5 ways marching band is better than the gym

Not many would think to hit the marching band rehearsal field when they decide to get in shape, but Calgary Stampede Showband members Logan Clarke (clarinet) and Dylan Rutledge (snare drum) told us that marching band has been a big part of their healthy lifestyle and increased fitness over the past year. If you’re interested in seeing proof that the marching arts give a serious workout, this recent Drum Corps International blog post shows some seriously impressive before-and-after photos. Wondering how marching band members defy stereotypes and get in great shape? Here are five ways that we think marching band is better than your local gym for getting fit:

1. You get to be cultured AND get a great workout

Most students join marching band because they enjoy playing their instruments and love performing, but few anticipate how physically demanding it will be. The Showband works hard year round: it plays challenging music for its summer field show and catchy pop music hits for parades, has indoor percussion and winter guard productions, and has an award-winning concert band program. Plus, members get to travel to some pretty amazing places, like Brazil and Japan. Now THAT’S balance.

2. You won’t know that you are getting in shape

Logan and Dylan didn’t intend to get fit when they joined marching band, but constantly hustling back to their spots during rehearsals and walking at fast paces from performance to performance is a surprisingly rigorous cardio workout.  Plus, holding up instruments for the duration of rehearsals and performances (Dylan’s drum weighs about 45 lbs!) helps members to become strong and toned. According to Logan, it’s easy to get in shape and stay there when you have another goal in mind. Over the season, she says she saw the whole band get faster and stronger. Dylan told us, “The greatest benefit I found from rehearsing was working towards something I loved and getting better at it with each rep. At the beginning of the year I found my self having to catch my breath and sweating a lot from the exertion required to march; the physical strain was difficult at times but by the end of the year I was feeling great and doing long reps in the hot sun actually started to feel good”.

Dylan Rutledge3. You’ll eat healthy, especially when it isn’t convenient

With an extremely busy schedule during the 10-day Stampede, Showband members eat healthy meals and snacks organized by the Stampede Band Committee and parent volunteers. Even when they have to pack their own lunches, students quickly learn that they need to eat balanced meals and stay hydrated to make it through long rehearsals. Dylan made a decision to be healthy about a year ago, dramatically increasing his water intake and replacing processed foods with whole foods. In just a few weeks he found that he had lost excess weight, his self-confidence soared, and band rehearsals were less of an exertion.

Logan Clarke4. Rehearsals are more fun than treadmills and weights

Your average treadmill routine can get stale pretty quickly, but marching band rehearsal keeps members on their toes! Showband members rehearse more than 800 hours each year, most of that playing their instruments and marching. My Fitness Pal, an app/website that tracks calories consumed and burned, tells us that marching while playing an instrument (walking) burns 224 calories/hour, while marching rapidly burns an unexpected 398 calories/hour. Between instruments, props, choreography, and marching, Showband rehearsals and performances are serious (not to mention regular) work-outs. Plus, members are encouraged to run and lift weights outside of rehearsal to help with endurance during performances. Drum Corps International even provides a pre-season work-out guide  to help aspiring marchers to prepare for the rigors of drum corps.

5. 120 of your best friends are there to support you

Consider it the biggest and best group exercise activity around!

Logan Clarke is 17 years old and just finished her first year as a member of the Stampede Showband. Dylan Rutledge is 19 years old and is currently in his fourth year with the Showband. Dylan plans to audition for Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps based in Texas later this year.

What Snow in September Means for Farmers

It’s not unheard of to have snowfall in September in Alberta, but it is very rare. The last time it snowed in September was 10 years ago to the day, but that was only in Edmonton and it was about 2″ over 2 days. It was about 25ºC on Sunday September 7 and then on Monday the 8th we dropped 20º down to 5ºC with heavy, wet snow. We had 8″ of this snow land on our crops in Wheatland County and it has completely flattened our wheat down to the ground. Not only is it disheartening to see loads of the white stuff in a month where we’ve been known to have temperatures reach over 30ºC, but this adds a whole other stressor to finishing harvest this year on our 6000 acre grain farm.

