George Lane’s legacy continues to grow

Pictured: George Lane (March 6, 1856 –  September 24, 1925)

Pictured: George Lane (March 6, 1856 – September 24, 1925)

George Lane was a successful rancher in southern Alberta around the turn of the 20th century. He was also one of the “Big Four” ranchers who bankrolled Guy Weadick in 1912 to create the first Stampede, The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!

CES1912 tn stpLane was born south of the border in 1856, but moved to Canada in his twenties to take over as foreman at the Bar U Ranch, now a Canadian National Historic Site.

Pictured: George Lane and HRH Edward, Prince of Wales.

Pictured: George Lane and HRH Edward, Prince of Wales.

That’s right, Lane was a ranahan – a cowboy’s cowboy!  He purchased the Bar U in 1905 and lived on to became a trailblazer in ranching and farming, and was particularly known for establishing the top Percheron breeding herd in North America. He was also a proud Albertan; he ran for MLA and was the president of the Alberta Stock Growers’ Association. Lane was truly deserving of this honour.

He will be inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City at a ceremony held April 15 – 16, 2016.

Pictured: a souvenir program from 1912.

Pictured: a souvenir program from 1912.

The excellent news will be shared with Stampede fans during night four of the GMC Rangeland Derby on Monday, July 6, 2015. Members of Lane’s family and representatives of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Bar U Ranch and others will mark the honour in front of the Grandstand audience. Lane’s spirit lives on through his family and his Stampede legacy.

The Hall of Great Westerners at the museum is filled with historic and significant people. Lane will be joining the likes of Gene Autry, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, Will Rogers, Zane Gray and another special friend of the Stampede, Dr. Temple Grandin.

Pancake breakfast at sunset?

That’s right – it’s a Calgary Ismaili Muslim community tradition that happened last night.


Many Calgarians look forward to attending this annual pancake breakfast because while it’s a traditional pancake breakfast, there is also a midway, family friendly events and live music. It’s also a great way of breaking the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. This year, the 19th Ismaili Muslim Community breakfast, is raising funds for Calgary Reads.


Pictured: Harry the Horse helpfully showing Break the Fast attendees how to successfully win on the mini midway. It’s all the writs!

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Suncor Family Day Breakfast- Sunday, July 5 2015

Suncor Family Day Breakfast ! photo credit: Mike Ridewood

Howdy all y’all Calgary Stampede followers! How excited are you that The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth has finally arrived? I know that I certainly am!  There are so many great old and new additions on park this year to partake in.

One great tradition that many families look forward to is coming up this Sunday July 5, 2015. The free Suncor Energy Family Day Breakfast will take place from 7-9:30 a.m., and will be served to the first 20,000 people with a breakfast ticket (distributed at park entrances) in the Grandstand Courtyard. Can you believe the first 20,000 people thru the gates will be granted FREE admission (from 6-9:00 a.m.) as well as be served up some of the best pancakes in town??


photo credit: Shane Kuhn

A happy family enjoying a free pancake breakfast! photo credit: Shane Kuhn

If that wasn’t enough to lure you early risers down to the grounds, there will also be a free show on the Grandstand Stage from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., with entertainment from the Extreme Dunk show by  Acrodunk, a performance by Ukrainian Dancers Suzirya, Calgary Tai Chi Martial Arts College, the 2014 winner of the Nashville North Star competition Dylan Gillet and Mini Chuck Wagons.

There will also be a special 10:00 a.m. show of the President’s Choice SUPERDOGS on Suncor Family Day (Sunday, July 5). So if you’re trying to pack some more action into your family outing, make sure to check out the President’s Choice SUPERDOGS in Halls A and B of The Big Four building. If you have children, or if you’re a dog lover, there’s not much more to say; you will absolutely love this show!

President's Choice Superdogs !  photo credit :Tye Carson

President’s Choice SUPERDOGS! photo credit :Tye Carson

So why not take advantage of just one of the many value days to be found at Calgary Stampede 2015 and enjoy the rest of your free entrance on park by exploring so much more that Stampede has to offer.

Also as a fun suggestion, why not make friends with some people around you…find out where they’ve traveled from, what their favourite midway ride or food is and share your findings or photos on Twitter at @calgarystampede and @CS_NGC, or on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page. Enjoy the pancakes!

