What’s Happening at Stampede Park: Sept. 28 – Oct. 4

By: Reginald Tiangha

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for another edition of What’s Happening here on the Stampede Blog, where we’ll shine a bright spotlight on some of the various events happening at Stampede Park this week.

First up is the much-anticipated Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship presented by Wrangler. Happening at the Stampede Corral between Oct. 2-4, this event will give fans new and old the chance to see the best cowboys and cowgirls in Canada of the 2009 rodeo season go up against the toughest animals in the world, and is the culmination of the Canadian Rodeo Tour. Included with your ticket is free admission into the Blackstar Saloon where top country music talent such as Lonestar, Shane Chisholm, Jason Greeley, and Karen Lee Batten will be performing. Lastly, the 2010 Calgary Stampede Queen and Princesses will be crowned and the 2010 Indian Princess Sahvanne Weasel Traveller will be presented at the rodeo finals on Sunday afternoon. Some tickets are still available so if you haven’t gotten yours yet, do so now! Tickets are available for as little as $19.86.

Next, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama will be visiting Calgary. This is the first visit of his Holiness to Calgary in 30 years and it promises to be an unforgettable, and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Participating in the University of Calgary‘s NOW conference, his Holiness will be holding his public address at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Sept. 30. For more information on the conference, his public address at Stampede Park, and ticket availability, see here.

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What’s Happening at Stampede Park: September 21-27

By: Killa Burkinshaw

Howdy ya’ll! Hope you had a great week last week! It’s Monday, which means it’s time for another installment of What’s Happening where we’ll highlight some of the events and activities happening at Stampede Park in the next seven days.

While the Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship is just under two weeks away, the spotlight this weekend will be shone on the next generation of rodeo “stars” as the Calgary Stampede presents the 12th Annual Stampede 4-H Rodeo on Sept. 26 and 27 at the Big Top tent here at Stampede Park. Watch competitors aged 9 to 20 compete in events such as Barrel Racing and Breakaway Roping.

Anyone getting married soon and need ideas? Looking for a good deal on a fancy dress? Then this show is for you! The very popular Calgary Bridal Expo will be at the BMO Center, Hall D on Sunday Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Can you wield a needle and thread like nobody’s business? Have you ever wanted to learn how? Or are you interested in home decor ideas? The 14th Annual Creative Stitches & Crafting Alive! show is this weekend in the BMO Centre, Hall E, and included with your admission is access to 100′s of FREE lectures and workshops!

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Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship presents Doc Walker!

The Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship is presenting the Doc Walker CD release party on September 25th at Flames Central. It’s the release of their highly anticipated CD “Go”.
This is an exclusive event and there are only 80 tickets left! If you are a Stampede Insider then hopefully you have your tickets already. For those of you who haven’t signed up yet (first of all: why not? Look at all the great opportunities you are missing out on!) you can reserve your four FREE tickets by calling 403.269.9822 or 1.800.661.1767.

That’s right – FREE!

When you pick up your tickets you will be automatically entered to win a “GO PASS” that includes: a meet and greet with Doc Walker, an autographed “Go” CD and prime seats to the Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship on Sunday, October 4.

For full contest rules, click here or call the Stampede Ticket Office at 403.269.9822 or 1.800.661.1767.

And really, sign up for the Stampede Insider’s List – you are crazy not to.

A BIG Thanks to the Stampede Commitees!

To the committee members of the Calgary Stampede, Thank you, for your constant support and encouragement throughout the year! You helped us become our best, and the ladies that you see before you today.


The 2009 Stampede was yet again true to its title, “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!”  It is with great passion and commitment from all the Volunteers and Employees that the True Western Spirit of Calgary, lives on.


As a team, be proud to know with your contributions, we show the rest of the world how wonderful this city is. Congratulations on another amazing year!







What’s Happening at Stampede Park: September 14 – 20

By: Killa Burkinshaw

While the Canadian Rodeo Tour Championships are still a couple of weeks away (still time to get your tickets if you haven’t already), there’s plenty of things happening at Stampede Park in the meantime that you may not have been aware of!

In order to bring these events and activities to the forefront for you, the loyal Stampede Blog reader, starting this week, we’re debuting a new weekly feature: What’s Happening at Stampede Park. This is where we’ll give you a small taste of some of the cool things to do on Park during the week. So, let’s get started, shall we?

