KOOZA – Amazing!

As some of you may know, part of Stampede park was recently transformed and became home to Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA! The show was held in it’s 50 metre wide big top tent right on park.

I had the chance to catch the show when they were here these past few weeks and I loved it! The show features some of the traditional circus favourites – hilarious clowns and amazing acrobatics along with great choreography and music. This was my second Cirque show in Calgary and each show continues to impress and awe me with the inspiring acts in the show.

This year’s show featured a number of acts starting with the contortionists. This was one of my favourite parts of the show which featured three ladies melding and shaping their bodies into amazing sculptures and shapes. The way they moved their bodies definitely left you in shock and awe.

Another favourite act was the high wire. Two high wires were set up on stage, 15 and 25 feet high. A total of four tightrope walkers made their way across the ropes by foot and bike(!) using a number of different props and arrangements.

The Wheel of Death was another impressive act that had two artists rotating on two rotating wheels. The wheel moved at high speeds and had the artists leaping and switching rotation in the wheels.

Other acts also included: Unicycle Duo, Teeterboard, Solo Trapeze, Hoop Manipulation along with human pyramids, and a variety of balancing acts.

Humour was injected throughout the show with a few appearances by the “clowns” who did a great job of including members of the audience in the experience while dishing out a few laughs as well.

If you didn’t get to see the show you can catch some of the action online by visiting the Cirque du Soleil KOOZA website. Be sure to also keep checking back for other new and exciting shows coming to Stampede Park.

For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, visit our website, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.

*Photos courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

My first steps as the 2011 Stampede Queen!

I can’t believe how time has passed since the day I was crowned the 2011 Stampede Queen! It seems like it was just yesterday I was contemplating the decision to enter the competition. I really had NO idea what kind of journey I would be emabarking on by submitting that first entry form and the results that would come of it! Well, I have to say I could not be happier that I took that leap of faith! We’ve been having an absolute blast from the get-go and the support we’ve recieved from our community, friends, family members and our new Stampede family is overwhelming.

For my first blog, I decided to talk a bit about the competition that brought me to this new position. The competition to become a member of the Stampede royalty is an intense 5 week process, and when I say intense, I mean a stress filled tornado of emotion and fun! For the first leg of the competition we were required to compete in a mix and mingle event, a speech competition (talk about anxiety!), a personal interview and a riding competition. Entering into the competition is so great mainly because you have the opportunity to meet all the other amazing girls that you will be running with. It is really quite cool how quickly we became close friends and unlike other “audition” processes I have been through, the atmosphere couldn’t be friendlier and NON competitive. It is always hard when it comes to an elmination to say goodbye to your new friends and to be completely honest, this was the absolute hardest part of the competition for me.

The next leg of the competition required us to attend an informal dinner, a riding clinic followed by second riding competition and a cocktail party at which they cut to six finalists (*sob*). The riding clinic and competitions were definitly a highlight for me. Any chance for me to hop on a mighty steed (or tame, friendly little gelding) and enjoy a fun afternoon of riding is fine by me! That’s not to say, however, that my stomach wasn’t turning with anticipation. The same night, following the cocktail party at the Rotary House was the reveal of the six finalists. That night was filled with hugely mixed emotions for me, as very strong bonds with the other girls had been formed at that point and even though I had made it through to the finals, I cried the whole way home. (What can I say, I’m a cancer – a little emotional =P)

The last part of the competition entailed another interview, a trip to the Children’s Hospital (major highlight – those kids have hearts of gold), a parent’s reception, and a third riding competition in which we were able to ride two of the Royal Trio Horses (Kansas and Snoopy, along with another friendly little guy named Star) and choreograph our own patterns to music. That was such a fun day and equally tearful as the 2010 Trio gave their farewell ride (those girls are amazing – huge role models for us this year).