Snowy Wheat
Luckily for us we have 1/3 of our crops off when some of our neighbours and fellow Albertans haven’t even had the chance to start harvest yet. It seems this year a lot of crops have been either hailed out or snowed out. The weather has not been kind to farmers, yet again proving why it requires faith like a mustard seed to be a farmer.

Snow in September

Snow in September
I asked my husband farmer what he thought about the remaining crops and he said “crop prices are down, yields are down, quality is down…and now the crop is down.” I cannot even express how downright sad this is to see our wheat crops flattened to the ground. The pictures I took just don’t do it justice.

A lot of people have asked me, when I’ve shared snowy pictures on Facebook and Instagram, how this affects the rest of harvest for us. To elaborate on what my husband said, wheat usually stands up tall making it easy for the combine to harvest it. As it was with yields this year and the lack of moisture when we needed it, the crops didn’t grow like we’d hoped and we were just breaking even with the cost of how much it is to plant the crop and how much wheat is selling for right now. With the snow laying the wheat down flat to the ground, this is going to be substantially harder for the combines to “pick it up” off the ground to harvest it. Essentially we’re going to spend 50% more time combining and have more risk for plugging the combine, damaging the combine, cutting our speed almost in half and the quality of wheat will go down because of moisture damage—it’s truly a big loss in revenue.

Snow in September

This is our real life and what it takes to be a farmer—it’s not for the faint of heart. These are the risks we take growing crops to help feed the world. But? It’s our life and our passion and we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

 

A Farm Boy Comes Back to a Career in Agriculture

Darryl ChubbPassionate about agriculture, the land and its stewards, Daryl Chubb has always appreciated his central Saskatchewan farming roots. After completing his Bachelor of Science at the University of Saskatchewan, he went on to manage a major crop enterprise business, and most recently, start his own agriculture consulting firm, DeNovo Ag in 2012. He has obtained his Professional Agrologist (P.Ag) designation while remaining very involved in the ag industry, both personally and professionally through volunteer contributions to a diversity of industry boards and committees. You can follow him on Twitter @DarylChubb.

Growing up in rural Saskatchewan cultivated my passion for agriculture at a very early age. I would have given anything to spend my days on the tractor with my dad or doing chores instead of going to school, I loved farming and everything it had to offer. However, after graduating high school in the mid 90’s, I vowed that farming was not for me. Farming was not lucrative, it was financially burdensome and a tough profession. I went out to work on my own, but still came home in the spring and fall to help my parents with their workload.

I found myself jumping from job to job without any sense of accomplishment or progression. Granted, I had lots of fun, but was lacking the “career” I had aspired for myself. Three years after graduating from high school, I applied for university and in the fall of 1998, I was enrolled to attend the College of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan. The decision to go back to university revived my passion for the ag industry.  Studying and classroom settings were not my forté, I enjoyed the outdoors and working much more, albeit university was a major stepping stone for me to begin my career. I garnered industry contacts, earned the opportunity to study abroad, gained key employment opportunities and met amazing people and lifelong friends along the way. In 2002 I graduated with a degree in Crop Science and very respectable grades.

After University, my wife and I tried to go back to the family farm, but there were too many hurdles to overcome with debt, equipment, BSE and drought. I was able to gain some great industry experience while employed with grain and chemical companies and managing a grain operation.

The premise of my story on this blog is to express how passion can turn into dreams.  Passion helped me to acquire a university education, gain necessary experience and build industry contacts among other key attributes. Today I am operating a successful agriculture consulting company influencing 32 000 acres. I have recently been awarded the Nuffield Scholarship allowing me to extend my knowledge of agriculture and travel the world.

Special Delivery: Canuck bucks hit the coast

When cowboys know the Calgary Stampede’s legendary bucking stock is coming to the party, they come prepared to walk away with a pocketful of cash.

