Specially-designed fibreglass cowboy boots raised thousands of dollars for the Canadian Rodeo Historical Association in Ponoka and the Westerner Foundation.
Ten artists painted either a four-foot or 1.5-foot tall boot – these boots were auctioned off at the second annual Cowboy Kicks event at Westerner Park on Thursday night. The total dollar amount raised is still being calculated.
More than 400 people attended this year’s Cowboy Kicks, which also featured live performances by Nice Horse and The Prairie States.
“It was a fantastic night. We were really pleased. As one of the guests said, ‘It was the party of the year,’” said Kathy Lacey, chair of the Cowboy Kicks committee.
Lacey noted this year’s edition of the event was a little smaller than the first year, with it being held ahead of a long weekend and because the first version of the event had three years of buildup behind it.
“It kind of got stuck in the pandemic. We had a couple of false starts because restrictions kept being imposed. When we finally got the chance to host it, people had been committed to sponsorship and were so excited to get out, gather and be together,” she said.
The art community has embraced the Cowboy Boots project, Lacey added. Some of the themes of this year’s boots include wildlife, rodeo and storms.
“Each artist submits a drawing of what they are thinking they could do for their boot. We jury all of those applications and choose the boots that we think, based on a criteria, would do the best at the event,” she explained.
“Every boot was different, but they all had a Western Canadian theme to them.”
Westerner Park CEO Mike Olesen said Thursday night’s event was “an outstanding display” of community and culture.
“We extend our deepest gratitude to the Cowboy Kicks Committee for their unwavering dedication, as they tirelessly assembled this extraordinary event,” Olesen said.
The committee will gather in the near future to discuss the possibility of bringing Cowboy Kicks back for a third year.
“I think the intent is to do something to (promote) awareness of the Westerner Foundation,” said Lacey.
“The Westerner Foundation is an integral part of the whole Westerner experience because they’re able to provide some additional funds to support some of the capital projects, the maintenance and ongoing operations of Westerner Park.”