The day of the crowning is a bit of a blur. I remember not being able to eat much of the great catering at the crowning brunch because I was so incredibly nervous. We were all called up throughout the course of the brunch to answer an improptu question (it makes me nervous just thinking about it now!), and were also privileged enough to witness the Bronze Ceremony, honoring the memory of all Royalty Alumni that have passed on. Soon it was time to line up on stage for the reveal of 2011 Queen and Princesses. At this point all I can remember is waiting on stage (secretly hoping the lights would not shine through my broom skirt! =S) and hoping hoping HOPING to hear my name. From the moment my name was called, my memories start to become a blur as we were immediately thrown to the press and I think my signature quote was “I think I’m in shock”. It was the only sentence mildly resembling English I could think of at the time. And quite fitting. It wasn’t without a glance back at my remaining friends on stage, and a pang of deep sadness for the girls not joining me, that I moved forward into my new role.

The overall competition was a blast. I had the honor of sharing my time with 13 amazing women with whom I plan to keep in close contact with, had the oppotunity to gain the experiences throughout the competition that I never would have had otherwise, and in the end have acquired two new sisters who I absolutely LOVE already. I can’t WAIT for tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day…

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: October 25 – 31

Happening this week at Stampede Park: The Alberta Immunization Clinic being held in the Grandstand Building has been extended to October 31, the Career Show 2010 on October 28 and 29, lots of WHL and NHL hockey, and a few scary (but equally awesome) Halloween-themed events!

Details on those and more here:

  • Alberta Health – Immunization Clinic: The Calgary Stampede is once again hosting an Alberta Health Services flu vaccination clinic at Stampede Park. This year, a single influenza shot protects you against both seasonal influenza and H1N1. All Albertans (six months of age and older) are eligible to receive this year’s influenza vaccine, free of charge. The clinic will be open daily until October 31 in the Grandstand, and parking is free for the duration and hours of the clinic. For more information on this clinic or others being held around Alberta, see Alberta Health Services.
  • The Career Show: The Career Show 2010 is the place to find all the information you need to make an informed career choice. Whether you are a student looking for your first career, someone wishing to improve career circumstances, someone wanting to change careers or if you are re-entering the workforce, the show will give you what you need to get started. October 29 – 30 in the BMO Centre. Tickets are $5 at the door, and students get in free with Student I.D. Card.
  • Cemetery of Sound: With five international headliner DJs, seven of the best local DJs, psychotic PK Sound, jaw dropping lighting, and genuine decor, over 7500 people from near and far will enjoy one of the most epic parties under one roof. Featuring Morgan Page, Menno DeJong, AC Slater, Klever, and more. Friday, October 29 at 8 p.m. in the Big Four Building. Tickets available through Ticketmaster and select retail outlets. 18 years of age or over only, I.D. required.
  • Simply Wicked: The second instalment of Simply Wicked features the biggest under-18 Halloween event the city has yet to see. With special guest Tracy Nova and hosted by Timothy Delaghetto, come party with over 4000 people and have a chance to win over $10,000 in prizes. High school teens aged 14-18 only, I.D. required. Takes place on Saturday, October 30 at 8 p.m. in the Big Four Building. For ticket information, check out the event’s Facebook page.
  • Naughty Nights 5 – Malice in Wonderland: This fifth annual Halloween bash is guaranteed to be bigger and better than ever with more bars, more washrooms, and over $50,000 in prizing available to be won. This year, the party will cover two halls in the BMO Centre with room for over 7000 people! With special guests and DJ’s, this should be a very enjoyable and memorable experience. Saturday, October 30 at 8 p.m. in the BMO Centre. Tickets available through Ticketmaster and other select locations. 18 years of age and older only.
  • CJAY 92′s Halloween Howler featuring Bret Michaels: Get set to rock your pumpkins off with CJAY 92 and Big Rock Brewery! Featuring Bret Michaels live along with special guests My Darkest Days and Bleeker Ridge, this event will feature killer prizes for people dressed in the best costumes. Plus, everyone who walks through the door will be entered to win $1,000 to spend at Axe Music. Show starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, October 31 in the Big Four Building, and tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
  • NHL Hockey: The Calgary Flames play three times this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome. First, it’s another edition of the Battle of Alberta as the Flames take on the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, October 26 at 7 p.m. Then, they take on their Northwest Division rivals in the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. Finally, Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals come to town on Saturday, October 30 at 8 p.m. for a little Hockey Night in Canada action. Tickets for all games are available through Ticketmaster.
  • WHL Hockey: Meanwhile, the Calgary Hitmen play twice this week at the Saddledome as they first face off against the Chilliwack Bruins on Friday, October 29 at 7 p.m. followed by the Saskatoon Blades on Sunday, October 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets for both games are available through Ticketmaster.

