Despite the Williams Lake Stampede being cancelled for the first time in decades, 2020 was still a pretty good year for the Williams Lake Stampede Association.
At the association’s annual AGM, the board of directions was presented with the committee reports, including how its finances looked in 2020.
“Without the Stampede, essentially there were no revenues,” Court Smith, the president of the Williams Lake Stampede Association, said. “Financially going into 2021, we are in good shape. We didn’t spend a lot, but we haven’t made a lot, so we are ready for 2021.”
Smith said that 2020 had been a challenging year for them, but more so for the community.
“I think you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and not having the Stampede this year, I think a lot of people, both sponsors, business people, volunteers, and our group all felt it was different without the Stampede.”
Smith said that without the Stampede, it saw their campground seen more success than usual.
“We did open our campground in early April after the pandemic hit, we opened it up to essential workers, to begin with, and then when the provincial health authority allowed us to expand that we opened it up to the public,” he said. “Our campground has actually done much better than we expected. There are still people travelling and contractors still using our facility, so that’s been our one and only source of revenue this year, and unexpectedly done better than we thought.”
Smith noted that they are going to plan to hold the Williams Lake Stampede next year.
“It will be entirely dependent on the B.C. Health Authority. The planning of the Williams Lake Stampede is a 12-month effort, and with COVID so much apart of our lives today, we just need to be fluid enough that we can change as needed,” he said. “At this time, we don’t know what the future may hold; we are going to plan for our annual stampede but knowing that may not happen, we are hopeful that we can come up with some other ideas on providing events.”