Stampede Showband recognized at City Council

The Calgary Stampede Showband received a very special recognition on Monday, November 17 at the Regular Meeting of City Council for their achievement this year at the World Championships in Brazil. The Showband won first place, marking their third consecutive win, and fifth win in total. This is an accomplishment that no other showband has achieved.

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To show appreciation and support for the Stampede Showband and all they do for Calgary’s community, Mayor Nenshi congratulated and thanked the group. Mayor Nenshi expressed his congratulations by saying we are very blessed to have such musically talented young people to represent our city. He also gave recognition to the Stetson Showband who won second place in their category at the World Championships. Mayor Nenshi exclaimed “hit it!” and around 50 members of the Stampede Showband filed into the Council Chambers filling the room with sounds of  trombones, trumpets, drums and more. This definitely started out the Regular Meeting of City Council with a bang.

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Showband - performing from afar

photo courtesy of City of Calgary

Following the surprise performance, Ann McCaig, board chair of the Calgary Stampede Foundation, also spoke of her deep sense of pride of the Showband saying the band “are excellent ambassadors for Calgary.” She is constantly impressed how the hardworking youth are able to juggle their responsibilities while committing themselves to the band. “[They] display leadership, a can-do attitude and world-class excellence.” Having told the crowd that the Stampede Showband sets the stage with world-class standard, it was time to see them in action.

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As an honourable action, Aaron Park, band director, Ryan Hancock, assistant band director, Maggie Scholfield, board of director – Calgary Stampede, and Ann McCaig signed the registry.

To conclude the Showband’s recognition, Mayor Nenshi restated how incredibly proud he is of them and joked that they should “always have a musical interlude to begin [the council meetings].”

To learn more about the Stampede Showband visit http://stampedeshowband.com/.

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photo courtesy of City of Calgary

Haley’s insight on her new role as 2015 Calgary Stampede Princess

Hi everyone! My name is Haley Peckham and I am one of the 2015 Stampede Princesses. With the competition in September and the multitude of events and training sessions we’ve already had, the last few months have been a whirlwind to say the least. It’s hard to believe that we’ve already have nearly two months under our belts as royalty!

Of those that knew me when I was younger, many were surprised to hear that I was trying out to be a member of the Royal Trio. I was fairly shy as a kid. Ok, REALLY shy…there was a point in my life where I wouldn’t phone the pizza man because it meant talking to a stranger. I also always considered myself a bit of a tomboy growing up and spent a lot of my time playing sports with the guys. Either that, or I’d be hunting and fishing with dad, or spending time outside at my family’s ranch west of Bowden. Just a week before the royalty competition began, I was camped out at Tsaydaychi Lake (aka the middle of nowhere, BC) fishing for rainbow trout. When I say middle of nowhere I mean it…it’s a 45 minute float plane ride from the nearest town into camp. And while the fish aren’t huge out there, you can’t beat the peace and quiet!

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While the sweatpants are usually replaced by blue jeans and boots back at home, the ball cap and lack of makeup are typical for me on our off days. However, I will admit it has been fun getting glammed up for our events!

Ultimately, what motivated me to try out for the trio was my involvement with the Calgary Stampede Showriders. I was a rider from 2009-2014, and came into contact with the Royalty at a number of events throughout those years. Because of spending so much time at the Stampede and representing the organization both locally and internationally, it’s something that I became very passionate about. They say that once you become a part of the Stampede family, you never really lose it. My Showrider family has been so supportive in this journey, and I’m so excited to be a part of the Royalty family now as well. I’ve already met so many incredible people on this ride and can’t wait to see what the rest of our year will hold!

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Lucky 7 at Agrium Centre this fall

This coming weekend marks the seventh major new event drawn to the heart of Calgary by the newly-opened Agrium Western Event Centre during the fall season alone. The World Professional Bull-riding’s championship finals event wraps up the fall season with a huge bang this Friday and Saturday evening.

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Top bull riders and bucking bulls will converge on the Agrium Centre November 21 and 22, with riders coming from Paraguay, Mexico, Australia, USA and across Canada, vying for the title of 2014 WPB champion. It’s sure to be a fun ride. Check out details and links to tickets HERE.

