Please stay tuned for the 2017 Performers!
The 2016 Festival Performer line-up:
Doris has been an emcee and featured performer at every cowboy festival in Canada as well as several in the United States, including Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana and Oregon. In 2004 she was named Best Female Cowboy Poet in North America by the Academy of Western Artists, the first time any Canadian, male or female, has won the cowboy poetry category. In 2007, 2008 and 2009 she was named one of the Top 5 cowgirl poets in North America by the Western Music Association, with other Top 5 nominations for best collaboration and best cowboy poetry CD.
At the November, 2009 WMA Awards Show, Doris won top honours for Best Female Cowboy Poet and best cowboy poetry CD. As with her AWA Will Rogers Awards, she's the first Canadian to bring home top honours in the cowboy poetry categories.
Jackson Mackenzie is an Alberta country singer/songwriter/recording artist who loves the rural lifestyle. Involved in local events, he also books engagements outside his community. Having performed extensively in the Edmonton area for more than 15 years, he welcomes every opportunity to get back to his fans there.
Jackson has recorded 6 CDs in Bob Glidden’s Edmonton studio and continues to perform live with Bob. Jackson and Bob also appear frequently with Kayla Patrick. These 3 were individually featured artists at the 2013 Alberta Men & Women of Country Music Show in Hoadley, Alberta.
Singer / Songwriter / Musician / Recording Artist / Entertainer and Yodeller whose variant music style combines the sounds of Western Roots, Country, Bluegrass, Gospel and Folk. Eli was born in Canada and is proud that she was raised a farm girl on the prairies of south eastern Saskatchewan. She grew up learning to make her own entertainment with music, farm work and riding horseback. Self taught vocals, guitar, & 5 string banjo along with a great stage presence and an infectious smile have contributed to her long lasting career. This seasoned artist recently released her 13th CD ' Portrait of a Cowgirl ' which has already garnered several accolades. The title song gained Eli a prestigious Wrangler Award for ' Best Western Composition '. She also received 3 SCMA honours in her home province for 2 X ' Roots Artist ' & ' Roots Album of the Year '. Eli has appreciated independent achievements in Canada and the US with radio charting singles, CMT videos and 20+ awards from many ceremonies. She honed her songwriting skills while living in Nashville and credits her life experiences and strong faith for her song inspiration.
Ryan's song writing started back when he left home to cowboy on Canada's Gang Ranch in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. After honing his trade and many ranches later, he settled in Saskatchewan to raise his family on his own outfit. Ryan's music is inspired by the western and ranching lives of the past and the present. His own experiences of cowboying, stories of other people & his environment makes for " lots of good writing material ", says Fritz. Ryan has released five albums to date including ' Keeper of the West ', released in early 2016.
Ryan's entire music collection is very individual from one album to the next, with each unique song telling a vivid story in it's own. His last album release in 2013, ' Wind Blown Buckaroo ' was as well received as a breath of fresh air.
Throughout 2016 Ryan continues to stay busy song writing, performing live shows throughout North America and of course, ranching.
Randy has lived the cowboy life he sings about. Roundups, brandings, cattle drives, bucking broncos and rodeos have been his livelihood. At the age of 14, Randy left his home in Viking, Alberta to break broncs then ride bulls with the Canadian Rodeo Cowboy Association. During the long winter breaks in rodeo, Randy took up boxing which he did for 9 years. Randy's focus turned to the draft horse industry and he is now a seasoned horseman, blacksmith and farrier. He specializes in shoeing, training and showing draft horses and has won numerous awards for his black Percheron teams and hitches.
Presently, Randy focuses on his music and entertaining. A country and gospel singer, he has always been a great fan of Wilf Carter's and been singing and yodelling Wilf's songs since before he went to school. Throughout the years, Randy has entertained in many places and you may even have caught him entertaining at the campfire on a wagon train. Randy has recorded many CD's and cassettes and you can find him entertaining on his own at country points or on the road with the "Alberta Country Music Legends."
