by Spencer Kemp
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Rodeo committees across Saskatchewan and Manitoba are hoping to host events this year.
In Moosomin, members of the Moosomin Rodeo Committee are making plans for a Bulls and Broncs event in place of the full rodeo in July.
Vice-President of the Moosomin Rodeo Committee Chelan Beckett says the committee is collecting sponsors for the event
“We have reached out for sponsorships and we have had a lot of yeses and go-aheads from businesses already. We’re just looking at a few more that we might not have looked at before just to get a few extra in, as we’re just trying to go for the bigger guys as opposed to the smaller guys who may have had a tougher year than the rest of them.”
Like most rodeos in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, COVID-19 restrictions are making planning difficult.
“COVID is our biggest roadblock. We’re just hoping we have the support of our community and all the businesses in town we hope will stand behind us and help us go ahead with it.”
Beckett says that the Moosomin Rodeo Committee saw minimal losses last year when the rodeo had to be cancelled, as there were minimal costs without a rodeo.
“There was of course not really a profit, but we didn’t lose anything either because we hadn’t gone very far into planning before we had to cancel last year.”
With the current COVID-19 restrictions, Beckett says the rodeo committee is impacted most by the maximum group size.
“Spectator-wise, having that number capped at 30 for an audience is definitely a drawback, but contestant-wise it’s not a big deal because contestants are not a part of that number. We can have whatever we want there as long as they follow the mask usage and all that. Border-wise between provinces, that’s not a big deal either as long as they are under the CCA or MRCA,” Beckett said.
In order to make a profit, the Moosomin Rodeo will need to see between 600 and 700 spectators over the weekend.
“Our audience is a huge part of that. We’d like to see 350 to 400 people a night to make it a profit for us. We’d like to see at least 300 people a night, so a total of 600 to 700 over the weekend.”
Beckett says that even if a normal rodeo cannot be held due to COVID-19 restrictions, she says the Moosomin Rodeo Committee will plan another event for the summer.
“It’ll definitely make us think a little bit more about how much of a loss we can handle money-wise if our crowd number isn’t as big as we’d like it to be. There are always options for us other than a two-day rodeo. We have an option of a one-day rough stock event with a local stock contractor and stuff like that. This year there will be something, it just might not be what we are always used to.”
Beckett notes that there will likely be changes to both the beer gardens and the annual Saturday night dance.
“We’re hoping that restrictions lift by July, but we’ll know more in the middle of June. On the entertainment side of things such as the beer gardens and our dance on Saturday might not be as big as it usually is because of COVID numbers, but we’ll always strive to have the biggest event we can.”
Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator