Oilfields student designs logo for famed family ranch
Education: First Nations represented in Ireland Edeys work
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 06:00 am
An Oilfields High School Grade 9 student has helped rebrand her family’s famous ranch west of Longview, which is also a live-in school for at-risk boys.
Ireland Edey created a new logo for the Stampede Ranch, located approximately 20 km west of Longview, as part of Digital Technology class assignment at Oilfields High School.
The students’ assignment was to redesign a logo for a business they may want to own and operate in the future.
“I really want to keep the ranch going,” Edey said. “The ranch is part of my family and that’s why I decided to recreate the logo.”
Ireland’s great-grandfather Mervyn Edey purchased the ranch in 1965. It was once owned by Calgary Stampede founder Guy Weadick. Mervyn initially ran it as a dude ranch and a working ranch, however, in 1975, the Edeys started the Stampede Ranch for Kids. It has been a working ranch home to the students for more than 35 years.
“This ranch is about giving kids a second chance,” said Ireland, who lives near the operation. “I have a lot of pride in the ranch.”
Famed western artist Ed Borein designed the ranch’s original logo. He was also commissioned by Weadick to do the first poster for the Calgary Stampede 100 years ago. The old logo is a spectacular pen-and-ink drawing by Borein of a cowboy riding a bucking horse. Ideal for the Calgary Stampede, but it didn’t quite capture the spirit of the school. Ireland’s vision was a portrait of a horse with two feathers on the horse’s mane. Ireland said she wanted the feathers in the new logo to represent First Nations people.
Stampede Ranch is a stones throw away from Eden Valley First Nation. As well, there are First Nations boys at the ranch.
“The feather is for all the aboriginal kids who have been at the school,” Ireland said, adding there have also been many First Nations people who have worked at the Stampede Ranch.
The western heritage is well represented in the logo as the horse depicted in the drawing is Freckles, a breeding horse at the ranch.
While Ireland provided the brainpower for the symbolism, she needed a guiding hand to complete the project.
Ireland did a rough draft of her vision and with the help of Digital Technology instructor Paul Rasporich, they were able to put the finishing touches on
“Ireland designed the concept — it was her idea and sketch and then I finished it up,” he said.
Rasporich, an artist who designed Ian Tyson’s last album cover, had some tough critics during his first revision — Oilfields students. When you are being critiqued about horses by students from a school that produced bronc rider Sam Kelts, trainer Jesse Thomson and Canadian bull riding champion Tyler Thomson, you listen.
“They told me it looked like a dog,” Rasporich said with a laugh. “It didn’t bother me at all. As an artist I am interested in feedback and the students here know horses.”
When all was said and done, Ireland was delighted with the finished product.
Ironically, the ranch had been looking for a new logo for the past few years, according to its co-director Fawna Bews.
“Joel (co-director Joel Edey) and I were working on a new logo with someone from Edmonton and ironically, I said we wanted something with feathers — and we never shared that with Ireland,” Fawna said.
Bews said it was important horses were incorporated in the logo as they are an important part of the education of the students. However, the Borein logo no longer fit the bill.
“We really don’t want such a rough portrayal of the ranch,” Bews said. “It kind of conjures up a rough and tough image.”
The new logo will start being used almost immediately.
Ireland’s work will be on 14 new hockey jerseys, which have been donated to the school for its students. Bews said the ranch will slowly be incorporating the logo on the website and business cards.
She added the fact Rasporich put the finishing touches on the logo not only gave it a professional look, but also provided a lesson for the students.
“I was impressed with how much like real life the assignment was,” Bews said. “If an adult was asked to do a logo but couldn’t do it, they would hire someone to help them.
“I was impressed with how Paul managed the project. Ireland got a chance to treat this project like real life.”
The Stampede Ranch for Kids is under the umbrella of the Foothills School Division.