About 10 years ago Everett More was named Vice-President of Virden Indoor Rodeo & Wild West Daze (VIRWWD) and five years ago he became the president, until 2019, when Thomas Hagan stepped into the role of president.
More has watched this award winning weekend of action grow organically over its 31 years of entertaining competition.
“One of the highlights of my tenure as president was in 2015, when the rodeo weekend was recognized as Event of the Year by Tourism Westman and then by Manitoba Tourism.”
He saw the rodeo become more professional, bigger. The downtown events mushroomed at that time.
“None of that is due to me, it was the work of many volunteers. As it expanded there were more things to dovetail together.”
More’s keen sense of organization has been hard at work over the years, putting in place important details.
“When I became president, I said, ‘Now we need a vice-president’ … and [Thomas’s] mother volunteered him,” he laughs.
Inspiring “confidence and enthusiasm” is part of the president’s role says More. “You need them both.”
Over the years there have been things that the committee found didn’t fit well. “Now, we’ve kind of settled in with a number of events that all fit together.”
“Thomas and I had a talk as he was taking over. I don’t think the president’s duty is any different than any other organizations. To make sure it is all co-ordinated.”
“My goal is to eventually make sure someone else makes things happen.” - More
More says he’s stepping out of many areas of responsibility in his life, working only part-time at Virden Animal Hospital and enjoying more time on his farm.
But he is still very active on the board of VIRWWD and understands what makes this event tick.
It’s all about the rodeo action, and yet it isn’t just that.
“The main emphasis is on the rodeo itself, but everything else that contributes to the event, making it a festival, is significantly important. It makes a pretty good weekend of it,” he said. “From Thursday noon with the barbecue, right through to Sunday night, there’s a ton of stuff going on.”
Back when More became vice-president, he was involved in a key role that he continues to fill, ensuring that the sponsorship that Steve Dryden rounded up was also well recognized.
This included the posters on the arena boards, the colourful flags flying as youth gallop around the ring and the printed rodeo program.
More put together the very first program which evolved to become a 60-page glossy. One of the best rodeo programs in Western Canada according to Lee Bellows, the well-travelled rodeo clown.
Taking on the detailed, task More essentially became the program editor. With the help of his partner, Irene Vanin, who helps him choose from the over 500 professional photographs, he oversees the content of the program.
He is also responsible for the safekeeping of the sponsors’ banners that hang in the ring and for more than 25 flags that fly as youth gallop around the ring.
That flag presentation has changed over the years as the number of sponsor flags grew.
“This year what we’re doing, after each major event we will fly about a half-dozen flags.” This means six young riders will be on standby for each evening.
Other program tweaks include the rodeo awards ceremonies and mutton busting.
More explains that the vis-à-vis horse and carriage will carry the Horseman’s Hall of Fame and the Gerry Holmes Memorial recipients on Saturday night. One award takes place during the opening ceremonies and the other during the intermission. Children will be mutton busting this year on Friday and on Sunday evenings.
Before coming to Virden to practice veterinary medicine in the spring of 1972, Everett More says he was “more of a horse show guy.” But his interest in rodeo grew quickly. He has seen the vast changes from Virden rodeo’s early days as the Firefighters Rodeo, when it began in a parking lot around the curling rink.
More continues to make sure some things happen, but says, “My goal is to eventually make sure someone else makes things happen.”