Even amongst the Stampede’s strong stable of stars, Special Delivery stands a head above the herd. This powerful and spirited stallion is renowned amongst the bareback cowboys for his consistency and reliability to bring the buck when it matters. Son of many-time CFR and NFR qualifier mare Z-38 Zippy Delivery, sired by six-time world champion Grated Coconut, Special Delivery was named the 2012 Canadian Bareback Horse of the Year and has been a CFR and NFR qualifier of note.

SpecialDeliveryCS2014

Special Delivery (pictured above CS2014)  has been proving this again on the rodeo trails that lead through Oregon, Washington and into B.C.’s interior. He paired up with Steven Peebles to rock out an 87-point ride to win the bareback championship at the Farm-City Pro Rodeo in Hermiston Oregon on August 9th. After resting up, Special Delivery did a rare switch-hit into the saddle bronc event at Canby, Oregon, scoring an 84-point ride with Joaquin Rael.

LynxMntnCS2014

As strong as Special Delivery was, another Stampede horse took the top ride in Canby’s saddle bronc event. Lynx Mountain (pictured above CS2014) had her way with Isaac Diaz to score 88 points to win the championship.

simplymarvelllouskitsap

Simply Marvellous was also utterly that this past weekend at the Kitsap Stampede in Bremerton, Washington, with virtually vertical bucks that cowboy Dusty Hausauer just couldn’t keep up with, as seen in this picture (above).

Special Delivery and his fellow stars are now bouncing between Armstrong BC and Ellensberg. Special Delivery bucks Wednesday night in Armstrong, then takes a short jaunt up the highway for a starring role in the Ellensburg final round on Monday. He’ll have some bovine company for the trip, since 10 of the Stampede’s top bulls are scheduled to amp up the excitement at Ellensberg’s PRCA Extreme Bull event this coming Saturday night and the rodeo’s final round on the Monday. Amongst the toughest will be I’m a Gangsta and Low Life, two of the Stampede’s bucking stock that instill the most respect and fear amongst bull riders.

More to come on how those showdowns play out in the coming days and weeks, as the Stampede stock continues to stamp their brand across the northwest part of the continent.

 

The Summer of the Wild Warriors that Deliver

This may be the Chinese Year of the Horse, but so far it’s been a summer of the “wild warrior delivery” from the Calgary Stampede’s bucking stock at various Canadian rodeos throughout the summer.

Two horses from the famed “Warrior” lineage took the top prizes early in the season. Born from mare Fearless Warrior by legendary sire Grated Coconut, full brother and sister Tiger Warrior and Stampede Warrior have been tearing up the circuit.

TigerWarriorCS2014

Fiery stallion Tiger Warrior (pictured above at CS2014)led the charge at Ponoka on the July long weekend, taking the halter for the Saddle Bronc Horse of the Ponoka Stampede. He followed it up with strong performances during the Calgary Stampede, winning a first-place split with Heath Moss in Pool A then later teaming up with Cody Wright in the final 10 on Showdown Sunday.

StampedeWarriorCS2014

Tiger Warrior’s full sister Stampede Warrior (pictured above at CS2014) wowed the crowd and won the Saddle Bronc Horse of the Calgary Stampede. The mare showed her power on the Showdown Sunday’s Final Four performance, paired up with Canadian cowboy Dustin Flundra to score an 89 point ride that helped lift Dustin to his first-ever Calgary Stampede Championship win. Stampede Warrior has been astounding throughout the 2014 season, shattering the Rodeo Houston record with a virtually perfect 94-point ride with Cody DeMoss earlier in the spring.

wild cherry 1

Wild Cherry (pictured above CS2013) brought the “wild” to the Curtis Glencross Invitation Rodeo event at the Daines Ranch near Innsifail this past weekend. Created by the Calgary Flames’ star forward, the event raised almost $200,000 for Ronald McDonald House and Hockey Alberta last year. This year, the Calgary Stampede bucking stock did their part to make the event a success for the cowboys and spectators alike. Wild Cherry, born from mare Flavoured Cherry and six-time world champion Grated Coconut, lived up to his championship lineage by carrying saddle bronc rider Sam Kelts to an 88-point ride, winning Kelts the rodeo and a new truck in the process. This is one of Wild Cherry’s first appearances on the rodeo circuit in 2014, sitting out for recovery from a foot surgery earlier in the spring. Now fully healed, this gelding showed he’s back on top of his game once again.