Since mid-September, the Stampede’s new customized livestock-centric facility has seen a steady round of an estimated 4,000 horses, bulls, cattle and even show-jumpers flow through Stampede Park for a series of client events. This fall’s new events at the Agrium Centre included an international horsemanship conference, a pro rodeo finals competition, team roping championship, team penning finals, showjumping and the bullriding championships.

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Two of the events are all-new – the Jonathan Field and Friends international Horsemanship Conference and the Royal West showjumping competition - made possible by this unique building. The other five have been held in other cities, but relocated to Calgary for the Agrium Centre. These have all drawn thousands of visitors to Calgary. For example, the 10-day elite Royal West showjumping event continued over two weekends (image from Royal West Facebook, above) and drew international competitors, plus thousands more viewers online to see the building in action.

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The Calgary Stampede’s own annual Cutting Horse Futurity competition (pictured above) was a five-day event earlier in October, shifting from its traditional home in the Stampede’s Corral to the new Agrium Centre. The new venue and some added commemorative prizing helped attract a large spike in entry numbers of horses and riders from across Western Canada and through the western United States.

All riders, horsemen, cowboys and livestock owners have been thoroughly impressed by the facility’s tailored features designed for the comfort, safety and top performance of their animals. Riders from across Canada and the USA have commented it’s among the top facilities they have visited of its kind in North America. Word is spreading, enticing ever-more horse and livestock events to consider Calgary for their coming events.

Whether groups are interested in hosting corporate rodeos to accompany big conferences, riding workshops, horse competitions or even special performances showcasing animals, the Agrium Centre is ready to ride for 2015. For more information on bookings, contact Stampede Sales and Events.

Reflections on becoming a Calgary Stampede Princess

Wow, this has been a crazy last few months! At the beginning of September, I was still a fourth year student working weekends at the Pinebrook Golf Course until it closed, and now I have the honour of calling myself a Stampede Princess! The competition was one of the coolest, craziest, and best experiences I could have ever done and I learned a lot about myself.

I got a lot of shocked “Wow, I never thought you’d do something like this!” when I told people I was running to become one of the trio and I never realized how quiet I can be. The competition puts you in situations you are going to have to face for the rest of your life like mixers with people you don’t know or speaking in front of a group of people. I loved that part because I knew I was always uncomfortable in those types of situations and it was the perfect place to practice. I even found myself having fun and enjoying myself after the first few events.

I like to think I am pretty down to earth and just a normal girl. I love the horse world and riding, and getting dirty is part of the package. With the job I had this summer I also found I am pretty good at pond weed pulling as I somehow managed to get wrangled into some hip waders for a few afternoons!

 

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The Stampede family has been fantastic and has managed to find my girly side and it’s been fun! Trying on different clothes and playing around with makeup is like a day in your mom’s closet playing dress up when you were little. They have managed to turn this pond munger into somewhat of a lady! I still love my jeans and paddock boots and my camo hat but playing around with lipsticks is kind of fun.

 

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Stampede horses dominate CFR

Three dozen Calgary Stampede bucking horses are happily frolicking in the snow-covered pastures near Hanna, celebrating a triumphant series of performances in the horse roughstock events at the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

In the six CFR performances, ending Sunday, Stampede horses captured six buckles for round-winning scores. That’s half the available buckles to be won by horses. When the dust settled at Rexall Place and the rough stock awards were handed out, three of the top four horses of the CFR went to Stampede Stock.

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Unfortunate Carma won the 2014 Bareback Horse of the CFR after two astounding performances. This six-year-old mare won the second round with Matt Lait (pictured above, photo by Mike Copeman), teaming up to score an 87-point ride. She returned Saturday night with another strong performance that earned her great points with rider Colin Adams.

Unfortunate Carma is the grand-daughter of the legendary bareback horse, Grated Coconut. Born 2008, she is the daughter of mare Carma by sire Royal Wake, who is the son of six-time World Champion Grated Coconut by mare French Wake. All those great genetic qualities combined in Unfortunate Carma, a feisty filly that ranks as an “eliminator” bronc.