We are the seeds we sow

New to the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage is Grainworks, a family owned organic farming operation. The story of Grainworks began in 1912 at Vulcan, AB when Dwayne Smith’s great grandparents were practicing sustainable farming. Flash forward 100 years and Dwayne and his wife Doreen took Grainworks to the next level and obtained organic certification in 1988. They eat organically but when Stampede rolls around, like many of us, they can’t resist those midway mini doughnuts.

Chef Darren Nixon will be showcasing their products on the Kitchen Theatre stage Friday, July 3 at 7PM and Saturday, July 4th at 1PM.

For a full list of presenters on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage please visit the Western Showcase website.

Calgary Stampede (CS): Briefly tell us about yourself and what your typical day looks like.


Dwayne Smith: With farming, there are not too many typical days. Tasks for the day change with the weather and the seasons. Seldom is one day the same as the previous as there is a broad spectrum of items on the agenda from planting the crop, to working with machinery, to cleaning grain, to scouting crops, working the soil and harvesting the crops. It’s partially what makes being a farmer so fun, no room for monotony.
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Look great, feel great and be great in Paige Callaway’s new Stampede inspired line

Calgary-raised cowgirl and fashion designer, Paige Callaway, just launched an exclusive clothing collection at London Drugs, with a few designs featuring some of the earliest photos of the Calgary Stampede!


Callaway, a World Champion Trick Rider and former performer at the Stampede, has a long history in rodeo. In fact, being part of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth runs in the family!

Callaway’s unique collection is available in London Drugs stores in Calgary and Airdrie during the Stampede time (Friday, July 3 to Sunday, July 12, 2015). $5.00 of each Wild Rose or Pursue Victory clothing proceed will go to the Calgary Stampede Foundation.

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With only a few days until the start of Stampede, Executive Chef Dale is probably everywhere  on the grounds but on Monday he dropped by Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre to  check out our new digs in the BMO Marketplace, Hall A. Chef Dale is doing two special event cooking shows for Kitchen Theatre during Stampede. Derek and Suzanne

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Here comes Stampede 2015

It’s the end of June and Stampede is around the corner!  Besides the calendar here are five other reasons why it’s easy for me to feel Stampede is in the air:

1. CS Headquarters has been buzzing the last 10-days. Whether it’s our hard-working volunteers having one last committee meeting, the employees running to and fro finalizing last minute details, the phones ringing off the hook constantly and best of all, a constant hum around the ticketing office, HQ is an incredibly busy place these days.

2. Whether you are reading a newspaper, listening to the radio, watching TV or participating through social media, Stampede is being talked about everywhere. Our marketing people are doing a great job.

3. Setup on park is, if anything, ahead of schedule. Check out these photos I took yesterday on a quick tour around the park:

Pictured: The Great FUNtier set up four days before The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth

Park 2

Pictured: Midway set up four days before Stampede time

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Sharing the local love

We’ve seen some really good online discussion on local products at the Calgary Stampede, and wanted to provide some context about the nature of local at the annual Stampede and some of the local initiatives we have running year round…

With our origins as a fair, festival and exhibition it’s always been a mix of showcasing our community to the world by highlighting local talent, businesses, farmers, producers, artists and artisans and bringing entertainment, products and services from outside of Calgary to our community.

We’re thrilled that the Stampede is more than just what happens at Stampede Park. It’s the Amber Approved breakfast at Hotel Arts, it’s the Citadel community barbecue, and it’s the Calgary Ismaili community’s sunset breakfast. Stampede is the sum of all the different celebrations, barbecues, concerts, customs, pancake breakfasts and community connections that make Calgary extra awesome in July.

Back at Stampede Park, when we organize the annual Stampede we are always balancing things: old and new, tradition and modern, local and global.

Pictured: downtown Calgary

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25 Years of Preserving Agricultural Heritage

For 25 years the Calgary Stampede Farm Equipment committee has been preserving our agricultural heritage for young and old by bringing vintage tractors and equipment back to life and showcasing them to the public during Stampede.

