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Canadian Finals Rodeo

As part of an overall program of change, Northlands turned the newly minted Edmonton Coliseum over to the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) for the first time in November 1974. A national finals competition, with a permanent home, had been the coveted cowboy dream for over 30 years, its realization was an immediate hit, breaking attendance records season after season.

A wild ride at the Canadian Finals RodeoNorthlands organizers, along with the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association (CPRA), worked through the 1970s to establish the CFR as a first class event capable of drawing some of the best performers in the rodeo world. In a way, their efforts were rewarded even through the economic dark times of the 1980s, when the CFR proved resilient enough to survive a serious slump in ticket sales.

By 1992, those tough times were all but forgotten, as both participation and winnings grew. 11 years later, the CFR broke its previous attendance records by drawing a crowd of some 91,000 eager spectators, along with numerous participants interested in taking home a portion of the largest winners’ purse in Canada.

There is more to this rodeo than barrel racing and bareback riding, though, the CFR also plays host to an array of related activities.

Canadian Finals RodeoThe Miss Rodeo Canada contest, a pageant that tests horsemanship, public speaking and modeling skills, is designed to choose Canadian ambassadors for the sport. Winners are often well-educated women with specific goals, who are proud to play a part in keeping this historic sport alive. Northlands Park is, of course, a major sponsor of the contest.

The Country Vocal Spotlight, meanwhile, supports new musical talent through holding competitions. Developed by Northlands Park, and timed to coincide with the CFR, this event is one of the largest of its kind in Alberta. Winners perform during the rodeo, and are admitted to Global Country Canada’s Rising Star Program afterwards.

Rodeo clownSpectators at the CFR also have the opportunity to browse through the art and wares on display at the Western Trade Show held in the Northlands Sportex, and to take advantage of the annual country buffet.

In keeping with a tradition started when this attraction was young, the CFR also sponsors charitable activities such as the popular Black Tie Bingo (which raises funds for the Edmonton Rodeo Cowboy’s Benevolent Foundation) and the Rodeo Magic program for children with special needs.

Featured Video: Canadian Finals Rodeo Promotional video for the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Watch Now

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