Then, now and tomorrow: Ivan Daines Friends and Heroes Country Music Pick-nic

Ivan Daines bills his Country Music Pick-nic as “featuring the stars of yesterday, today and tomorrow” — and he’s not kidding.

Ivan Daines bills his Country Music Pick-nic as “featuring the stars of yesterday, today and tomorrow” — and he’s not kidding.

Among the acclaimed artists who have performed at his live country music variety show in years past are rising Alberta stars Brett Kissel and Lindsay Ell, Canadian Country Music Association favourite Gord Bamford, hall-of-famers Ian Tyson and Dick Damron, as well as George Canyon, George Fox, Pam Tillis and Terri Clark.

“I’m incredibly proud of what they’ve done,” said Daines of the big-name performers who began making waves at his annual events. But he believes new promising up-and-comers can be spotted at every one of his Pick-nics.

The lineup for the 38th annual Ivan Daines Friends and Heroes Country Music Pick-nic that runs Aug. 14 to 17 at the Daines Ranch near Innisfail, certainly includes a lot of impressive talent. There’s Red Deer singer Randi Boulton, award-nominated Tera Lee, the Command Sisters, Denver Daines, Jordan Doell, Dean Ray, Kylie Sitter, Tanya Nydokus, Jeannette Carrico and Cassidy Peisse.

Among the seasoned players are Red Deer-based country singer Duane Steele, hall-of-famer R. Harlan Smith, world champion yodeller Rod Erickson, Spirit of the West Roadshow MC Hugh McLennon, and cowboy poets Buddy Gale and Gerald Miller.

There’s also Ivan Daines himself, a former rodeo champ (he won three consecutive steer riding titles at the Calgary Stampede between 1959 and 1961, and was recently recognized with a Pioneers of Rodeo Award) who also sings and is launching his latest CD.

“I have upwards of 100 entertainers,” said Daines — and they’re not all country crooners.

Calgary Stampede Extreme Cowboy Challenge champ Kateri Cowley will be showing her skills, as will Wrangler Ruth, who will put on a trick roping workshop.

As well, there’s a new event this year for anyone who doesn’t mind landing in the dirt. “We’ve added the Voyageur Conquer the Course,” said Daines. The obstacle event can be entered, for an extra fee, in three categories — for ambitious hikers, bikers or horse riders. It includes a mud bath, a pulling-a-tire challenge, and other feats of physical endurance.

Of course, there’s the Canadian Championship Horse Training Contest and natural horse competition.

There’s also a country music dance contest, and all-star Central Alberta Idol contest, pancake breakfast and cowboy church service.

Pre-sale tickets are available for $50 ($20 for a one-day pass) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre and Innisfail Auction.

Tickets will also be available at the gate for $70 ($25 for a one-day pass).

For more information about the events, location, youth or group ticket rates, call 403-358-2295 or visit the Ivan Daines Facebook page.