© 2017, Pond Valley Farms Ltd., Okotoks, AB, Canada   All rights reserved.



1 Hour Performance/Presentation

A unique learning experience through entertainment, interaction, songs, poems, stories and visuals.

I believe in our heritage, and advocating "The Western Code" of behaviours, manners, traditions and legacies we inherited. "The Last Best West" program is an effective approach to communicate the messages - to gain appreciation for our land and the contributions and sacrifices of those who blazed the trails. JR


"Jim's first-class songwriting and musicianship, historical research and superb graphics combine for an effective and entertaining learning experience. What an enjoyable way for students to grasp our heritage."

Ted Thorne, retired Principal, Millarville and Longview, AB  -one of Canada's Outstanding Principals, '07 

"Our school division had Jim for three school days in two different schools. His music and message was very well received.  I highly recommend Jim for a presentation in your school or community."

Selway L. Mulkey, Principal (retired), Nye County School District, Nevada, USA

 In the Classroom

  • all 4's or all 5's together

  • classroom with large screen

  • no sound system required

  • more intimate and interactive

  • Jim can provide LCD projector

 In the Gym / Auditorium

  • if entire school is invited

  • Jim provides screen/projector

  • Jim provides sound system and western 'set'

Consistent with Alberta Curriculums Grades 4 and 5

  1.    The expansion of the Dominion of Canada -- the Identity of Indigenous peoples and multicultural immigrants

  2.    The NWMP setting the stage for Alberta's Cattle Ranching, Pioneering and Settlement history  

  3.    Encouragement to think historically -- why we are here and how we got here

OVERALL THEME  (list of topics below)

Through dialogue, stories, songs and visuals, Jim illustrates that cattle and the North American Cowboy played a key role in the development of our Western Canadian society along with the integration with indigenous peoples, immigrants and settlements.


Jim provides his own sound system, a 'fence' backdrop with a few props like a saddle and blanket. If not available on site, Jim will provide a huge 12x20 screen for the visual component of the presentation and LCD projector.


Jim has written all material.  The story-lines are 'mostly' historically accurate, but literary license does take over occasionally!   Through vivid descriptions, students will feel the wind, smell the sage and taste the traildust in this ride through the old west.

VISUAL COMPONENT  >>  Photos and Artwork

The graphics are extensive and augment lyrics and themes.  The ears listen, but the eyes help comprehension. 

IMPORTANT INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION  >>  Behaviours and Manners of 'Code of the West"

A powerful interactive discussion which indirectly, but definitely addresses bullying.


  • 'Code of the West' behaviours/manners

  • the hay-day and doomsday of the buffalo

  • acquisition of Rupert’s Land

  • 'The Last Best West' immigration strategy

  • establishment of NWMP > the March West

  • Jerry Potts > famous NWMP Guide

  • the first cattle and first huge AB ranches

  • the gigantic Cattle Drives north

  • John Ware > first Black Cowboy in Alberta

  • the first cowboys and their traditions

  • the first mind-boggling Roundups

  • transitioning open range to settlements

  • Indigenous Chiefs in Northwest Rebellion

  • the influx of settlers/homesteaders

  • the CPR and the cross-Canada railroad

  • Calgary Stampede signifies end of an era

  • the Western Lifestyle lives on