INNISFAIL – The Great Ivan Daines can now add hall of fame honours to his impressive list of cowboy accomplishments.
But the latest honour for this famed Innisfail and area cowboy is not for his many past rodeo titles, which include a National Finals Rodeo championship in 1970, two novice Canadian saddle bronc titles in the 1960s, and numerous post-rodeo awards, including the Guy Weadick Memorial Award at the Calgary Stampede in 2011.
And now Daines, still revered by the North American rodeo community, will join the likes of country music legend Ian Tyson in the Alberta Country Music Hall of Fame.
Daines became the hall of fame’s 10th inductee by the Association of Country Music in Alberta at its annual awards ceremony last Sunday (Jan. 26) in Red Deer. The 13-year-old association has been hosting its annual hall of fame awards since 2010 when Bentley’s country singer and songwriter Dick Damron became the first inductee.
Bill Hanson, present of the association, said Daines has always been a passionate builder and source of inspiration for the Alberta country music scene and “instrumental” in helping and influencing hundreds of country music artists for more than four decades.
“His name came up numerous of times over the last four or five years and we just felt it was time to honour him,” said Hanson. “I think his pick-nic is a major part of it but he also does other things. Country music has been associated with rodeo and the western kind of life and he encompasses all of that as well as giving artists a platform to do their talent on his stages for the past 43 years.
“There isn’t many artists in Alberta or even Canada who haven’t played at his pick-nic,” he added.
This summer it will be 44th Ivan Daines Friends & Hero’s Pick-Nic at the Daines Rodeo Ranch. Dozens of country music artists from all over Canada and the United States will come again. Many are veterans but there will also be young singers and musicians who are just starting out and see the Daines pick-nic as a must see and stop towards stardom, a venue where they can make the claim that they not only met the Great Ivan Daines but they played at his storied pick-nic.
In the meantime, Daines was trying to sort out last week what he would say at the hall of fame ceremony when his name is called to accept his award. The first thing that came to his mind what that he was one lucky cowboy. He believes that he has been especially fortunate because ever since he was a young boy he has been able to do exactly what he set out to do with his life – be a rodeo star and sing his beloved country music.
“I am able to look back at my life and I did what I wanted and loved to do,” said Ivan, who first sang competively at the age of six in Innisfail and claimed second place for his version of Open Up Your Heart And Let The Sun Shine In. “I hitchhiked to rodeos as a kid and I got to Nashville and recorded some songs. It was all a big honour.
“I am very honoured to win this award,” said Daines of his induction to the Alberta Country Music Hall of Fame. “In my whole life I had the rodeo, and the same for country music, and then the country music pick-nic went from there. The music always meant the whole world to me. It was my whole life.”