That’s all for this week. For updates and info on everything Stampede, sign up to become a Stampede Insider, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, visit our website, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: October 18 – 24

This week features the final week of Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA show in Calgary, plus the homecoming of Bret “Hitman” Hart as RAW returns to Calgary. Also, The Woodworking, Tools & Renovation Show and The Calgary Woman’s Show are two of the major events capping off the week. Finally, the Calgary Stampede is once again hosting a flu vaccination clinic in the Grandstand Building this week, free for all Albertans aged six months or older.

More details here:

  • Alberta Health – Immunization Clinic: The Calgary Stampede is once again hosting an Alberta Health Services flu vaccination clinic at Stampede Park. This year, a single influenza shot protects you against both seasonal influenza and H1N1. All Albertans (six months of age and older) are eligible to receive this year’s influenza vaccine, free of charge. The clinic is open daily until October 24 in the Grandstand. For more information on this clinic or others being held around Alberta, see Alberta Health Services.
  • WWE Monday Night RAW: Come and celebrate the homecoming of WWE Hall of Famer and hometown hero Bret “Hitman” Hart as RAW makes its return to Calgary. The Hart Dynasty is sure to play a part in tonight’s proceedings, and come see all your favourite WWE superstars in action as well. The action starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday, October 18 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Tickets for this event are available through Ticketmaster.
  • The Woodworking, Tools & Renovations Show: The Woodworking Tools & Renovations Show will develop from the solemn focus of tools and expand to all aspects of wood usage and renovations including but not limited to wood turning, wood carving, wood crafts, hardwood floors, and the newest ideas in wood manipulation. This is the only time when all of the manufacturers and dealers in this industry get together under one roof to showcase their products. The promotions and pricing offered at this show allow attendees the chance to purchase new tools, products, and information under the best competitive environment. October 22 – 24 in the Big Four Building. Tickets available at the door.
  • The Calgary Woman’s Show: With a wide variety of things to see and do, you’ll be able to learn more about various services and products that appeal to women and are available in Calgary and the surrounding areas. Makes the perfect excuse to get together with the lady friends for a weekend out. Highlights this year include Michael Muhney (a.k.a. Adam Newman) from The Young and the Restless and The Ultimate Bachelor Auction featuring Kiptyn Locke, David Good, Jesse Kovacs, and Jesse Beck of Bachelor Pad fame. BMO Centre, October 23 – 24. Tickets for the show are available at any Calgary Co-op location, on-line, or at the door.
  • Alberta Foodservice Expo: Targeted to those in the foodservice industry, this year’s event will deliver a number of exciting features, such as a new product pavilion, a local/organic marketplace, chef competitions, cooking demonstrations, comprehensive educational sessions, a cocktail reception and awards program, networking breakfasts, keynote speakers, roundtables and more. An enhanced trade show floor will provide an excellent opportunity for foodservice professionals to speak with a myriad of companies that will have leading-edge products and services on display. October 24 – 25 at the BMO Centre, Hall D. Registration information is available here.
  • WHL Hockey: The Calgary Hitmen take on the Kamloops Blazers this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drop starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, and tickets for this game are available through Ticketmaster.
  • NHL Hockey: Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames look to turn up the heat on the San Jose Sharks this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome as well. Game time is 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 24 and tickets for this game are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Stampede Casino: Open all year-round and featuring all your favourite slots, tables, a 24 hour poker room, as well as excellent food and special events throughout the year, there’s always something going on down here, so why not drop by for a visit? Here’s a taste of what’s happening this week:
    • Wednesday Night Big Band: Deanne Matley: Come out and enjoy the Wednesday Night Big Band featuring vocal artist Deanne Matley on Tuesday, October 19 in our Big Sky Showroom. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 each. Tickets are available at guest services or at the door.
    • UFC 121: Check out UFC 121 as Brock Lesner takes on Cain Velasquez for the World Heavyweight Championship in the Big Sky Showroom on Saturday, October 23. Featuring three huge screens and a snack buffet, the CJAY 92 Calendar Girl Search Finals Pageant will kick off the night. Doors open at 6 p.m., the Cover Girl Pageant starts at 6:30 p.m. and the UFC 121 event starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door or through Guest Services.
  • Cirque du Soleil – KOOZA: The FINAL WEEK of KOOZA at Stampede Park! KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world. KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor. KOOZA runs from September 16 to October 24, and the Cirque du Soleil Grand Chapiteau will be located in Parking Lot 6, just south of the Big Four Building. Tickets for the Calgary show are available on-line.

