designer who was selected through a design competition involving 56 artists from Canada and abroad who proposed art work for this building” said Councillor Judy Villeneuve, Council liaison to the Public Art Advisory Committee. “Robert makes inspired use of Cloverdale images in his work including digitally altered and coloured satellite photos of Cloverdale visible in the diffused glass as part of the Lobby”.

The art work entitle flow is a two-sided coloured light wall measuring thirty feet long and nine feet high. The wall contains eighteen illuminated projection tubes which rotate in response to motion sensors while projecting local community visuals. The reverse side of the light wall contains another artwork entitled planes of perception that contains a series of frames, rectangular diffusing films and dark mirrored glass.

For more information on the programs and services offered at the newly opened Cloverdale Recreation Centre, visit

Federal Election on May 2

A federal election has been called for Monday, May 2, 2011.

Local candidates for the major parties have already been selected in our consituency of South Surrey – White Rock – Cloverdale.

For a list of candidates and links to other election information see our election page at

Kevin Falcon New Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance

Kevin Falcon

New Premier Christy Clark announced her cabinet today. Local MLA Kevin Falcon was named Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance.

Kevin was first elected in 2001 to represent the riding of Surrey-Cloverdale, and was re-elected in 2005 and 2009. Kevin previously served as Minister of Health Services, Minister of Transportation and Minister of State for De-regulation.

The Finance ministry’s mandate is to provide financial-sector regulation, revenue collection, and services to the public and private sectors through branches which include Treasury Board, Provincial Treasury, Government Services and Registries, Corporate and Ministry Support Services, Revenue Division, Office of the Comptroller General, Business Partnerships Division, and Crown Corporations Secretariat.

The Deputy Premier is the representative of the Premier when she is unable to attend  official functions.

New Cloverdale Recreation Centre Opens

Cloverdale’s new 66,000 square foot multipurpose recreation centre features three full sized gymnasiums, a large fitness/weight room and a variety of multipurpose rooms including Preschool, Seniors’ and Youth spaces. This facility will host a wide range of programs and events for people of all ages.

A “soft” opening will take place on March 14. It will be open for drop-in gymnasium sports, weight room, fitness classes, child-minding and spring break camps. Full operation will begin on April 4.

The Grand Opening will take place on May 7. Join us for this free family event. Tour the new facility and see the variety of programs and services that will be offered.

For more information see

Seniors’ Centre Moving

In preparation for our big move to the new Cloverdale Recreation Centre, the Cloverdale Seniors’ Centre will be closed March 21st – April 1st inclusive.

All regularly scheduled Activities are cancelled. The Center will only be open for the pre-scheduled Income Tax appointments.

Join us as of April 4th at the new Cloverdale Recreation Centre at 6188-176 Street.

Business Organizations Relocate

Tourist Office

The Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce and the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association are moving to a new store-front location over the holidays. The new location is in the tourist information office at 5748 – 176 Street, across the street from Hawthorne Square.

The two associations have jointly operated a seasonal tourist information office at the location for a number of years with the help of summer students, but the move will allow them to provide tourist information year-round, as well as giving them a higher profile in the local business community.

They should be settled into their new location by the start of the new year.

Photo courtesy Google Street View.

Legion Membership Approves Land Swap, Mall Redevelopment

At a special meeting on Saturday, the Cloverdale Legion membership approved, by a vote of 121 to 10, a plan that will see the Legion relocate to a new property on the corner of 57 Avenue and the Highway 15 bypass. The new Legion facility will be on the ground floor of a six story building that will also include 104 condominium units and 11,500 square feet of retail space.

The Legion will swap their existing acre of land for 1.5 acres of land in the new location. In return for the land swap, the developer will build a new 10,000 Legion facility for free (the same size as the current branch).

The Legion relocation is the first phase of a larger plan that will see the old Safeway mall redeveloped. The City of Surrey will retain ownership of the land, and redevelopment will be done by TL Housing Solutions.

To view or download the site plan click here.

Friends of the Surrey Museum Endowment Fund allows Free Museum Access

Admission to the Surrey Museum will be free next year, thanks to the Friends of the Surrey Museum endowment fund held by the Surrey Foundation.

The Friends of the Surrey Museum and Archives Society was formed in 2001 to help raise money to build the new museum in Cloverdale. The Friends of the Surrey Museum endowment fund now sits at nearly $700,000.

“Income generated by the fund will be used to sponsor museum admission for 2011″, says the society’s Ursula Maxwell-Lewis, ’so visitors can view the exhibits free of charge”.