As the prairie rodeos wind down a bit, the Stampede’s best broncs and bulls hit the road for the coast, with a series of top-ranked pro rodeos throughout Washington, Oregon and B.C.’s interior.

4H Rodeo teaches the ropes to youngsters

Almost 70 young aspiring cowboys and cowgirls learned the ropes of their industry at the 17th annual Calgary Stampede Invitational 4H Rodeo this past weekend.

4-H Rodeo 11

The Stampede hosted the 4H students, aged nine to 20 years old, at the Agrium Western Event Centre on August 23 and 24, making this the first rodeo to be held in the new tailored livestock facility. The Stampede hosts the 4H Rodeo annually to give the youngsters a solid grounding in their sport, in rodeo production, livestock handling and animal care. Alongside the competition, the young rodeo competitors take part in educational sessions aimed at stepping up their game in all these topics and more.

4-H Rodeo 03

While rodeo is familiar, many of the events are not generally well-known in non-rodeo circles. Time events like thread-the-needle, pole-bending and goat-tying are the training grounds for younger athletes and their horses before graduating to tie-down roping and barrel racing.

4-H Rodeo 15

Learn more in this video interview from Global TV Morning News.

http://globalnews.ca/video/1523378/calgary-stampede-4h-rodeo

Apply to be the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess- Four days left!

There are FOUR DAYS left to get your application in for the 2015 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess pageant!! You can find the application online here. On my Facebook page, I’ve been counting down 10 reasons to apply for Indian Princess. Here’s number eight:

CULTURAL REPRESENTATION

This was the main part of my role as the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess and I’m so honored to do the things that I did as a young Treaty 7 and Blackfoot woman. I traveled and danced at the harbor in Toronto, for crowds in Regina, overseas in Germany, and at nearly every local event we visited. Most events, some people have never met a first nations person or seen a pow wow dancer before. Afterwards, people would come up to me and ask me numerous questions about where I’m from and of the background of my culture and dance. Dancing and introducing myself in Blackfoot filled me with so much pride–I’d try to take it all in so I could remember those moments forever.

Carly Indian Princess

I’d also be the only First Nations at most events, so I took my role seriously and I’d try to represent myself to my best potential. With that, I would ask my parents or other relatives and elders about our language, culture, and history. I learned so much. I took it upon myself to study as much Treaty 7 information, Blackfoot words, and First Nations history as possible so I could answer questions honestly and confidently in the public eye. With that, my appreciation for who I am and where I come from has grown tremendously. I always had a deep love for my culture, but now I want to want to dance as much as I can, travel to different pow wows, become more fluent in Blackfoot, and study my history for the rest of my life so I can pass it on to younger generations.

People ask me about the things that I receive throughout my reign, which I all greatly appreciate. However, getting the chance to represent my First Nations/Blackfoot culture, Treaty 7, Siksika, the Calgary Stampede Indian Village and the Calgary Stampede in 2014 is one of the greatest gifts I could have ever asked for.

A passion for marching band transcends language

You’ve probably already read about the Calgary Stampede Showband’s success at the World Association of Marching Show Band (WAMSB) championships earlier this month and their volunteerism in Brazil, but some of the best parts of the trip didn’t make the headlines. Below, Showband colorguard coordinator Rochelle Siddall tells us about one experience that made the experience especially memorable for her!

“I was cleaning up our equipment after one of our performances when members from a Brazilian marching band approached in awe of the amount of equipment we had. One young man attempted to translate his colorguard’s many questions. They thought the Showband’s colorguard girls were beautiful and very talented. At one point I demonstrated how our pocket flags worked and pure excitement followed. Over the next hour the boys played with all different pieces of our equipment. I taught them some basic exercises with stops on rifle. They were eager to learn and had obvious talent; each boy picked up the material very quickly. In these moments of sharing there was one common language – no need for translation. The language of colorguard is universal. As we left the main boy begged that we come and teach them in the following year.