That’s all for this week. For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, visit our website, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.

Cutting Horse – A Dance

This week at the Stampede Corral we have the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity and I’ve had a few people stop and ask me just what the sport of “Cutting Horse” is. Simply put: It’s a dance between a horse and a calf. Well, there’s a little bit more to it than that so here’s a better explaination:

While watching the equine sport of cutting, lots of people compare it to an intricate dance of horse, rider and cow. It is truly a treat to watch all three working together. It began as a competition for bragging rights between working cowboys to find who had the most “cow wise” horse. Nowadays it is the cutting horse’s job to separate cattle from the herd for vaccinating, castrating, and sorting.

In the competition, the horse and rider select and separate a cow (typically a steer or heifer) out of a small group. The cow then tries to return to its herd; the rider loosens the reins (”puts his hand down” in cowboy parlance) and leaves it entirely to the horse to keep the cow separated, a job the best horses do with relish, savvy and style. A contestant has 2 ½ minutes to show the horse; typically three cows are cut during a run, although working only two cows is acceptable. A judge awards points to the cutter based on a scale that ranges from 60 to 80, with 70 considered average.

Today, cutting is one of rodeo’s fastest-growing events. Cutters and cutting fans alike all share a feeling for the Old West, and a heartfelt love of horses.

This is pure communication between cow and horse; the rider, sadly, is merely just a passenger.

An interesting “did you know” fact about the Canadian Cutting Horse Association: It’s under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

For more information on the sport of cutting, see here.

And for those of you who can’t get down to the Stampede Corral for this family friendly “free” event, we are broadcasting it live for you here:  http://calgarystampede.com/ustream. For more information on this week’s Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity, see http://bit.ly/9YdQPA

Check Out the Western Legacy Awards Finalists

The Calgary Stampede’s 6th Annual Western Legacy Awards will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Stampede Park on October 13th.  These awards recognize the contributions of members of our community based on the four core values of the Calgary Stampede – Integrity, Hospitality, Commitment to the Community, and Pride of Place.

This year the Western Legacy Awards Committee was delighted by the number of exceptional nominations.  Leading up to the Awards I will be posting some of the stories of our finalists from this year’s roster of nominees.

Finalist: Samantha Brown

Category: Individual – Youth

Samantha Brown may be young enough to fall into the Youth category, but her volunteer resume reads like it could be in the Sustained Contribution category.  Beginning to volunteer as a toddler, Samantha helped out at the Beverly Centre.  She increased her involvement to include holiday programming at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and later fundraising for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta initiating many of her own projects and donating her own hair 3 times.  She volunteers with the Salvation Army and Friends of Fish Creek Park .  She is on the planning committee for the Multicultural Youth Health and Well-being Conference from 2007 to present and was the Youth Master of Ceremonies for the 2010 Conference in Calgary.  Samantha is a member of Youth Central and blogs for their website YouthAreAwesome.com.  She is also a volunteer junior instructor at a local martial arts club.

The Western Legacy Awards Committee is honoured to present the Samantha Brown as one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards Finalists.

If you know of someone in the community who is demonstrating integrity, hospitality, commitment to the community, and pride of place, please nominate them for the 2011 Western Legacy Awards.