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Are you ready to put your boots back on?

For those of you who hate getting your boots dusty waiting for the next Stampede – and really, isn’t that all of us? – you are in luck! October 2-4th we give you the Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship presented by Wrangler.

Photo from the Calgary Stampede on Flickr

The Canadian Rodeo Tour Championship is the culmination of the Canadian Rodeo Tour. Mark your calendar for October 2-4, 2009 and come down to the Corral at Stampede Park to see all the action. This event will give fans new and old the chance to see the best cowboys and cowgirls in Canada of the 2009 rodeo season go up against the toughest animals in the world.

With a $218,500 purse up for grabs, including the final Sunday Showdown the competition will be fierce. And through grit, strength, and sheer force of will, the top two cowboys in their events during the Tour Championship will earn spots in the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) held in Edmonton November 11-15, 2009. Additionally, the top two contestants in Saddle Bronc, Bareback, Bull Riding, Steer Wrestling, Tie-Down Roping and Barrel Racing will qualify for the world famous Calgary Stampede in 2010.

There is also a phenomenal music event tied in with the rodeo – so great in fact it deserves it’s own post so stay tuned and dust off those boots!

One Last Goodbye

By: Killa Burkinshaw

On Monday, we were given one last opportunity to offer thanks and appreciation to the volunteers, competitors, and participants of WorldSkills 2009. We treated them to something that we all enjoy as Canadians: Football on Labour Day

They were first ushered to a Tail-tagging party where they found our Stampede Royalty on hand to greet them. Others were there as well, including members of the RCMP, dressed in their traditional red serge, brown stetson, and their high brown boots. All were very happy to be included in the festivities.

I sat with a group of people from England, New Zealand, Netherlands, Japan and a few others and explained what and how the game was played. They were just happy to be there!

At Half-time, The Young Canadians of the Stampede, the winners of WorldSkills 2009, and a colour party all came on to the field to give one last salute to the crowds and to say goodbye. The Young Canadians did an excellent job of entertaining everyone and made sure that a great time was had by all. In the Winners Section, you could see the Norwegians running up and down with their flag celebrating. There was a great variety of music so everyone had at least one song that they could sing along to. And always a crowd pleaser:  Fireworks as a finale.

Some of my favourite parts of the day:  Sitting with the WorldSkills participants and teaching them the finer points of our style of football, hearing all the international ‘soccer’ chants that you would hear in other countries, hearing them sing “O’ Canada” at the top of their lungs like the rest of us, and having them cheer for the fighter jets that flew overhead. Hopefully everyone at the game had as much fun as I did!

One Last Dance

By: Reginald Tiangha

WorldSkills Calgary 2009 may be finished at Stampede Park, but there are a couple of opportunities left for participants to enjoy themselves and for Calgarians to recognize their accomplishments.

Here’s what’s on tap for today:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ultimate Tailgate Party

Hosted by Tourism Calgary, WorldSkills participants will be treated to a festive piece of Canadiana. They are invited to celebrate the successful completion of WorldSkills Calgary 2009 alongside the thousands who travelled to the Heart of the New West for this once in a lifetime event.

Where: Foothills Stadium, 2255 Crowchild Trail NW (beside McMahon Stadium) – 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

CFL Labour Day Classic Football Game

This football game is an annual highlight for Canadians and is completely sold out. At half-time, WorldSkills champions and experts will be recognized in a brief on-field salute. This is a ticketed event.

Where: McMahon Stadium, 1817 Crowchild Trail NW – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

If you’re lucky enough to be at today’s CFL football game, make sure you give all of the competitors a standing ovation during the half-time show. They’ve come from around the world and competed their best during the last week; let’s make sure we show them how much we appreciate that and give them one last taste of Western Spirit, Friendliness, and Hospitality!

The End of WorldSkills 2009 and the Beginning of the Next Chapter

By: Reginald Tiangha

I know that Closing Ceremonies are typically causes for celebration, and this one was no different. Before the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 Closing Ceremonies started, all of the competitors and their fans were chanting and singing and celebrating in their own way.

The ceremony was supposed to start at 6 PM, but it was delayed for about 30 minutes while they waited for all of the delegates to arrive. So, as you’ll see in the video below (taken with my very amateurish digital camera from my vantage point in the stands), the competitors decided to take it into their own hands to amuse themselves until the ceremony started.

