Sylvan Lake’s Brett Gardiner will be the voice of the Canadian Finals Rodeo for the next five years.
Gardiner was named announcer for the next five years at a CFR press conference Saturday at Westerner Park in Red Deer, which is the site of the event from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.
“It’s a dream come true for me to be a part of the Canadian Finals Rodeo,” said Gardiner. “I don’t want to oversell it as the greatest job in the world, but deep down inside, it is for me.”
Gardiner, who has been a part of the CFR for four or five years, said he’s very excited the CFR is in Central Alberta.
“It’s really special to me because this is home for us,” he said. “My wife and our three children live … 15 minutes from the very venue where we get to have the greatest, the biggest, the best rodeo in all of Canada.”
Gardiner said he has been announcing for about 15 years and has been a lifelong fan of the CFR. He said like many announcers, he tried to be a rodeo competitor first.
“I competed and I wasn’t very good, so I quickly had to find another outlet or industry to be in if I wanted to stay in the rodeo game. I found myself at the announcer’s stand and the rest is history,” he said.
The best announcers have an ability to “read the crowd,” he added.
“If you can give the crowd what they want you’ll be very successful as an announcer.
“Every audience will change and it will not only change from town to town or city to city, but it’ll change from performance to performance,” he said.
Ben Antifaiff, Westerner Park CEO, said he’s happy to have Gardiner on board.
“Brett is a world-class announcer and he’s going to do a fabulous job for us,” said Antifaiff. “How could you possibly not have someone like Brett Gardiner as your announcer?”
Canadian Professional Rodeo Association members will vote for a second announcer who will join Gardiner at the CFR.
A new CFR brand was also launched at Saturday’s press conference.
“The focus is on the athletes; both the two-legged and four-legged competitors,” he said. “It’s a combination of being recognizant of the history of CFR, but bringing something new to CFR 45 in Red Deer.”
Antifaiff said this will “hopefully make it a more intimate experience for the guests and folks who enjoy rodeo.”
Sponsors for the CFR were revealed at the press conference as well.
“It has been very inspiring to meet a whole bunch of new folks in our community who have an interest in rodeo and an interest in the success and prosperity that rodeo will bring to our community,” Antifaiff said.