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Her travelling mate and uncle, Special Delivery (pictured above at the Stampede) - currently ranked as the number three bareback horse in the world – was named the runner-up in the Bareback Horse category. His first go-round was explosive, scoring him great points but up-ending top rider RC Landingham in a buck-off. The second time this spunky stallion took the arena, he carried Matt Lait to the top of the round and the championship title, winning with a score of 87.75. Special Delivery is a powerful and talented animal athlete, sired by Grated Coconut by many-time CFR and NFR Qualifier Zippy Delivery. Watch for him to solidify his world-class reputation at the NFR in December.

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Tiger Warrior  (pictured above waiting for his performance at CFR) took runner-up in the category of Saddle Bronc Horse of the CFR, scoring 85.5 points to win the opening round with Cort Scheer. His second time out, in the fourth round, Tiger Warrior carried Rylan Geiger to a top-placed finish with a score of 86.5. Two rounds, two top-placed finishes for Tiger Warrior. He was edged out for the Horse of the CFR title by Lunatic Party from Outlaw Buckers, a horse that was the Saddle Bronc Horse of Canada for this year.

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Considering there are 11 stock contractors with horses in the running, the Stampede’s capture of six of the 12 go-round buckles and three of the four Horse of the Year honours represents an impressive ratio that speaks volumes of the quality of the Stampede’s Born to Buck breeding program.

Go-Round Buckles:

Performance 1: Saddle Bronc – Cort Scheer and Tiger Warrior – 85.5 points

Performance 2: Bareback – Matt Lait and Unfortunate Carma – 87 points

Performance 3: Saddle Bronc – Cort Scheer and Lynx Mountain – 88.75 points

Performance 4: Saddle Bronc – Cort Scheer and Warped Logic – 85.25 points

Performance 5: Saddle Bronc – Rylan Geiger and Tiger Warrior – 86.50 points

Performance 6: Bareback – Matt Lait and Special Delivery – 87.75 points

CS+CS = Champion performances

Add to that a unique phenomenon –  the combination of the initials worn by our CS horses and a certain “C.S.” cowboy added up to the CFR’s Top Gun award.

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Cort Scheer (pictured above with Stampede’s Keith Marrington), the Calgary Stampede 2013 Saddle Bronc Champion, was on fire all through the CFR, taking home three go-round buckles all on the backs of CS-marked Stampede bucking horses. Cort kicked off the CFR with an opening-round win teamed up with Tiger Warrior, followed up a go-round ride with on Lynx Mountain on night 3 and another winning ride with Warped Logic in the fourth go-round, plus a fourth-placed finish on Until Kamloops in the final round.

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In all, Cort bucked out almost $63,000 worth of performances, teamed up with Stampede stock in four of his six go-rounds, earning himself the Top Gun award for the most money earned by any cowboy at the CFR. This huge run on great rides lifted Scheer from 10th place standing coming into CFR from season’s earnings, to a second-place finish, a mere $238 behind Tyler Corrington’s championship-winning tally.

 

Two nights, Two Buckles for Stampede Stock

Two days down, two stock buckles in hand! The Calgary Stampede Ranch horses are making their mark at Canada’s championship rodeo with a matching pair of go-round buckles from the opening two nights of competition.

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On opening night, Stampede’s Tiger Warrior  (above) tore up the saddle bronc event with 2013 Calgary Stampede saddle bronc champion Cort Scheer aboard. This seven-year-old stallion offers up the powerful, high bucks and a solid rhythm that makes for a good show, but ups the ante of difficulty with his tricky fishtailing – randomly swinging his hind quarters to the side in moves that can dislodge any cowboy if he loses his centre. Scheer stayed on point and the pairing kicked out a 85.5 ride – the top score for the roughstock horse events for the night, winning Scheer a big boost in his bid to the top of the bronc standings, and earning Stampede and Tiger Warrior for the go-round buckle.

Tiger Warrior has been making his mark this season, including winning the Saddle Bronc Horse of the Ponoka Stampede in early July, then two great showings at the Calgary Stampede, including a great ride with Cody Wright during the Final Round Sunday.

Tiger Warrior is the son of many-time CFR and NFR qualifier Fearless Warrior by legendary Stampede bareback horse Grated Coconut. Watch for Tiger Warrior again Saturday afternoon for another great performance.