The 25th annual Vintage Tractor Pull, presented by Cervus Equipment, takes place on Sunday, July 5 at 7 p.m. and Monday, July 6 at 5:30 p.m. The event is organized by the Calgary Stampede Farm Equipment committee.

Don Ellingson quote

The 25th anniversary of the Vintage Tractor Pull will feature 25 competitors from across Alberta with each one hoping to claim first in their class. There are six different weight classes – featherweight followed by Class #1 through #5, beginning at 1,000 lbs up to 9,999 lbs. The winner of each class is determined based on the highest aggregate pull over the two days.

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Calgary top chefs prepare for their Stampede duel

The Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre Dueling Chefs are back!  Sharpening their knives are Rogelio Herrera, Owner and Corporate Chef Alloy Restaurant and Candela Lounge, Ceci Gutierrez, Chef de Cuisine, Pasta at Centini Restaurant & Lounge, Kelly Palmer, Executive Chef, Vintage Chophouse and Tavern, and Pierre Lamielle, Illustrator and Chef. It’s fun, it’s inspirational and you will be amazed at what these local chefs can create when the heat’s on.  Don’t miss it!


For a full list of presenters on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage please visit the Western Showcase website.

Quarter horsing around at Horse Haven

The Calgary Stampede is proud to once again partner with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)! The AQHA has impacted the lives of horsemen and women around the world–ensuring the unique qualities of this breed does not parish. The AQHA strives to provide beneficial services to both their members and their American Quarter horses.

If you’ve been to Stampede Park during Stampede time, you may have seen the AQHA booth in Horse Haven in the Agricultural Barns!

Pictured: Working Cow Horse Classic Open Bridle Champion 2014– Maximum Echo, ridden by John Swales, owned by Flo Houlton

Pictured: Working Cow Horse Classic Open Bridle Champion 2014– Maximum Echo, ridden by John Swales, owned by Flo Houlton

AQHA members are passionate about the care of the American Quarter Horse and the vast lifestyle created by the world’s most popular horse. The Stampede shares this passion for horses by presenting exceptional equine experiences year-round and during the Greatest Outdoor Show in July.

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Stampede School, what’s that?

Stampede School coordinator Bev Copithorne joined the Calgary Stampede last year to lead our Stampede School program. As the school year comes to a close, Copithorne reflects on her thoughts of her first year:

I came on board with the Stampede right after Stampede time last year. With a background in both teaching and agriculture, Stampede School was truly a great fit for me. Being able to combine two things that I am passionate about really is amazing, I have the best job on Stampede Park! I am frequently seen with my posse of students, teachers and volunteers, traipsing through Stampede Park, as we uncover school curriculum in a hands-on experiential way.


Bev Copithorne, Stampede School Coordinator, with Stampede School participant at the Calgary Hitmen education night

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Introducing the brand new Blacksmith Showcase and Classic

Guests at this year’s Stampede can take part in Blacksmith events all 10 days with the new Blacksmith Showcase and Classic. Here’s a premiere of what’s in store for you when you visit the blacksmith programs.

During the three-day Blacksmith Classic competition and daily demonstrations at the Blacksmith Showcase, the blacksmiths will create many types of shoes for our equine friends. Each shoe is different and tailored specifically for the type of horse and what the horse will be used for.

Each horseshoe is designed specifically for the type of horse it will fit

  • Light draft horse/beveled cob shoe: These shoes are designed to support smaller, “lighter”, draft horses in their tasks. Light draft horses are generally used to pull carriages of people or small wagons.
  • Draft horse shoes: These shoes are sturdy and heavy, made to fit the largest breeds of horses, such as Percheron and Belgian. The main job of draft horses is to pull large wagons. Originally, draft horses were often used to pull the materials needed to build roads and buildings and they still do so on ranches and farms today.
  • Saddle horse shoes:  These shoes are designed for “saddle horses” whose main role is to carry people on their backs. These horses are usually not as heavy as the light draft horses and the draft horses, so their shoes’ materials are reflected accordingly.
  • Pony shoes: These shoes are the smallest, meant to fit ponies. Ponies are often associated with pulling children in wagons or carrying children on their backs.

Part of the competition is to “shoe the horse” after the shoe is made

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