“In these moments of sharing there was one common language – no need for translation. The language of colorguard is universal.”

rochelle 5

It was a very humbling experience and certainly a memorable part of my teaching career. These boys learn material from watching drum corps DVDs and attempting to mimic the choreography. They take a no fear attitude and will attempt a trick with no hesitation. They each brought a desire to please me with tricks of their own. The tricks themselves were neat, but it was their true love for the sport that kept my attention.”

 

Rochelle 2Rochelle Siddall is an alumna of the Calgary Stampede Showband (2004 – 2006) and prestigious drum corps Santa Clara Vanguard (2007, 2008). She has taught at Calgary marching bands, including the Calgary Round-Up Band and Calgary Stetson Show Band since 2005 and has been teaching the Calgary Stampede Showband’s colour guard since 2008. Rochelle currently spins with Escalade and Dynamic winterguards here in Calgary (the latter of which she is also the director).

Auditions for The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede start Monday, August 25!

We’ve heard a lot about the incredible experience of being a member of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. It will get you out of your comfort zone, you will become part of TYC familyit will help you live your dreams.

But what actually happens in all of those hours of training? What really makes The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts so extraordinary?

It is opportunities to train with the very best in the business, like  choreographer/ dancer/actor Christen Vincent. Christen will be joining TYC for workshops this September.

Christian Vincent

Christen has worked with the likes of Britney Spears, Madonna, Prince and Stevie Wonder. His film appearances include Starsky and Hutch and Rent and his TV credits include Arrested Development and Dancing with the Stars.

Senior and Intermediate Young Canadians will also take a trip geared toward performance and workshop in the new year. Last year, they went to DisneyLand and took intensive classes and training at The Edge Performing Arts Studio in Hollywood.

If you love to dance, sing or act–if you dream of being on stage at the Grandstand Show–if you want to push yourself to the next level, audition for The Young Canadians! Auditions start next Monday, August 25, 2014.

Marcus Trummer of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede

We have heard from Hannah Smart and Maggie Myles about what it is really like to be a member of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. Are you dreaming of joining The Young Canadians? Auditions for TYC begin August 25 for the 18+ new division and August 26-28 for the Intermediate and Seniors. Tuition to The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts is fully funded by the Calgary Stampede Foundation. Today we hear from Marcus Trummer and his parents.

The Trummers: Marcus has grown in many ways through his experience with The Young Canadians. He has learned to be disciplined, to work hard, to pursue excellence, focus on all of the details and push through until the very end. It is awesome that through [the Calgary Stampede] Marcus is exposed to so many professionals who all contribute to his growth. Seeing Marcus realizing his dreams of performing on stage makes us proud as we see his delight shining through.

Marcus

From Marcus: Ever since I was little I’ve loved to perform. I had a lot of fun being in school plays and thought that The Young Canadians would be a good opportunity to perform some more. I was looking for a place that a young kid in Calgary could really shine. I soon found out that TYC was much more than that. From the second I stepped into The Young Canadians studios I knew it was going to be amazing and I instantly felt at home.

Happy_Barnburner_2014_002

When I first auditioned I was nervous because I had never gone to a single Grandstand Show in my life. I had no idea if The Young Canadians would be hard or if it would be scary. But when I got up to sing my solo for the TYC staff and their smiling faces, the nerves quickly faded away. I enjoyed every last minute of the audition, including the group dance part which was my first ever dance class. After the long day, I was accepted into the program and I was extremely excited.

For the past five years I have been living out my dreams in The Young Canadians. It has definitely changed my life. Not only have I grown as a performer but I have also grown as a person. The training at times has been very tough and we are always expected to go outside of our comfort zone each and every day. The rehearsals are definitely a time commitment and we have to be prepared to say no to hanging out with our friends every Saturday and other things like that. When it gets tough there are lots of great friends around and amazing staff to help out. My favourite part is when I step out onto that Grandstand stage. All the hard work pays off and it is all worth it. That feeling of joy and accomplishment when I hear the crowd cheer is incredibly awesome!