Stampede’s second buckle of the CFR came on the second night in the bareback event. Matt Lait paired up with Stampede mare Unfortunate Carma for some very fortunate action. Their 87-point ride topped the event and brought this emerging star to the attention of the rodeo crowd. Only six years old, Unfortunate Carma made her mark throughout the entire season, highlighted with a title as the Bareback Horse of the Pendleton Roundup Rodeo in Oregon in August. She’ll be out again full-force at Saturday night’s CFR Round Five.

Another Stampede great – Mad Money (seen in video above) – put on a great show during round 2 in the saddle bronc event. Tyler Corrington matched up with Mad Money for an impressive 84.75 score, narrowly missing the go-round win, which went to reigning Stampede champion Dustin Flundra on a horse called Awesome. Mad Money rang the right bells on her run, with her signature stutter-style kick throwing her hind hooves well overhead, reaching for the rafters. She’ll be out again Saturday night for another match-up and a run at the title of Saddle Bronc Horse of the CFR.

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She’ll have some tough competition tonight, though, from emerging legend Stampede Warrior (pictured above), a full sister to Tiger Warrior. During his go-round victory interview last night, Dustin Flundra told reporters there’s a horse he’s really hoping to draw tonight – and that’s Stampede Warrior. That’s because he knows this eight-year-old mare is a champion-maker. This year alone, she set an arena and circuit record score of 94 points in Houston with Cody DeMoss, paired with Wade Sundell for a 92-point win at the inaugural All-American $100,000 rodeo in Arlington, and helped earn Flundra an 89-point score en route to his Calgary Stampede title on Final Sunday this year. All eyes will be on Stampede Warrior and her recognizable one-blue eye tonight and final round 6 on Sunday afternoon in the hunt for cowboy and roughstock titles at the CFR.

In the Bareback event, Special Delivery (featured in video, above) is the one to watch tonight and final Sunday at the CFR. Ranked as the #3 bareback in the world, Special Delivery has consistently delivered cowboys championship titles and wins for the past few years. The 2012 Bareback Horse of the Year in Canada, this stallion won the Hermiston Rodeo in Washington with Steven Peebles, and Canadian fans would have seen him winning the Lea Park Rodeo by Marwayne with Russ Hallaby. He’s in the hunt for titles at both CFR this weekend, and at the NFR in Las Vegas later in December.

See y’all at the CFR tonight and through the weekend!

A Family Farm’s Growing Season

One of the ways that my family agvocates is by sharing our family farm’s growing season in an annual video. My husband Jay works hard to film on his GoPro Hero 3+ cameras and his DJI Phantom drone for 7 months of the year: from seeding in the spring, to harvest in the fall. We farm approximately 6000 acres of wheat, canola and yellow peas east of Calgary in Wheatland County. We hope you enjoy our 2014 growing season video and please share!

Greetings from the 2015 Indian Princess, Maya Many Grey Horses

My name is Maya Many Grey Horses and I have recently been crowned the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess for 2015.

It was such an honor to have been chosen for this role and I am truly humbled. I have always looked up to the young ladies who previously held the title–what an inspiring group of women.

As the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, I will be an ambassador for the Indian Village, treaty 7 and the Calgary Stampede. I hold my culture close to my heart and I am very excited to be able to share this with other people–educating other people about the rich culture of First Nations peoples is important.

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In addition to representing my culture, I will be able to pay tribute to my grandfather, Alphonse Many Grey Horses, and my great grandfather, Long Time Squirrel, who were pioneers of the Calgary Stampede and contributed bucking horses to the rodeo stock. I am proud of this historical legacy and many other contributions made by Treaty Seven members to the Stampede.

I hope to share my experiences with young women in Treaty 7 and get them interested in this is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.

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The amount of support I have been getting from my home tribe, the Blood tribe, has been overwhelming. I am thankful for their support and encouragement.  I will strive to serve the Calgary Stampede with excellency throughout my year and  make my supporters proud.  I’m very excited for the year ahead of me!

Stampeding towards Canadian championships

With fall season comes end of season for Canada’s Pro rodeo tours, culminating in the Canadian Finals Rodeo, held in Edmonton November 5 to 9.