Hailing from Westminster, Colorado, Al “Doc” Mehl traces his family roots to central Kansas, where his grandfather raised six children on the family homestead. With one foot in the past and one in the present, Doc weaves the history and the mystery of the West into his original "westclectic" poetry and music. His debut music CD is titled “Asphalt Cowboy,” and his second music CD titled “I’d Rather Be…” was released in 2008. Doc Mehl has also published a CD of original poetry titled “Cowboy Pottery,” and a second spoken-word poetry CD titled “The Great Divide” in 2013, named "Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year" by both the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists. And you can find Doc hanging out with the inimitable Washtub Jerry on their duo live album, "Doc & Tub, Live!" Doc’s poems and musical lyrics have been featured on the website www.CowboyPoetry.com, he has been published in the poetry journal “Rattle,” and he was a first-place silver buckle winner at the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo in Montrose, Colorado in 2009. Catch up with Doc someday soon, either in concert or through his recordings. You won’t regret it.
Krissy is a Country Music Singer / Songwriter from Alberta Canada.
Chosen as a contender for the 2015 Alberta Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year, and being voted as a nominee for the 2015 Alberta Country Music Association Fans Choice of the year Krissy has had a great year! Performing at the Alberta Country Music Association All Star Jam and at the Diamonds in the Rough Showcase during the Canadian Country Music Awards were just some of the highlights of her year. She also performed at venues such as Big Valley Jamboree, Edmonton Festival of Trees , Edmonton Klondike Days and opened for Trevor Panczak and Drew Gregory.
Her distinctive mix of Old Fashioned and Modern Country Music make her a crowd favourite! She has been called a mix between Loretta Lynn and Miranda Lambert. Krissy is presently working on recording an EP to be released in early spring.
With his handlebar moustache and discus size belt buckle, Bryn Thiessen would fit right in as an extra in a John Wayne movie. But don’t let the 40-gallon hat fool you – Thiessen is the real deal.
Thiessen, father of three teenagers, raises commercial cattle and ranch horses at the 2,500 acre Helmer Creek Ranch south west of Sundre with his wife, who raises Border Collie dogs.
His Mennonite parents live downstream at Gamble Flats. But Thiessen is more widely known as a cowboy poet, philosopher and pastor of the widely attended Cowboy Trail Church, in Cochrane just over an hour away from his home.
He appears a bit eccentric with a slow, quiet manner and a wry sense of humor, but he’s chock full of no-nonsense theology and exudes a passion for God as wide as the Alberta sky.
Bryn’s biography was composed by Cindy Stephen from the Vilna & District Agricultural Society http://www.vilnaagsociety.com
Bryan (Bj) Smith is an Equine Canada & Certified Horse Association riding coach. An experienced horse trainer, riding coach, packer, guide, clinician, survival expert, and Canadian Ski Patrol instructor, he has taught equine wilderness topics at the university and college level. Following a full career in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he experienced years of service in the Arctic, Bj supervised criminal investigations for the Government of Alberta, instructed for the Lethbridge College Criminal Justice and Environmental Science programs and sat as the President of the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association. He routinely guides groups of wilderness travellers on horseback through the Rockies, often on week long trips of a hundred miles or more. His skill and knowledge as a packer and horseman has been recognized by the Alberta Trail Riders Association and private equestrian clubs who have enjoyed his clinics. He consults with the Rafter Six Ranch Resort near Canmore, Alberta to expand their back country overnight horse business. He instructs the Olds College Continuing Education Equine Program ‘Wilderness Wrangler', which focuses on back country horsemanship skills. Bj's lectures and presentations are never boring or difficult to follow as he is a popular professional western entertainer. The current President of the Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association and winner of the Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Award for best cowboy poetry CD of the year, his performances have been featured at Cowboy Poetry Gatherings and Festivals across western Canada, the USA, and on cruise liners. Bj has authored three books and is often featured on radio and television shows.