It’s important to note that at this point in time, the majority of the delegates had already taken their seats, and were waiting on the last few countries to arrive. They had already been seated for about 12 minutes or so. It’s important because of what happened next:

and before you knew it, it ultimately turned into this: Continue reading

WordSkills Calgary 2009 Final Results and Medals

By: Reginald Tiangha

I’m currently working on a recap piece for the WorldSkills 2009 Closing Ceremonies, but while I wait for the pictures and videos to upload and to finish it up, I wanted to post the results of the competition for those who were anxious to find out how everyone finished.

Finalists for Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in each of the skill categories can be found here:


and detailed results for each of the competitions can be found here (PDF format):


The WorldSkills website is currently experiencing high loads due to the Closing Ceremonies, so I’m not sure if these links are permanent. If they change when the site returns to normal, I’ll update the links.

Congratulations to all the winners, and a big THANK YOU to all the competitors, volunteers, sponsors, and other participants! You put on a great show this year. Enjoy the rest of the night (it is YOUR night after all), and we’ll see you at the Tailgate Party at McMahon Stadium tomorrow!

WorldSkills 2009 Schedule for Sunday, September 6

By: Reginald Tiangha

Today is the official Closing and Awards Ceremony for WorldSkills Calgary 2009 where Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals will be awarded to the top three ranking competitors in each skill category, and it will take place at the Stampede Corral on Stampede Park.  As such, unlike previous days in the competition, daily results were not released for Day 4.  Instead, full competition results will be released after the ceremonies tonight.  We’ll have a link to them here as soon as they’re made available.

In the meantime, here’s more information about what’s happening on Park today, courtesy of the Worldskills 2009 press release:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

WHAT: Official Closing and Awards Ceremony

In addition to official speeches and awards presentations, the WorldSkills flag will be passed from WorldSkills Calgary 2009 to the next Competition host, WorldSkills London 2011. The entertainment at the ceremony provides an opportunity for Canada to showcase local talent and to thank all visitors. Expect infectious enthusiasm tinged with a bit of sadness on the part of Calgarians that, after 4 years of planning, it’s all over.

  • Where: Stampede Corral, Stampede Park, 1410 Olympic Way S.E.
  • Time: Doors open at 5 p.m. Event runs 6 to 8 p.m.

Note that this is a ticketed event.

WorldSkills 2009 Day 3 Results and Day 4 Schedule

By:  Reginald Tiangha

The Daily Results for WorldSkills Calgary 2009 have now been posted.

Here’s what’s on tap for today, the final day of competition (Day 4):

Saturday, September 5th

Competition Day 4 (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – Stampede Park, Free Admission, Open to the Public

Viewing Hours (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) – Stampede Park, Free Admission, Open to the Public

  • Coca Cola Stage – Entertainment
  • Global Skills Village – Presented by UA Canadian Piping Trades
  • Canada House
  • Alberta House
  • Try-A-Skill @ Skill City – Presented by the Calgary Herald

And here’s who’ll be performing today on the Coca-Cola Stage as part of the WorldSkills Cultural Celebration:

September 5 – World Music/Dance Day

  • 9:30 – 10 a.m.  Loose Moose Improv
  • 10:15 – 11 a.m.  Frank Turning Robe Drummers and Dancers
  • 11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Dara Dancers
  • 12:15 – 1 p.m.  Maximime
  • 1:15 – 2 p.m.  Calgary Samba School

Finally, to wrap the Cultural Celebration up, there’ll be a WorldSkills Celebration Spectacular held afterwards downtown at Olympic Plaza, with Small Stage performances being held between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Main Stage performances being held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.  For the complete schedule of performances, see here.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the WorldSkills Competition yet, today’s your last chance to do so!  If you’re looking for ideas on what to see when you come down, here are a bunch of suggestions.

Admission’s free, so come down to Stampede Park and see what the entire city’s been talking about.

Red Pill or Blue Pill?

By: Reginald Tiangha

OK, let’s say that for some reason, you can’t make it down to WorldSkills Calgary 2009 this year (like because you live in another country). Is there a way for you to still experience WorldSkills 2009 from the comfort of your own home? Well, now there is!

A new education initiative being undertaken this year is to simulate WorldSkills 2009 using Second Life.