After weeks enjoying the pastures of the Stampede Ranch near Hanna (pictured below),  36 top bucking stars will soon climb aboard the Calgary Stampede trucks for the trip north - rough stock horses and bulls who qualified for Canada’s pro rodeo finals through consistently strong performances all season long. buckers3

This combination of Canada’s top bucking horses and top cowboys is sure to add to some great performances to determine Canada’s champion cowboys and Canadian horses and bulls. The Stampede stars are definitely in the running for go-round buckles and possible some bronze.

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In the saddle bronc event, 16 Stampede broncs will show their best at the CFR. This list includes Stampede Warrior (above), who has been astounding both north and south of the border in 2014, including a virtually-perfect 94-point ride with Cody DeMoss at Rodeo Houston to shatter the arena record that made headlines in Canada and abroad. You can see this amazing mare – sired by legendary Stampede bareback horse Grated Coconut – at the Friday night performance and again in the final Sunday round at the CFR.

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Also on the broncs list are mainstay stars like Lynx Mountain (above) and Mad Money, the “delivery brothers” of Urgent Delivery and Timely Delivery, plus a host of rising stars, such as Weary Joke, Warped Logic and Wild Cherry.

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A total of 13 bareback horses qualified for CFR this year. Exceptional stallion Special Delivery won the 2012 Canadian Bareback Horse of the Year and is in the hunt for the CFR Bareback Horse title this year after an exceptional season. He’ll be the one to watch Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.

Bareback mare Twin Cherry is also up for the ride north to Edmonton after a spectacular season, which included boosting Richard Champion to a $1.1 million win at the new All-American Rodeo at Arlington in January – rodeo’s richest-ever single day payout to a cowboy. Watch for this feisty mare on Thursday and Saturday evenings at the CFR.

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Watch for other bareback stars, including Muffled Cries and Nightmare Rocket, both well-known stock highly anticipated by cowboys for great rides and consistently high scores. Up-and-coming stars making their mark include Simply Marvellous (pictured above), Wanaka Rocket and Unfortunate Carma, while mainstay bronc Licorice Baby promises a sweet ride for some novice cowboys.

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Six Stampede bulls are bringing some serious brawn to Rexall Place, including top-billed Pawn Star and Low Life (pictured above). Rodeo fans will be thrilled to welcome back Classic Hit,Man in Black, Gator and Burn it to the Ground, bulls well-recognized in rodeo circles as tough competitors sure to give the bull riders and fighters a run for their money.

 

Donations become a lasting legacy

It all started with a vision and the bricks and mortar. Now, eager participants are bringing it all to life.

Thanks to the generous donations from hundreds of Albertans, the vision of Stampede Park as a year-round gathering place is becoming a reality. A number of these contributions have been made by Calgary Stampede volunteers. Nicole Henson, a proud seven-year Stampede volunteer and chair of the Agriculture Media committee, is passionate about agriculture and youth education. When Henson donated to the capital campaign, she chose to give to the Agriculture Discovery Zone.

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Nicole Henson

The Agrium Western Event Centre – part of the Agriculture Discovery Zone – plays host to an innovative, inquiry-based learning program and a variety of regional, national and international equine championship events. One of the first lucky riders in the new Agrium Centre was Faith Stewart, a 16-year-old member of the Big Hill West Light Horse 4-H Club in Cochrane.

Stewart felt privileged to ride in this new cutting-edge facility. She described the building as “wonderful, so clean and bright” adding, “the larger arena gives the horse and rider the freedom to run full, big patterns.” In fact, this 125×250 ft. arena is referred to by competitors as one of the top 10 facilities of its kind in North America.

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Faith Stewart and her sisters

Besides hosting youth agriculture programs, the Agrium Centre is providing a home to events typically not seen at Stampede Park. Some of these events include the Arabian Horse Association Region 17 Championships and the Royal West Show Jumping Tournament.

Henson is thrilled to see these events and youth programs at the Agrium Centre. She grew up on a family farm and “wants to help keep agriculture alive” for future generations. Henson’s generosity helped contribute to a place where youth like Stewart can showcase and celebrate their western heritage.