Bob Glidden has worked in Country Music and Bluegrass bands since the 60’s.
It was Bob's ability to play guitar, steel guitar, dobro, mandolin, and bass fiddle which led to several jobs in Country and Bluegrass bands and also recording sessions in Eastern Canada. Bob has to his credit six instrumental albums and three Bluegrass albums that were award winners in the Eastern Canada Bluegrass Awards and East Coast Country Music Awards along with working on over fifty albums for clients from Eastern Canada, New York State and Alberta.
Bob also winters in Arizona and has performed at many shows and events including the Glendale Folk Festival with the Desert Heart Bluegrass Band, The Friends Of Marty Robbins music night in Glendale and the prestigious annual Steel Guitar Show in Phoenix.
One of Bob's favourite activities is giving workshops on guitar, dobro and bass fiddle and he has conducted workshops at many bluegrass festivals including presentations to the music faculty at Florida Atlantic University. Another honourable mention is the winning of the Eastern Canada Dobro Award five times. After the fifth win, he was presented with a “Master’s Award” and taken off the list of future candidates; the first to achieve this honour. After making his home in the Edmonton area in 1999, Bob has worked with many fine musicians in his recording studio and on stage and thanks to these musicians and their fans the Country Music that we love is here to stay.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and story-teller, Ed Peekeekoot is a skilled and seasoned performer. He has a timeless kind of cool that appeals to audiences of all ages. Ed’s performances go from blazing guitar work to foot stomping fiddle and haunting Native flute – all sprinkled with his Cree humor and philosophy. He takes people on a wildly varied musical journey from country folk to a touch of classical and jazz.
From the Ahtahkakoop Cree First Nation in Saskatchewan where he grew up in a musical and supportive family, Ed now lives on Vancouver Island. He has been a solo musician for over three decades – cutting his musical teeth in the bars and clubs of Vancouver and now appearing in concerts, festivals, school performances, corporate events, dances, and retreat gatherings across western Canada and into the US.
Ed was twice nominated as the BC Country Music Association’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” and his CD “in the key of cree” was nominated as “Best Country CD” in the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards.
My Dad was not only my biggest fan, but was also my musical influence and idol. Anywhere you could find him: the house, barn, truck or tractor, he would be singing a song. At a young age my parents bought me my first guitar at a filling station in our home town of Maymont. Both my Dad and I liked singers like Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, and Elvis, as well as the lively Southern Gospel. I got married and moved to Spruce Grove, Alberta with my wife Pat and three daughters. I continued to sing to myself and around family campfires, but as a shy guy I was not too much into singing in front of people. Matter of fact when I am working as a welder, and I am off by myself, you may have heard a tune or two. Then several years ago Pat pushed me on the stage at Garden Valley Jamboree. My wife knows what is best, because since then, we have traveled all around to Jamborees, having the time of our life. So I thank her for the push. She is my biggest promoter and supporter. I hope you all enjoy our music as much as we enjoy singing it ...
Bill Heide & Ellen Carlson
Bill and Ellen are musicians and singers from Parkland County. Bill has been playing music and singing since his teens and is Influenced by Johnny Cash, Wilf Carter, and congregational singing. Bill enjoys sharing his musical talent with people from around the world.
Ellen has been playing music and singing since she was four and plays a variety of genres. Ellen is classically trained, a worship leader as well as a seasoned country performer. Ellen was raised listening to music across the musical spectrum, from jazz to classic country to heritage music (yes even the bagpipes). She invites you to spend some time living in the moment, while enjoying nostalgic hits and making new memories.
Bill and Ellen joined their musical talents in 2015 and can be heard throughout the Edmonton area as well as rural events such as the Radway Festival of Stars. Bill has two CD’s available for your enjoyment and together they are working on a duet CD. Enjoy the local talent provided by Bill and Ellen!
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