Check Out the Western Legacy Awards Finalists

The Calgary Stampede’s 6th Annual Western Legacy Awards will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Stampede Park on October 13th.  These awards recognize the contributions of members of our community based on the four core values of the Calgary Stampede – Integrity, Hospitality, Commitment to the Community, and Pride of Place.

This year the Western Legacy Awards Committee was delighted by the number of exceptional nominations.  Leading up to the Awards I will be posting some of the stories of our finalists from this year’s roster of nominees.

Finalist: Sharon Tegart

Category: Individual – Sustained Contribution

Sharon Tegart is the kind of neighbour we all hope to have and aspire to be.  Always willing to lend a hand, Sharon has volunteered for 37 years with 4H often giving of her time to the youth beyond her 4H commitments to listen, offer advice or tutor when needed, or lending her equipment and animals to kids without their own.  She and her husband welcomed several children and youth into their home over the years and cared for them when their parents could not.  While driving the rural school bus, she ensures good manners and respect and will decorate the bus for holidays and bake cupcakes for the students.

Sharon started “Ag in the Classroom” teaching urban kids where their food comes from and teaching children from farms how to be environmentally aware to ensure sustainable farming.  Sharon helped to start the Irricana 4-H Country Riders.  She is also a founding member of the Alberta Paint Horse Club and volunteers at Spruce Meadows.

To quote her nominator “She could have invented the phrase “paying it forward” and she lives the philosophy every day.”

The Western Legacy Awards Committee is honoured to present the Sharon Tegart as one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards Finalists.

If you know of someone in the community who is demonstrating integrity, hospitality, commitment to the community, and pride of place, please nominate them for the 2011 Western Legacy Awards.

Check Out the Western Legacy Awards Finalists

The Calgary Stampede’s 6th Annual Western Legacy Awards will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Stampede Park on October 13th.  These awards recognize the contributions of members of our community based on the four core values of the Calgary Stampede – Integrity, Hospitality, Commitment to the Community, and Pride of Place.

This year the Western Legacy Awards Committee was delighted by the number of exceptional nominations.  Leading up to the Awards I will be posting some of the stories of our finalists from this year’s roster of nominees.

Finalist: Rotary Club of Calgary

Category: Group – Sustained Contribution

The Rotary Club is an international organization begun in 1905.  It would be no surprise to any Albertan that it was only a few short years later that Calgarians jumped on board with this philanthropic organization.  Starting with an impressive 60 members, today membership has grown to over 250, but the numbers alone don’t even begin to demonstrate the impact this group has had on the city.  One individual alone can contribute much, but many individuals working together can achieve much more.

The vision and mission of Rotary Club is to create opportunities and a better future for Calgarians and our neighbors around the world.  They contribute to countless causes and run programs and offer scholarships locally as well as contribute to Rotary International’s programs throughout the world, building schools and providing clean water and more.   By bringing together business, professional, and community leaders with a battle cry of “Service Above Self”, Rotary Club of Calgary encourages and facilitates volunteerism, philanthropy, and enrichment of the community and those within it.

The Western Legacy Awards Committee is honoured to present the Rotary Club of Calgary as one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards Finalists.

If you know of someone in the community who is demonstrating integrity, hospitality, commitment to the community, and pride of place, please nominate them for the 2011 Western Legacy Awards.

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: October 11 – 17

Hope everyone had a great long weekend! There’s plenty going on here at Stampede Park despite it being a shortened working week. This week features the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity where contestants are competing for over $300,000 in cash and prizes, as well as the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, the Calgary Tattoo & Arts Festival, the Calgary Fall Antiques Show & Sale, and the Travel Centre Travel Expo. Plus, The Wiggles come to town!