They’ve managed to create a virtual Stampede Park complete with buildings, tents, and landmarks, featuring text, pictures, and video explaining the different skills inside the various venues.

Now, I’ve never used Second Life before, but I signed up just to check out this feature. Here’s a video I quickly made of my adventures:

All in all, pretty cool. I think they managed to keep an authentic feel in regards to the layout of the Park and the various venues, and many of the graphics and pictures used in the simulation are also used in the real-life displays. Plus, the moving C-Train and Skyline cars were a nice touch! I’ll probably re-visit the site later to explore some more.

If you want to learn more about how to access this innovative feature, check out the WorldSkills Calgary 2009 website.

Now, if only I could make Virtual Reggie sit down and write a Virtual Blog Post lamenting that he’s feeling that some unknown, unseen force seems to be dictating and directing every part of his life, then that would totally make my long weekend (because I’m weird like that).

WorldSkills – Why Volunteer?

By: Nicole Mosher

If you’ve been on the C-Trains at all this week, it was probably impossible to miss the large groups of similarly dressed folk, often speaking other languages. There’s no doubt you have noticed the many visitors WorldSkills 2009 has drawn to our city. But how did this international event all come together?

I took a ride on the C-Train and ran into one of the local volunteers for WorldSkills Calgary 2009. She shared her insight into how the event came to be and why Calgary embraced it.

NGC: “Where did all these volunteers come from?”

Volunteer: “Since Worldskills is its own event, there was no organization of volunteers in place before this event chose Calgary (Calgary was chosen over Edmonton by the way!). Organization started over a year and a half ago, building up to 3000 volunteers! Applications were sent in on-line. Most people are volunteering for 12 hours or more in areas from food services to marketing and everything in between.”

NGC: “How does hosting an event like this benefit Calgary?”

Volunteer: “It really raises the profile of Trades. In Canada, our education system is geared toward putting students into universities, we often forget, some may even say we look down on the decision to pursue a trade. But the Trades are important and this competition shows that. It also shows us that elsewhere in the world the Trades are very high profile. Did you hear Korea is awarding $50,000, a house and a job to their winners?”

NGC: “What is Calgary doing to host all of these visitors?”

Volunteer: “The SAIT Campus has been taken over as residences for the competitors. Obviously they are taking advantage of our great transit system and they are getting exposure to other “Calgarian” things like organized bus trips to Banff, experiencing the Stampede Grounds including NASHVILLE NORTH!”

NGC: “So if I want to go down to check it out, what do I do?”

Volunteer: “It’s free admission, you just show up on park and you’ll get one of these (holding up a lanyard and ID pouch) which has an RFID chip in it so they can record where you’ve gone on park, how long you’ve stayed there, etc (Ed note: the General Access passes that you get now currently no longer have them). It’s really high tech and it’s going to help them plan other events in the future.

Oh, and don’t miss the Coca-Cola stage performances and the Artisan Village at Olympic Plaza either!”

At this point I’d reached my C-Train stop so our interview ended, but I’m definitely heading down to check it out for myself tomorrow!


By: Reginald Tiangha

By popular demand, to further elaborate on my Spectator’s Guide to WorldSkills 2009, here is a more detailed list of the various food vendors available on Park this week, as well as where they’re located and a sample of what they offer:


Big Four Building (Interior)

Big Four Building (Exterior)

  • Pocket Dawg: Hot dogs with baguettes
  • Opa! Souvlaki: Greek food
  • Dippin’ Dots: Flash-frozen ice cream
  • Cafe Alegro: Coffee and related beverages

Grandstand Building (Exterior)

  • Twistz: 46 different flavours of soft serve ice cream
  • Taco-in-a-Bag, Hot Beef Sundae, Chicken Fingers, Burgers, other Stampede midway treats
  • Cold drinks stall

Stampede Store (Exterior)

  • Paradise mini-donuts
  • Cold drinks stall

Stampede Corral (Exterior)

  • Gourmet Hot Dogs
  • Lemon Heaven: Fresh squeezed lemonade
  • Philly Cheesesteak and other various sandwiches

BMO Centre (Interior)

  • The Cantina: Soup, sandwiches, beverages, and more
  • Various concessions stands: Pizza, burgers, chicken fingers, drinks

As you can see, there’s lots of choices on Park.