Meet Maggie Myles of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede

Today we have a guest post from Maggie Myles, a member of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede (more about Maggie below). Auditions for TYC begin August 25 for the 18+ new division and August 26-28 for the Intermediate and Seniors. Tuition to The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts is fully funded by the Calgary Stampede Foundation.

The past three years have changed my life.

I’ve always known that I feel most at home on a stage however performing professionally always seemed like a distant dream that would never come true. That was, until I joined The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede.The Young CanadiansI auditioned in the summer before I began high school. Having danced all my life I was ready to take my dancing to the next level and I knew The Young Canadians would get me there. At the time I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. What sparked my interest initially was seeing a performance in South-centre mall when I was only about 10. I remember the purple and white polka dotted costumes and the distinct feeling that I wanted to be just like them, performing perfectly in-sync. I had only seen The Young Canadians once or twice before, in the TransAlta Grandstand Show; my seats back then made them look like singing and dancing ants. These were my only Young Canadian experiences at the time of my audition and therefore I was quite surprised later on when I was told that in addition to the Grandstand Show TYC has performances year round intertwined with an abundance high caliber training.The Young Canadians_2This training is only made possible by the passionate and dedicated staff. In my first audition they took me in and gave me one-on-one advice on technique and performance skills and I owe all of the progress I’ve made to them. The auditions were quite intimidating at first, as I was only 14 in a room full of extremely talented girls, most of whom had been in the program for several years. The stress was soon cooled down by the friendly teachers and focusing on learning the routines. Auditions are always stressful no matter what they are for, but I am glad my first ever audition was for The Young Canadians. Re-auditioning every year  kept every Young Canadian accountable and although it raised the stress levels it certainly kept me level headed. I firmly believe that if you are comfortable as a Young Canadian you are doing it wrong.The Young Canadians_1The Young Canadians to me was all about pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, because that’s the only way you can improve and succeed. I was given multiple opportunities to succeed in TYC. I performed in three Christmas shows, a spring show, several times in Disneyland, a few times locally, and in three grandstand shows. Additionally as the media ambassador for two years I was given the unique opportunity to meet with tourist groups, do interviews, appear in magazines, newspapers and several times on television. These opportunities now fill up my performance résumé and the experience I have gained as a Young Canadian will make me and my fellow Young Canadians hot commodities going into the professional performing arts world.

Apart from training and performance skills the one thing I have gained from The Young Canadians that will forever shape my career as a performer is connections. They are one of the most important things in such a tight-knit community and a business that is so hard to break into. The people I have had the opportunity to work with and meet all expand my repertoire and versatility as a performer by leaps and bounds.

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I have learnt so much above and beyond performance skills during my time with both youth programs associated with the Calgary Stampede. I now have the confidence, skills and connections to go out into the world and make my once far off dreams a reality. I hope to work as a professional performer for as long as I can and I know with the skills at my disposal. I know now where I’m going because of where I’ve been and I will be forever grateful to the Calgary Stampede.

My favourite thing about the youth programs under the Calgary Stampede umbrella are the family-like connections you make. I have made life-long friends in both the Showband and The Young Canadians. Above and beyond my experiences that will help me achieve my dreams, I value more that I will always have my Stampede family no matter what.

Maggie Myles is an 18-year-old dancer from Calgary, Alberta. She began dancing at the age of three, attending many dance studios around Calgary and participating in dance competitions. She joined The Young Canadians as a Senior Female Dancer at age 14 and was a member of The Young Canadian cast for all three years of high school, appearing in Century, Century2 and finally Barnburner. Maggie’s experience has also involved the opportunity to work as a member of The Calgary Stampede Showband in their 2014 World Championship production “Aurora”.