Details on that and more here:

  • Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity presented by Wrangler: Cutting horse competitions got their start in the Wild West, where a good cutting horse was invaluable to ranchers when they were chasing cattle and trying to separate certain individuals from the herd to vaccinate or brand. Cutting is one of the world’s fastest growing equine sports, and you can get a taste of it at the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity where competitors are vying for a chance to win over $300,000 in cash in prizes. October 13 – 18 at the Stampede Corral, and admission to this competition is free.
  • Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival: The Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival returns with a wide array of world class wine, premium spirits, import beer and an assortment of fresh, local culinary creations. Experience a fusion of wine and cuisine in a fun, social and relaxed atmosphere. October 14 – 16 in the BMO Centre, Halls B & C. Tickets available at the door.
  • Calgary Tattoo & Arts Festival: Check out the work of world famous tattoo artists and body piercers, listen to live music, attend seminars and meet International pinup model Masuimi Max at the Calgary Tattoo and Arts Festival. October 15 – 16 in the BMO Centre. Tickets available online or at the door.
  • The Western Imprint Canada Show: Featuring seminars and over 70 exhibitors, those in the imprintable promotional products industry can learn more about new technologies and trends, tips and tricks to make your workflow more efficient, and how to leverage and improve your sales ability. October 15 -16 in the BMO Centre, Hall D. Registration and admission to the trade show is free, although the Show is only open to those in the industry.
  • The Wiggles – Wiggly Circus: The Fab Four from down under are back with this year’s most anticipated family event. It’s the smell of “Hot Poppin’ Popcorn”! It’s the excitement of a “A Big Big Show”! It’s The Wiggles “Wiggly Circus Live!” Tour. Join The Wiggles, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Wags the Dog and all the Wiggly Dancers as they bring all the excitement of the big top with a wiggly twist! Friday, October 15 at the Scotiabank Saddledome with two shows, the first at 2:30 p.m. and the second at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for both shows are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Calgary Fall Antiques Show and Sale: Discover the world of antiquing. Top dealers from across Canada have brought their best offerings featuring deluxe antiques and vintage bargains. Featuring the very popular Antiques Identification Clinic, where you can get your antiques and heirlooms appraised. October 16 – 17 in the Big Four Building, Hall A. Tickets available at the door.
  • Flight Centre Travel Expo: In an atmosphere designed to excite and inspire, visitors to Travel Expo will have access to a wide variety of exhibitors covering all aspects of travel. This event will open up a world of opportunity for the visitor and promote the diversity of travel styles and the almost endless options available with entertainment, informative travel presentations and prize giveaways. Saturday, October 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Big Four Building. Admission to this event is free.
  • NHL Hockey: The Calgary Flames continue their regular season play this week at the Saddledome with two games at home, despite being inflicted by a rash of early-season injuries. The Flames take on the Florida Panthers on Thursday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m., followed by the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, October 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets for both games are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Cirque du Soleil – KOOZA: Cirque du Soleil makes its way back to Calgary, and this time it’s at Stampede Park! KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world. KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor. KOOZA runs from September 16 to October 24, and the Cirque du Soleil Grand Chapiteau will be located in Parking Lot 6, just south of the Big Four Building. Tickets for the Calgary show are available on-line.

That’s all for this week. For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, visit our website, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.

Check Out the Western Legacy Awards Finalists

The Calgary Stampede’s 6th Annual Western Legacy Awards will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Stampede Park on October 13th.  These awards recognize the contributions of members of our community based on the four core values of the Calgary Stampede; Integrity, Hospitality, Commitment to the Community and Pride of Place.

This year the Western Legacy Awards Committee was delighted by the number of exceptional nominations.  Leading up to the Awards I will be posting some of the stories of our finalists from this year’s roster of nominees.

Finalist: Lisa and Dylan Gallagher

Category: Individual – Innovation

When Lisa and Dylan Gallagher decided to start their own mortgage company, Bridge Capital, they built the community right into their company.  As part of their business plan, the Gallaghers decided to use Dylan’s computer skills to create, host, and maintain the website www.BridgeMyCommunity.org.

BridgeMyCommunity.org is a website that connects people anonymously, preserving the privacy of both the giver and receiver.  Someone posts what they require, often children’s clothing, food, diapers or furniture and if someone has those items they can reply to the post.  The Gallagher’s office provides the drop-off and/or pickup location or the Gallagher’s themselves will often personally make the pick-up or delivery.  With 1208 registered members to date, and 658 people helped, the Gallagher’s have built a community project that will continue to grow.  Many people who have asked for, and received help through their website, have later helped others in need through the website.  The website also hosts anonymous thank you notes to the anonymous givers.

