2022 Western Heritage 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, at our 62nd rodeo, after a two year hiatus due to Covid-19, the NVRA wishes to recognize and honour the following individuals:

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    Marion Rauch

    Marion Rauch (née Tegart) grew up in the Columbia Valley of British Columbia. Her family was interested in rodeo and her brother, Happy Tegart, was the 1968 Canadian Pro Rodeo Bareback Champion.
    Marion moved to the Nicola Valley in 1964 with her husband John. They raised a family while ranching up the Coldwater Valley for the past 42 years. Marion embodies the qualities of a generation that grew up with hard work, perseverance, mental toughness and grit while raising cows and calves. 
    We are honoured to recognize this remarkable woman and rancher who has persevered through floods and fires this past year and demonstrates true resilience.

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    Don Loewen

    Don Loewen left us far too early, at age 62 last November. He was a skilled cowboy and saddle maker, passionate about his family, his faith, his cowboying, and his saddlemaking. He shared his knowledge and craftsmanship with close friend Andy Knight.  
    He loved rodeo and donated trophy saddles for various championships. He was honoured in 2013 with the Joe Miner award at the Cowboy Festival in Kamloops for his contribution to the preservation of cowboy heritage.

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    Jim Michel

    Very few cowboys can make the claim they worked for the same outfit for 55 plus years, but that is the remarkable achievement of this quiet spoken cowboy from Quilchena.  
    Starting in mid 1960 with Gerard Guichon on the branding and turnout crew, Jim worked for three generations of the family on the Beaver Ranch calving cows. After turnout Jim spent six months at a remote cow camp cutting trails , packing salt and moving cows at a time when open range was more common up in the high country. 
    Along with other Beaver Ranch cowboys, Harry Williams , Joe Pete (Smiling Joe Saddleman), and William Chillihitzia these colourful, good humoured Quilchena cowboys deserve a loud Cowboy holler for their exceptional ranch cowboy skills.