In 1960 the band won a first prize at the Calgary Stampede and a very near win at Minneapolis where the top spot was lost by only two-tenths of a point. However the band made up for the loss by coming home and winning First Place at the P.N.E (24th First Place Championship). The year saw many successful appearances at the Lion’s football games including playing the half time show for the 1960 Grey Cup Game held in Vancouver in November (photo above).
BOTTOM LEFT: Calgary, Alberta. Chaperone Wally King & band member Donna Keyes celebrate Calgary Stampede parade victory.BOTTOM RIGHT: Don Jewall rides go-kart at North Dakota businessman’s estate. Thirteen band members were hosted by a multi-millionaire businessman. They stayed at his luxury estate and guest houses and were treated like royalty. Thanks to Dan Mattinson for the above photos.
The band, which for 15 years under Director Gordon Olson has toured, tootled and taken awards, was home after winning the marching band title at the Calgary Stampede, losing a similar international first at Minneapolis and winning friends all over the place.
“A fine trip, good arrangements everywhere, kindest of receptions.” said Mr.Olson as the greeting band played on, the drums a little off-beat because the youngsters couldn’t see the conductor for excited, wet-eyed parents milling about.
It was a first tour for about 30 percent of the band. The band included nine girls and ranged from clarinet player Paddy Brown and sax player Pat Powell, both 11, to Wayne King, who is in third year UBC and was making his last tour.
The welcoming band was made up of members who had stayed at home and was under the direction of Ed Matschita, usually bandmaster at Bellingham’s Whatcom High School.
The night of the arrival home they had to go to Empire Stadium and join up with the welcoming band and produce ‘A Salute to the Olympics’ at the Ottawa-Lions football game.
ABOVE: Al Lynch’s photos of the 1960 Minneapolis Tour
Grey Cup 1960, The B.C. Lions FC
1960 was going to be the year of the “really big show.” Entertainment for this performance of the Grey Cup was to be locally produced, directed and enacted. The theme was “Canada, 1960.” Richards created figures, music and costumes to highlight all of the nation’s links – the Maritimes, Ontario, Prairies and Coast. “Variety” quit laughing. The show was a distinct hit. But one success spawns twice as much worry, or did you ever try to follow South Pacific? Richards set his own standard, and thereby created his own headache. “I watch television shows by the zillion, and try to catch as many American stage musicals as I can.” he explained. “Always I’m looking for new ideas.”
“And lead us on to football fame…”
The job of preparing halftime entertainment for Lions’ fans begins three months before the schedule opens. Bain and Richards, along with Grace McDonald and Gordon Olson, meet with general manager Herb Capozzi, another mean hand with ideas. The plan begins. “Herb always has 10,000 ideas – the bigger the better,” Richards grinned. “One time he wanted to hire a helicopter and drop an elephant from it onto the playing field. We managed to talk him out of it.” It should be a full time job by itself, but it isn’t. Richards also leads two bands at the Hotel Vancouver’s Panorama Roof six nights a week! One is a three-piece combo, the other a five-piece unit. Recently, the hotel asked Richards to handle one more job. Now he’s also chief booker, charged with the additional duty of supplying any and all entertainment for the Georgia Street Inn.