 “Helping one person may not mean much to the world but it means the world to one person” – quote from BridgeMyCommunity.org

 In addition to the website, the Gallagher’s and Build Capital established Bridge Capital Foundation, a private charity which works with Canadian non-profits.

 The Western Legacy Awards Committee is honoured to present the Lisa and Dylan Gallagher as one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards Finalists.

If you know of someone in the community who is demonstrating integrity, hospitality, commitment to the community and pride of place, please nominate them for the 2011 Western Legacy Awards .

Check Out the Western Legacy Awards Finalists

The Calgary Stampede’s 6th Annual Western Legacy Awards will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Stampede Park on October 13th.  These awards recognize the contributions of members of our community based on the four core values of the Calgary Stampede, Integrity, Hospitality, Commitment to the Community and Pride of Place.

This year the Western Legacy Awards Committee was delighted by the number of exceptional nominations.  Leading up to the Awards I will be posting some of the stories of our finalists from this year’s roster of nominees.

Finalist: Alyx Nanji

Category: Youth

Alyx founded Stop the Beef, an anti-violence/anti-gang website designed to reach youth through the voice, vocabulary and technology of youth.  StoptheBeef.ca features videos and discussion among youth on the real impact and outcomes of violence, drugs, parties and gangs.  He also initiated an anti-gang helpline, (403-922-GANG) which connects youth with social workers who can help them.

Alyx is a student at the University of Calgary who volunteers extensively throughout the community working with immigrant youth, volunteering at the Distress Center training other volunteers, and he recently served as President of the International Business Student Association within the Haskayne School of Business.  He has also volunteered as a mentor with the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Immigrant Youth, works as a Program Facilitator with the Youth Inclusive Neighborhoods project with Immigrant Services Calgary, and also sits on many other volunteer committees.  He has been recognized by many organizations and received significant media attention for his altruistic endeavors.

In one month over the summer he volunteered 300 hours, and expects to exceed 1000 hours by the end of the year.

The Western Legacy Awards Committee is honoured to present Alyx Nanji as one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards Finalists.

If you know of someone in the community who is demonstrating integrity, hospitality, commitment to the community and pride of place, please nominate them for the 2011 Western Legacy Awards.

Journey of a Lifetime

I can’t believe that an entire year has flown by and our rein as the 2010 Calgary Stampede Royalty is over. It seems like yesterday when they announced our names and the beautiful sparkling crowns were put on our snow white cowboy hats. Now, a year later, hats yellowed and boots scuffed we passed our titles to a new trio who have yet to understand the true significance of the crowns that have been placed on their heads.

Being a Stampede Princess had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. My passion for horses and the Stampede drew me to this role. It wasn’t until now, at the end of my rein, when I realized the true meaning of the crowns. Being Stampede Royalty is not only about riding horses, making speeches and representing an amazing organization and city. It is about becoming a part of a family of thousands of volunteers and employees. It is about finding out more about Calgary’s history and why it is important to preserve our heritage. It is about sharing a sense of integrity and community with our city, province and the world. This year has helped me grow and mature and has changed me in ways that I will never be able to express in words.

To the Stampede family, thank you for educating me and for sharing your passion for western heritage and values. I feel honored to have been part of such an incredible organization and to have stood beside such accomplished and selfless individuals. To all of the Stampede committees, thank you for sharing your dedication and enthusiasm. You are an incredible group of people who we will never forget.

To our fabulous sponsors, thank you for taking us from three girls who love horses, to Royalty. Your generosity has reinforced the western spirit of giving back to the community. We were so proud to represent your business and we will continue to be promoters of your amazing products.

To the Royalty Committee, you allowed us to go out and do our jobs without having to worry about anything. You taught us about the true meaning of hard work and dedication. Your passion for the Stampede and the committee is contagious and we owe all of our success this year to you. Thank you to our advisors, Leigh, Andrea and Wendy, for being our “Stampede Mom’s” and helping us get the most out of our year. You are all amazing women who taught us a lot about the Stampede and about life. We love you dearly and you will have a special place in our hearts forever.

