2018 Honourees

In 2017, the Nicola Valley Rodeo Association first paid tribute to a number of members of our community who, by their lifestyle and work, have embodied the western culture and tradition that has played such a large role in the history of this area. This year, on our 60th anniversary, the NVRA wishes to recognize and honour the following individuals:

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    Maynard Joe

    Maynard Joe, born in 1934 was raised at 14 Mile Ranch on the Shackan Reserve, and grew up with a passion for horses passed down by his father Anthony and by his Grandfather.

    Always a capable and accomplished man, Maynard raised horses, cattle and owned a logging outfit during the 1950's, 60's, and 40's. Married to Charlotte, Maynard speaks fondly of his three strong capable and independent daughters (Connie, Sheila & Charlene).

    An excellent horse breaker, Maynard has mentored many young relatives and community members with his excellent horsemanship skills. It is said Maynard has had nine lives and used up most of them following his passion of chasing while hordes.

    Maynard still raises horses and can be seen each day doing what his passion is - being around his horses!

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    Mary Curnow

    Mary Curnow (now McElroy) grew up in the Highland Valley at 16 mile where the Highland Valley Copper mines tailing dam presently ends.

    Her childhood years were spent on horseback chasing while hordes. In 1963 with husband Rob Curnow, Mary moved to the ranch where she is now at the junction of the Nicola and Thompson Rivers.

    For 5 1/2 decades Mary has made a living raising cattle, hay, registered quarter horses and even corn. Mary still cowboys her cows 25 miles up to her range every spring and fall and reflects her most fond memories are around cattle penning and chasing wild horses.

    Mary is an inspiration for people in the ranching business with a combination of Grit and Humour and is well respected. 

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    Ralph Thomsen

    Ralph Thomsen was born and raised on a ranch 120 miles east of Edmonton in what is known as the Battle river country. By age 14 Ralph could drive a four horse team as well as anybody in the country.

    As a young man Ralph entered rodeos in the bareback riding and judging from his photos, was a pretty good hand. Together with his wife Irene, they raised six daughters ranching.

    In 1984 Ralph and Irene bought Stan Stewart's place on Iron Mtn. Looking for warmer country they sold that and bought a ranch at Canford where Ralph lives today. Ralph is a true example of hard work and perseverance and notes his greatest enjoyment comes from working cattle on a good horse. 

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    Arnold Mosley

    Most everyone familiar with western art knows of our own Arnold Mosley. Arnold has, through his works , immortalized the nobility and ruggedness of the western tradition and history of the Valley. Capturing the cowboy way of life, his straightfoward portrayals tell their own stories.

    Born in Beaverlodge, Alberta, Arnold moved to Merritt while working for Craigmont Mines in the 80's and took to painting full - time shortly thereafter. He lives here with his wife and his home also serves as his studio whrere he welcomes visitors. He views "cowboying" as simply one of life's great pleasures and over the years has experienced the day-to-day routine of the cowboys, sometimes riding with them and lending a hand in their work. He says, "You have to be able to get out there and absorb yourself in what the cowboys are doing..."

    Over the years, Arnold has been generous in allowing the use of his works for promotion of the Pro-Rodeo and again this year, on our 60th anniversary , has permitted on of his paintings to serves the cover for the Program and Poster. Through his art, Arnold Mosley has made a significant contribution to documenting the history and colorful western culture of the Nicola Valley.