Whether it’s the people, athletes — human and animal — or scenery from the Williams Lake Stampede, the Williams Lake Stampede poster throughout the years has captured hearts and minds.
This year’s poster, titled “It’s Rodeo Time” was painted by Marlene Pegg. It’s her third painting to be used as a poster.
It also shows an image that many in the stands don’t see. Horses running through the alley on the way to the chutes.
“The poster was from a photograph I took in the back alleys of the Stampede Grounds. Earl was running the horses down the alley for me and I captured them coming.”
Earl Call is one of the operators of C+ Rodeos who provide quality rodeo stock for the Williams Lake Stampede.
In rodeo, the animals are as much an athlete as the men and women who test their mettle against them.
“What was so inspiring is it is just like when you watch the players come onto the field. It’s, wow, game ready and you really feel it in those horses.”
Pegg says she hoped to pay tribute to the athletes with the painting.
“They do their best and they love doing it, so that is the neat part about it.”
Pegg says that about 95 per cent of her work is Western themed.
Prior to spending her time painting, she was a professional horse trainer and “ranch wife” she says, and very much lived the western way of life.
Back issues brought her off of the horses and into the painter’s chair.
“When one passion leaves us in the world, another one comes in.”
Melding the world of ranching and rodeo and painting gives Pegg that outlet.
“I can revisit that life again through my painting and I am very much blessed because of that.”
Pegg lives between Williams Lake and Quesnel, though she is from Alberta, where she said she first heard of the Williams Lake Stampede.
“It was always in the back of my mind that I always wanted to go and here I am doing the posters for it. It’s just amazing.”
Read more: Painting the town Stampede
She says she loves rodeo, and moved with her husband from Alberta to the area in 1989.
“I enjoy of course the horses, the competition of the cowboys against the horses and the bulls — all the action. To me when you live the western way of life it’s that part of coming to town and enjoying that.”
She enjoys seeing everyone come together, and keeping the traditions alive.
“Williams Lake does a super job of keeping that western flair.”
She said she’ll be sad if the traditions of the Stampede ever end.
“If we don’t keep it alive in that light it can get watered down where nobody does it anymore, so it’s nice to keep that ball rolling.
As for having her third piece of art chosen for the Stampede poster:
“I am just taken aback. I am so honoured you wouldn’t believe it. It just makes my heart get really big.”