The Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association (CPCA) has come to an agreement with the Bonnyville Ag Society to bring a three-day race weekend to Bonnyville in early June. The World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) has yet to come to an agreement with the Ag Society and is still up in the air as to whether or not they will come. The Ag Society (which has amalgamated with the Chuckwagon Association), says they are excited to have the CPCA coming and although negotiations are on-going with the WPCA they are hopeful that they will be able to come to an agreement and once again provide a world-class show in Bonnyville.
The CPCA will be coming on June 8-9, 2018. With over a month separation between the CPCA and the regular WPCA dates (the forth weekend in July), the Ag Society is confident that there will be enough support for both shows. “The CPCA for sure are not worried about sponsorship. We’ve talked to the WPCA and if there were [lack of sponsors] we’d be willing to help. I don’t see a concern,” the Ag Society is positive that the support of the community will come through for both sets of races. “Our community is excited to see both. We’re going to get really good support for both events.”
WPCA Champion, Kurt Bensmiller is the lead on the Bonnyville event, he was notably taken back with the news of the CPCA date, “we are surprised that they have made a deal with the CPCA, when they are in open negotiations with us”. Bensmiller noted that he was given the date of the 25th of January before anything would be decided.
“We want the WPCA also, we’re still negotiating with the contract with the WPCA,” the Ag Society anticipates contract negotiations to carry on for the next couple weeks. “We’re quite optimistic that everything will be fine.”
There will be no tarp auction for either set of races. The tarp auction serves as a way for drivers to make money to maintain their outfit during the races. The money goes to paying for incidentals like gas & food; as well as paying farm hands and outridders. The CPCA does not do tarp auctions. In the past the WPCA has always done a tarp auction in Bonnyville with a portion of the proceeds going to the Chuckwagon Association locally to assist in putting on the races. This year, should the races go through, the WPCA will hold their own tarp auction for the races. Cameron explains without the tarp auction, more sponsorship dollars will be able to be put towards the overall event.
“Now that we’re amalgamated with the Ag Society we’re going to approach clubs that need fundraising,” the group believes the community will be able to come together using various non-profit groups to have enough volunteers for both races. By seeking out clubs like local sporting teams they believe there will be more than enough hands to help, “we’ll spread it out that way”.
The CPCA will be racing a three-day event on June 8-10; with no rodeo. Should negotiations be successful with the WPCA, the races will be held on their regular weekend, July 27-29. There are plans to hold the rodeo on the same weekend as the WPCA races, as it’s been done in the past.