The 37th annual Ivan Daines Friends & Heroes Country Music Pick-nic runs Aug. 7-11 on the Daines Ranch & Rodeo Grounds located 6 km north of Innisfail.
Organizer Ivan Daines can hardly believe the event has been running for nearly four decades.
“Time flies when you are having fun, I guess,” he chuckles. “Where has the time gone? There have been so many fine singers and players come through – famous and not-so-famous — but great talents.”
There will be lots of great music this year including Randi Boulton, Bobby Wills, Tera Lee, Eli Barsi, Denver Daines, Alee & Laureen, Cassie Cinnamon, Dean Ray, Darlene Olson and many more. There is even a Calgary-based Beatles tribute band by the name of All You Need Is Love.
There will also be the Canadian Championship Horse Training Contest, plus cowboy church and a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning. There’s also a ‘tailgate’ sale where people set up shop and sell various wares to other pick-nic goers.
There is also free camping and parking with a gate ticket as well, plus beer gardens.
As to the origins of the event, Ivan recalls getting injured at the Lethbridge rodeo years back. He was staying with a friend by the name of Jim Gladstone and the guys checked out a Johnny Cash show that evening.
“I thought how neat it would be if we had music on a hillside and worked in some cowboy/cowgirl events. That’s where it actually started. We started the next year, and it was very small. We actually used a car’s headlights for light.”
Today, the popular event attracts all kinds of artists and includes various rodeo events as well.
Ivan, a musician himself, will be hitting the stage too. He penned a tune about the recent floods that devastated the province in June. The song – Alberta Flood 2013 – can be heard on YouTube, where Ivan also encourages folks to donate to the Red Cross to support rebuilding and recovery efforts.
Much of his own musical skills were honed on the rodeo trail over the years; there is a strong tradition of music being intertwined with rodeo culture. And his talent has touched a lot of people, including Princes William and Harry who sent an official letter thanking him for writing a song about their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
This year, he really wanted to emphasize the efforts of those who helped with flood recovery and recognize those impacted by the disaster as well. To that end, there is a free concert tonight. Audience members can donate to the Red Cross at that time as well.
Tickets for the event are available at the Innisfail Auction Mart, the Black Knight Inn, Jackpot Casino or at the gates.
For more information, check out Ivan Daines on facebook.