Efforts are underway to welcome the world-renowned RCMP Musical Ride to White Rock and Cloverdale.
White Rock council was to consider last night – after Peace Arch News deadline – a request for the city to host the popular equestrian performance on Friday, July 26.
But while a staff report on the concept notes planning has already begun, Mayor Wayne Baldwin said Monday there is still much work to do to make the visit a reality.
“We’re investigating to see whether it’s feasible or not,” Baldwin said. “We’re optimistic that we can pull this off. I can’t make any promises yet.”
The RCMP Musical Ride is the Mounties’ trademark horse-and-rider performance; a one-of-a-kind showcase of Canadian pride highlighted by intricate figures and choreographed cavalry drill moves.
The first official Musical Ride was performed in Regina in 1887; the first public display, consisting of 20 men, took place in 1901.
Today, the ride is performed by a troop of 32 riders and horses, plus the member in charge.
Baldwin said “pretty rigorous” requirements will have to be met in order to bring the tour to White Rock, including identifying a facility that would accommodate the troop and the anticipated crowd that they would draw.
Centennial Arena “probably wouldn’t work,” he said, noting the troop was “a little bit constrained” when he saw them perform at the Agrodome in Vancouver.
Regardless, the request to endorse the event application for a show in White Rock next year “won’t draw a second’s hesitation” from council, the mayor predicted.
According to the Oct. 29 report from the city’s new director of leisure services, city staff and a representative from Semiahmoo First Nation have already met with tour organizers “to review site options and to have preliminary discussions about event-hosting requirements.”
Eric Stepura also notes that stabling of the horses has tentatively been arranged at the Cloverdale Rodeo grounds for the two shows.
“Approval by council is desirable before moving forward to do more detailed event organization work,” Stepura notes.
The RCMP Musical Ride performs 40 to 50 times a year at venues throughout Canada and around the world.
It was last in B.C. during the 2010 Winter Olympics, when they performed at Holland Park, Surrey’s 2010 Celebration Site.
In recommending council approve tour organizers’ request to perform in White Rock, Stepura notes the performance has “huge potential” for drawing both local and out-of-town visitors to the city.
Other events that White Rock council was asked to approve or endorse Monday night for 2013 were the White Rock Farmers’ Market, Christmas on the Peninsula, Outdoor Movie Nights, International Artist Day Festival and Pooch Parade on the Peninsula.
Staff recommended council deny one application – Boutique by the Beach, described as a “corporate sales function/promotion” eyed for a weekend in August.
Such events are not permitted under the city’s Official Community Plan, Stepura’s report notes.
UPDATE: Council voted unanimously in favour of Stepura’s recommendations.