2 December 2015
By Zach Cormier
The Canadian Cowboy’s Association Finals Rodeo will have a new home next year.
During the CCA’s Annual General Meeting in Regina last weekend, the CCA announced plans to move the finals, which have been held at the Canadian Western Agribition for the past 11 years, to Swift Current.
“We didn’t want our finals to change. We didn’t want to compromise the integrity of it,” CCA Vice-President Kevin Larson told Everything Cowboy.
Larson said the CCA and Agribition were in disagreement about some changes the Agribition wanted to make to the rodeo’s format.
“It’s been that way – five rounds – since it started in 1979 in Lloydminster,” Larson said.
Larson wouldn’t go into detail about the specific changes that Agribition wanted to make to the format.
“It’s irrelevant at this point,” he said.
Despite the disagreement between the two parties, he said there is no bad blood between the Agribition and the CCA and that having the Rodeo in conjunction with Agribition made sense in a lot of ways.
“You had all the rural people that followed the CCA most of the year all in one place. I figured it was a great event. But on the other hand sometimes changes change.
“There’s no ill will towards Regina. We didn’t ever want to butt heads with them, so that’s why rather than go to them with an offer that they were going to refuse, it was easier to be straight with them and tell them that we had gotten the offer from Swift Current and we were really interested in pursuing it.”
The move makes sense for the CCA from a financial standpoint as well.
“We’re going to probably do a little bit better in Swift Current than we did in Regina.”
According to Larson, the new five-year contract with Swift Current works under an entirely different money-sharing system from Agribition.
Instead of earning a fixed rate every year for the Finals, like they did in Regina, the CCA will take home a percentage of the total earnings from the event.
“The big thing was our expenses. To run the rodeo in Regina cost $350,000 when everything was said and done.”
Now, with the new deal, the CCA has better access to sponsors, which could significantly reduce their total expenses.
“In Regina, we never had any access to any of the sponsorship locally, and that was huge. In Swift Current, if you’re your own event, and in partnership and the Ag Society, you get all those sponsors amongst the three of you,” Larson said, adding that the CCA is excited to begin the new partnership.
“I think Swift Current will do a great job. I think our contestants and our association will benefit more from it.”