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Preserving the legacy of artist Jay Contway

Jay Contway
Jay Contway's legacy highlighted during Western Art Week
Posted at 3:58 PM, Mar 12, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Although Jay Contway died in November 2019, his artistic legacy lives on, especially during Western Art Week in Great Falls - and beyond.

Contway’s bronze trophies have been given out at the Calgary Stampede for the past 40 years and this year, the final Contway bronze trophy will be given out.

Contway’s wife Lynn compiled his works and contributions to the Calgary Stampede in the form of a book: "Jay Contway: The Artist, The Cowboy, His Legacy at the Calgary Stampede."



Aside from creating the bronze trophies for the Calgary Stampede, Jay Contway also created 27 ‘quickdraws’, bronze statues of their faces that took about an hour to complete, of various people he found around the stampede including cowboys, Native Americans, politicians, and more. These are included as well as descriptions from Jay Contway about who each person was and why he chose them.

Lynn explained that she and Jay started working on the book together back in 2004 when they realized how special his contributions to the Calgary Stampede had become, and how close to his heart the stampede was to Jay.

After his death in 2019, Lynn decided it was time to work on completing the book in order to preserve his legacy.

To fill in gaps where Jay Contway was unable, Lynn researched information at the Calgary Stampede to piece the book together. It includes information of every winner of a Jay Contway trophy as well as explanations on how Jay made bronze casts and other stories.
“It’s a historical record for Calgary,” Lynn stated, “as well as being a terrific record of Jay’s contribution”.

The book will be available at the Great Western Show at the fairgrounds this weekend, as well as some of Jay Contway’s original work.

To find out more about Jay Contway: The Artist, The Cowboy, His Legacy at the Calgary Stampede, click here.


Jay Contway's legacy highlighted during Western Art Week 2023:

Jay Contway's works featured during Western Art Week