Nick Kalyk joined the staff of Kamloops Senior Secondary School in 1961 as a teacher of Mathematics, Chemistry and Agriculture. The Board, since the creation of School District 24, was committed to offering a viable agriculture program. Nick responded to this challenge with enthusiasm.
In the fall of 1969 Nick discussed objectives for his agriculture classes with his agriculture students. His classes responded with the suggestion that a new a practical approach be tried. It was there and then that the Kamloops High School Rodeo was formed as was the Kamloops Secondary Cattle Company. Once the decision was made to hold a rodeo, the class looked about for a suitable rodeo arena in Kamloops. None existed. Not to be deterred, Nick offered a portion of his Barnhartvale Ranch as a suitable location. Local businesses were approached to donate material. Work began on the KSS rodeo grounds. Agriculture students, under Nick’s supervision, built the arena, constructed fencing, shutes, announcers' and judge’s stands. KSS Woodwork classes made concession stands, change rooms and bathrooms. KSS Metalwork students constructed gates and pens. KSS Business Education students, under John Thomas’s supervision, looked after accounting, sold tickets and collected money; art students designed posters, brochure and signs.
The agriculture class contacted every High School in BC with an invitation to participate in the first KSS Rodeo and over 100 participants from throughout BC came. Events featured bull riding, bare back horse riding, saddle bronco riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, pole bending, break-away racing, goat tying, and the ever popular wild cow milking contest performed by the KSS teaching staff.
Within a few years, the BC High School Rodeo Club affiliated the BC High School Rodeo Association with the National High Rodeo Association which includes 5 provinces and 36 states. Nick Kalyk was the BC Director of the National Association for ten years.
A contributing factor to the great success of the KSS rodeos was the active support and participation of parents, teachers, and community members. Many not only contributed to fund-raising activities but also to the many tasks that needed to be accomplished in order to put on a world class event. The local media were great supporters and a radio “shack” was established from which activities were broadcast.
The KSS Rodeo and BC High School Rodeo, begun under Nick’s leadership, continue to be popular events in BC with over 20 annual rodeos taking place and the championship Rodeo takes place at the KXA in Kamloops. This is perhaps the longest running and one of the most popular special high school events taking place in BC. Many local young people participate in provincial and national rodeos. Many young adults continued in school and with their education as a result of their positive involvement with the KSS and BC rodeos.