Jim Brady & Cindy Brady
Jim Brady and his daughter Cindy Brady count themselves as members of a dedicated group of Stampede volunteers.
“It takes many hours to ready the grounds for the rodeo, and then a couple hundred volunteers during the weekend of the rodeo,” Cindy says. “Without these dedicated volunteers we wouldn’t have the successful rodeo we enjoy every year.”
The Bradys moved to Williams Lake in 1969 from Alberta and began faithfully attending the Stampede. Twenty-nine years ago Cindy began to volunteer. Her dad followed her footsteps a decade later. Jim says he doesn’t care what he does, as long as he’s doing something.
Throughout the years he “happily” made picnic tables for the concession and beer garden areas and would make more if needed. Before some special coverings were erected, volunteers would scrape away pigeon droppings and repaint every year, something father and daughter say they both enjoyed doing.
Cindy remembers helping sell rodeo tickets in the box office before the rodeo and then rushing in to watch the events with Jim. “I wouldn’t have traded that quality time with dad for the world,” she muses. For the past 12 years she has served as a Stampede director, being secretary and helping with other committees.
On the first Monday in May, work bees will begin at the grounds, running from 6 to 8 p.m. every Monday. “We used to have to phone for volunteers, but now we’ll have 40 or 50 people just show up,” Cindy says of the work parties.
Jim comes by his love of rodeo honestly. He grew up on a Mannville, Alta ranch with 350 head of cattle and 300 head of horses. He grew up helping his father raise and train black Percherons to sell as teams. “They were transported by box car to Edmonton, B.C. and Ontario,” he says. As a young man he attended rodeos, riding bareback for three years and bull riding for three years.
Father and daughter are proud of the Williams Lake Stampede, believing it gets better every year. “There have been lots of upgrades,” Cindy says. “We take all the money we make and put it back into the grounds.”
Photo and story by Monica Lamb-Yorski