The strike has jeopardized access to the Tamatik arena which was set to hold the event on June 13.
The competition was called off early to ensure that preparation for the event wouldn’t further drain the Snowflake Community Fairground Society’s resources if the event didn’t happen.
“At this point, we cannot be assured that Tamatik arena will be available for the event and without that assurance we cannot risk the total loss of any more the of society’s cash,” organizer Jack Oviatt said in a press release last Wednesday.
The cowboys and bulls come from C+ Rodeo in 150 Mile and there are huge expenses associated with bringing them to Kitimat. Without assurance that the event would go forward, the Society cancelled the event to allow the cowboys to attend other rodeos that weekend.
The society had no other option, but to cancel the event because Kitimat does not have the capacity to hold the event outdoors, explained Oviatt. “It is a big disappointment for us,” he said.
Those that have bought tickets or sponsors who have sent cheques to the Snowflake Community Fairgrounds Society will be reimbursed.
This marks the second year in a row that the Bull-O-Rama has been cancelled in Kitimat. In 2014, the society decided to hold-over the event to 2015 because of a volunteer shortage.
This cancellation marks a great loss to the Kitimat community. The event brings in approximately 2,200 people from the around the northwest region each year and is a major fundraiser for the community.
Mayor Phil Germuth expressed his concern that the community would lose up to $40,000 generated for charity from the event.
This years’ event was set to raise $10,000 for the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation to purchase infusion pumps.
Furthermore, the Kitimat Karate Club had signed up to be security for the event, the Figure Skating Club planned to run the canteen, the Kinsmen club was tasked with the 50/50 draw, and the Mount Elizabeth Theatre planned to stage the pyrotechnics.
In return, the event was supposed to be a fundraiser for those groups. Any extra profit made from the event was supposed to go towards general upkeep for the Snowflake Fairgrounds.
In past years, Bull-O-Rama has included a wild horse race and a fundraiser dance put on by the Northern Spirit Paddlers.