If you make a donation to the “We’re Greatest Together” capital campaign you can choose where your money goes. Your donation can be applied to the general capital campaign, or to one of three designated areas – Agriculture Discovery Zone, ENMAX Park and Youth Campus.

The Calgary Stampede’s Mobile Stages are a great addition to any event

Cowboys started serving pancakes out of their chuckwagons in the nineteenth century. Calgarians took up the tradition in 1923 when Jack Morton began serving breakfasts of out of his chuckwagon in the downtown core. The only thing better than a free breakfast is one with live entertainment. That’s why the Calgary Stampede has three mobile stages and a volunteer subcommittee to manage them.

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Community events use the stages in a variety of ways including hosting performances, award shows and bands. The stages are used year-round and travel outside of Calgary, giving a western theme to any event. In fact, this past February, the group took its newest stage to Banff, for the opening ceremonies of the Alberta Winter Games.

This wasn’t the first winter sporting event for the stages. The Winter Olympics used two stages for the cross-Canada torch relay in 1988. Two years later, the Stampede took possession of them. And the Calgary Stampede still has these original stages. In 2007 a clamshell unit with a 32 feet wide performance area was added to the fleet. They have continued to host many more celebrities and entertainers such as George Fox, Jewel, Gord Bamford, Tim Hus and Carolyn Dawn Johnson.

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The Mobile Stage group loves hosting performers but most of all enjoys giving back to the community. The Stampede supplies stages free-of-charge to community events. This allows these events to hang onto funds that would otherwise be used for staging. For example, the Aspen Crossing Music Festival this summer reallocated stage money to the STARS charity. Similarly, other participants, such as 4H and the Lions Club were able to keep funds they raised at the same event.

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As the mobile stages have become known across Alberta, more and more events are requesting them. As a result, and part of succession planning the group has begun replacing the 1988 vintage units. In 2013 the group took delivery of a new 53 foot semi trailer type stage. The Mobile Stage group also provide sound equipment to events needing sound but no stage. One example is the Happy Trails events that the Promotion committee has started. Happy Trails brings western hospitality to seniors who cannot come to Stampede Park.

Make sure to be on the lookout for the Calgary Stampede mobile stages throughout the year. When you see the stages, you’ll find our Mobile Stage subcommittee, a subgroup of the Promotion committee, in action. Don’t forget, the stages also help out the Caravan committee pancake breakfasts during Stampede time. So join the more than 100,000 people to receive a free breakfast and enjoy some western entertainment.

The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede present A Christmas Spectacular!

Tickets go on sale Friday, November 7 for the 2014 Young Canadians “A Christmas Spectacular!”. Bring your loved ones, friends and neighbours to share the Christmas spirit with us this December. The show details are as follows:

When: Sunday, December 7, 2014 – 7:30 pm
Where: Jack Singer Concert Hall
What: A Christmas Spectacular!
Who: The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede
Tickets: Epcor Centre Box Office: https://www.epcorcentre.org/VisitorInformation/BoxOfficeAndCentreMap.aspx

How quickly the years go by. The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede are now celebrating their 47th year. As we near the end of 2014, one of Calgary’s annual traditions will soon be upon us: The Young Canadians Christmas Spectacular at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Presented by The Rotary Club of Calgary, and the Calgary Stampede Foundation, this show rings in the Christmas season with incredible singing and dancing like only The Young Canadians can deliver.

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Classic Christmas music is performed in song and dance by small ensembles, incredible soloists and of course stage-filling, full-force production numbers; the show has something for everyone and for all ages.

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For new and returning Young Canadians alike, there’s something special about this first show of season. It’s a chance to give back to the community, to the Rotary Club of Calgary as they present the show to many local senior citizens, and to the citizens of Calgary that cheer The Young Canadians on in the TransAlta Grandstand Show during Stampede time.

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Years ago when I was a Young Canadian, our Christmas tradition was to perform at the Kinsmens Centre (currently where the Scotabank Saddledome exists), and then later, simply at our own rehearsal studios. Now for several years at the Jack Singer Concert Hall (thanks to the Rotary Club and Enbridge), The Young Canadians can pull out all the stops and have established an annual “must-do” Christmas event.