Stampede Showband is back from Brazil

We were very excited to welcome the Calgary Stampede Showband from Brazil where they nabbed their fifth World Champion title. You can read and see more about their journey at CTV news hereCalgary Stampede Showband_1

From the article: “It’s all about light. It was a beautiful production that they did and we’re competing against bands from all over the world,” Showband director Aaron Park said. “They’re the hardest working kids in Calgary. They’re just an incredible bunch.”

Calgary Stampede Showband_2Welcome home and congratulations!

 

Stampede Fan Photos – Animals

Horses are the heart of The Stampede, but there are many different animals that can be found on park during Stampede. Our community found these cute country critters and shared them with us on our Official Stampede Fan Gallery, and we wanted to share a few of our favourites with you. Find more great photos from our community in our Official Stampede Fan Gallery

Audition to be a member of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede

Today we have a guest post from Hannah Smart, a member of The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede (more about Hannah below). Auditions for TYC begin August 25 for the 18+ new division and August 26-28 for the Intermediate and Seniors. Tuition to The Young Canadians School of Performing Arts is fully funded by the Calgary Stampede Foundation.

Ever since I was little, my parents would always take me to the Grandstand Show. While everyone else was watching the fireworks, I always had my eyes locked on The Young Canadians (TYC). I was so mesmerized by their costumes, smiles and unison that I would rush home after the show just so I could practice my very own finale pose, white cowboy hat and all.

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It wasn’t until about 10 years later that I finally decided to audition and it was the best decision I have made in my entire life. The audition process was exciting and scary. And I’m not going to lie—walking into that dance studio filled with the returning cast is quite intimidating, especially since I had been idolizing them for so long. But after being there for only a few minutes I realized I had absolutely no reason to be scared. Everyone was so welcoming, including the staff.

I had little to no dance experience so that portion of the audition was a huge challenge for me. But I never gave up; there is something about that place that keeps you motivated to keep coming back and that’s exactly what I did.

TYC_1That year I made it into the Student Development Program and halfway through the year got moved up into the show cast. I spent the best four years of my life in The Young Canadians Company. The training is hard and you need to be dedicated to get the results that you want. I lived and breathed TYC for those four years and was offered experiences one could only dream of.

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I learnt from being a YC that work ethic and the willingness to go outside your comfort zone will push you into amazing things! I promise you, that little girl practicing in her mirror never thought she’d be centre stage belting out the end note in grandstand numbers.TYC_2

All of the amazing performing experiences aside, my favourite part of being a YC was being a part of TYC family. Every single YC that I was ever in the company with holds a very special place in my heart. We all push each other to be our best, cheer on each other’s accomplishments, lend a shoulder to cry on and know how to make any situation into a good time. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without all of those amazing people and also the amazing staff.

I learnt at TYC that anything is possible. If you have a dream, then go chase it. The end result is absolutely extraordinary and worth it. I promise.

Hannah Smart has been gracing the stage with her triple threat abilities since the age of six. Starting when she was 15 , Hannah  trained with The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede, continuously expanding and improving her skills in dance and singing. Along with her featured roles in four Calgary Stampede Grandstand shows, Hannah can also be seen around the city of Calgary, singing for the Calgary Stampeders, The Mac’s Major Midget Hockey Tournament, The Tim Horton’s Brier and many more events around the City. Hannah has also been accepted into Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and will be continuing her training in singing, acting and dancing starting September 2014. 

Calgary Stampede Showband wins fifth world title

The Calgary Stampede Showband has further reinforced its reputation as the most successful showband ever.

showband

The Showband has won their fifth world championship at the World Association of Marching Show Bands competition in Brazil. That marks the most titles ever won by a single show band organization in the history of the competition. This latest win is also the band’s third consecutive, adding another year to its bench-setting back-to-back wins for the competition.

 

Two Showband Members enjoying a performance.

Two Showband Members enjoying a performance.

 

Congratulations also to another Calgary band, the Calgary Stetsons Showband, which placed second in the championships, further reinforcing Calgary’s dominance at the top of the world in this prestigious field.

More to come in future blog posts upon the band’s return from Brazil. In the meantime enjoy this article, published in the Calgary Herald and in newspapers across the country and around the world.