Welcome to the rodeo!

We rise, never worry about the fall. I guess that’s just the cowboy in us all.

Media Release, March 14, 2020

WILLIAMS LAKE, BC - It is with heavy hearts that the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Association (WLIRA) announces the cancellation of the 30th annual spring rodeo. “Following the guidelines of health authorities, and out of concern and care for everyone’s safety, we are exercising an abundance of caution in dealing with the novel coronavirus,” explained WLIRA President, Kelly Walls. “It is of utmost importance to limit or slow the spread of the illness in our community -- in all communities.”

Every year a dedicated group of hard working volunteers in Williams Lake come together to make this event a memorable one. The Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo at the Cariboo Recreation Complex kicks off the first event of the British Columbia Rodeo Association (BCRA) season, so everyone from the athletes and fans to the stock contractor and various vendors wait in anticipation.

The rodeo is a powerful opportunity for many local businesses who sponsor the event. “We’ve had many of the same loyal sponsors year in and year out,” advises Walls. “We do our level best to bring awareness to and promote those sponsors with our advertising, because we genuinely appreciate their support and contributions.” The loss from not hosting the rodeo will be felt amongst retailers, restaurants, hotels and fuel suppliers, Walls continued.

The annual Barn Dance has become a tradition for many – there is no other local event quite like it. “We’ve proudly sponsored the ‘Safe Ride Home’ program for several years,” said Janna Gertzen, Owner of Adventure Charters Inter-City Bus service. Their buses are parked outside the arena, and make several scheduled shuttles throughout the night, safely transporting patrons from the beverage gardens and dance to their homes. “We certainly understand why the rodeo had to be cancelled this year, but it’s sad, and a definite loss for the region.”

Walls adds, “There are always new challenges when organizing any event, but this is a unique one.” The WLIRA Board of Directors has vowed to make the best use of the additional time they’ll have this year, to continue to grow and improve the event. “We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and we look forward to seeing you in 2021.”

March 14, 2020  

Dear Sponsors:

On behalf of myself and the rest on the board of directors for the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Association I would like to first thank you for your continued support over the past 30 years.

Without this support we could not put on such a great event that our City, spectators or competitors look forward to each year. Unfortunately, due the Covid-19 virus ban on having an event over 250 people we have cancel this year’s rodeo, which was an informed and difficult decision for us to make.

We are asking each of our sponsors that have paid what they would like us to do with the money. We can keep it for your next year’s sponsorship, or we can also refund you the money. Please feel free to contact myself at 250-267-8865 or my home number 250-398-9061.

On behalf of the board of directors thank you again for your support.

Kelly Walls
President, Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Association


Twenty-nine years ago a group of hard working people got together with an idea to bring a Spring rodeo to Williams Lake. Many people said it could not be done but twenty-five years later we are still here and have the honour of being the second largest rodeo on the B.C. Rodeo Association circuit.

Looking back over the list of winners from that first rodeo, we have a large group of people still competing in our rodeo and still making money. Lake City Bernie Rivet won the bull riding the first year with a 75 on a bull called Flatline and Ray Woods placed second. Both these names still play a big part in our rodeo. Bernie has moved up from bull riding to become a top Rodeo Judge. Ray now is in charge of opening the chute gates for the cowboys when they nod their heads.

Then there is Allison Everett who made money in the Barrel Racing that first year. She is still competing and also finds time to be one of the hard working Committee directors. Speaking of our committee and directors, we are so happy to have a few of the originals in our group. Lynda Philpot and Gwen Cyr have also been around since the beginning. There have been so many people involved over the years it would be impossible to list them all. We are known for our wonderful opening show at every performance. Over the years we have had some pretty amazing acts and we hope that you enjoy the show this year.

We can't forget another group who have been a big part of the success of this Rodeo. Roy and Earl Call of C+ Rodeos have been supplying the great four legged athletes since the beginning. Without the fantastic bucking stock and timed event stock we would not have the caliber of show we have.

In 2006 the B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society started holding an inductee ceremony during the intermission on Sunday afternoon. We are so honoured to host this ceremony. The people and ranchers who are recognized every year are the backbone of the ranching and rodeo way of life. Some of these names are still in our rodeo program today.

One thing very important to the rodeo family is supporting the younger people who are just starting out in this lifestyle. Over the years the Indoor Rodeo Committee has helped sponsor young rodeo stars heading down the rodeo trail. This is something we are proud to do and without these kids we would not have rodeos.

Other very important people on this rodeo team are our great sponsors. Without the support from local people and businesses and the City of Williams Lake this would not have been possible. The biggest thank you goes to you the spectators, the competitors, and to our outstanding team of volunteers. All of you have made this Rodeo the great event it is and we look forward to another twenty-five years.
  • 525 Proctor Street, Williams Lake, BC, Canada

The Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo takes place at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex. WILLIAMS LAKE INDOOR RODEO ASSOCIATION #208, 240 Oliver Street Williams Lake, BC V2G-1M1 CARIBOO MEMORIAL REC COMPLEX 525 Proctor Street, Williams Lake, BC