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For each Young Canadian, it’s also an opportunity to put their training to the test. Our school year begins each September and nothing bonds a new company of Young Canadians quite like mounting such a large production. In this way, the show has been quite a gift to the school as well. For young artists who love the roar of the crowd, Christmas marks roughly the halfway point in the year from Stampede to Stampede. So in December, the Young Canadians hit that Jack Singer Concert Hall stage with more Christmas spirit, music, energy and excitement than they can contain.

Calgary has many excellent Christmas activities and traditions and The Young Canadians are proud of this annual event. I can tell you that already they are fondly reminiscing about last year’s show and speculating with an over-abundance of curiosity as to what material they will perform in 2014. It’s like they’re kids on Christmas already.

And a great gift is coming… The Young Canadians are also thrilled with anticipation of the fast arriving Calgary Stampede Youth Campus. This new facility that will help them not only train and build their artistic skills but help to continue to elevate their performance capabilities benefitting the shows they participate in annually including the TransAlta Grandstand Show and the Christmas Spectacular.

The Young Canadians can’t wait to perform for you this Christmas and hope to see you all on Sunday, December 7.

2015 Stampede Queen Mick Plemel trades her hip waders for royal outfits

Hello there! My name is Mick Plemel and I was recently crowned as the 2015 Stampede Queen! I am very honoured to have the opportunity to represent the Calgary Stampede this year, but let me tell you, immediately after I was crowned, my life began to dramatically change.

You see, I have always been a very low maintenance, outdoorsy girl. Sure, I would get dressed up once in a while, but those times were somewhat few and far between. I went to Olds College and studied Land and Water Resource Management and after I graduated last spring I took a job as a “Field Technical” with the Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society (Cows and Fish for short). I had a wonderful time spending all summer traveling the province doing health assessments on pasture land and grazing leases, but due to the nature of the job (always outside around water) I spent most of the summer in a ball cap and hip waders.

So as you can imagine, after I was crowned and the trio was outfitted by our wonderful sponsors with a new wardrobe, make up, and jewelry, it has been a challenge for me to get used to the new “look”.

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One thing that I have found out is that it doesn’t matter what clothes a person is wearing, or how they have their hair done, or whether or not there is a crown on their cowboy hat; what really matters is who they are on the “inside”. I am very happy to say that all the people I have met on this journey so far (the other Contestants, Trio members, Indian Princess, Royalty Advisors, Committee and Board members, Alumni, judges, fans, sponsors, volunteers and many more) have been kind and honest people, which makes them beautiful on the inside and out!

If you have ever felt like you were “not good enough” to pursue a dream I hope you’ll think back to my short story, and remember that if a hip wader and plaid clad girl can go from that to the Stampede Queen, surely you can make your dreams come true as well.

Enjoy the rest of your day and hopefully we will meet somewhere along the trail!

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3 Great Chances to See the Stampede Showband Perform This Fall

Need your marching band fix? Here are three chances to see the world famous Calgary Stampede Showband perform this fall!

1. Oct. 24 Calgary Stampeders game vs. the Saskatchewan Roughriders

This Friday, the Showband will do what most marching bands do: perform in the half-time show for a local football team. But the Showband is not like most marching bands, so expect some of the Showband’s unique western flair! The Showband is becoming known for doing performances in the community that bring a lot of people together and support a great cause. Friday’s Pink Power game is in support of the Canadian Cancer Society.

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2. Nov. 29 Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade

The annual Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade is one of our favourite traditions! Showband members brave the cold and trade their cowboy hats for santa hats to get in the holiday spirit. This parade, which starts at 11am, is definitely worth the drive!

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3. Dec. 3 The Optimist Festive Showcase

Each year, the Optimist Club of Calgary hosts an amazing holiday music concert at the Southern Jubilee Auditorium. Featuring performances by the Showband, the Heebee Jeebees, the Calgary Stampede’s Band of Outriders, the Calgary Stetson Show Band and the Calgary Round-Up Band, the Festive Showcase will put you in the holiday mood. Tickets will go on-sale through Ticketmaster soon!

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We’d love to see your photos at Showband performances! Share them with us on Twitter and Instagram by tagging us: @ShowbandCS.