To Katie and Kirstie, my two new sisters – thank you for being part of the best year of my life! I will never forget the fun times we had, the emotions we shared and the bond we have made. I look forward to our future adventures as the “has-beens.”

To the 2011 trio, soak up every moment. You will never have a year that flies by as fast as this one. The people that you meet and the friendships that the three of you will develop are invaluable. I wish you all of the best and I look forward to watching you grow over the year. We are so proud to have passed our crowns on to such amazing women. Congratulations!

My year as a 2010 Calgary Stampede Princess is one that I will never forget. I expect that for the rest of my life, I will be sharing my stories about the adventures that we had and the friends that we made. I have grown so much this year and I know that this is only the beginning of my journey as a Stampede volunteer. Thank you for everything!

Love Always,

2010 Calgary Stampede Princess Janelle Phillips

Brad Paisley @ the Dome

Brad Paisley will bring a little country spirit to the Calgary Saddledome tonight. His concert, part of the H2O World Tour, starts at 7:30 pm with opening acts by Darius Rucker and Justin Moore.

Brad is one of my favorite country singers.. His songs are light, funny, and down to earth. Time and time again, listening to his songs reminds me to find joy in the simple things in life. My all time favorite song is “Mud on the Tires”, but I’m also a fan of some of his more humorous songs, like “Ticks” and “I’m Still A Guy”.

There’s no doubt that tonight’s performance will include songs from Brad’s latest album, American Saturday Night. Here are some fun facts about the album.

American Saturday Night is Brad’s eighth album.

The album’s title is Brad’s nod to Saturday night – a night when people can let loose and forget about the rest of the week.

Brad co-wrote every song on the album.

“Anything like me”, a light and amusing song about fatherhood, features a vocal cameo from Brad’s two-year old son, William Huckleberry Paisley.

“Then”, was Brad’s fastest rising single and marked his 10th consecutive non-seasonal chart topper, ranking him up amongst chart legend’s like Alabama and George Strait.

Brad is most proud of the album’s “Welcome to the Future” because it talks about how a world of change and fear can lead to progress.

For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, visit our website, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.

Check Out the Western Legacy Awards Finalists

The Calgary Stampede’s 6th Annual Western Legacy Awards will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Stampede Park on October 13th.  These awards recognize the contributions of members of our community based on the four core values of the Calgary Stampede; Integrity, Hospitality, Commitment to the Community and Pride of Place.

This year the Western Legacy Awards Committee was delighted by the number of exceptional nominations.  Leading up to the Awards I will be posting some of the stories of our finalists from this year’s roster of nominees.

Finalist: Gordon Hoffman

Category: Individual – Sustained Contribution

Gord Hoffman is a do-it-all Calgarian.  He has served on more than 100 volunteer boards.  What little of his time that is not consumed with his successful law practice and significant volunteer contributions, Mr. Hoffman uses to write crime novels.

His contributions cover a range of needs, educational, social, cultural, arts, youth, safety and others.  Where he sees a need he gets involved and has even created organizations and projects to fill those needs. He also provides free legal advice to many Calgary non-profits.  A sampling of his many projects include:

His favourite cause is one that he founded, Project Warmth Society.  It operates on a year round basis providing outerwear, footwear, gloves, toques and bedding to the needy, underprivileged and homeless with clients ranging from the very young to the very old.  Last year they handed out over 60,000 articles of clothing.  Project Warmth has a warehouse in the northeast where it accepts donations of clothing and money.  

Gordon Hoffman coordinated his involvement in Theatre Calgary with Project Warmth.  He invited a hundred children and their families to the Theatre Calgary presentation of `Christmas Carol`, coordinating buses, refreshments and even small gifts for the children. “The look on their faces was worth everything….who needs more than that.”

The Western Legacy Awards Committee is honoured to present Gordon Hoffman as one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Western Legacy Awards Finalists.

If you know of someone in the community who is demonstrating integrity, hospitality, commitment to the community and pride of place, please nominate them for the 2011 Western Legacy Awards .

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: October 4 – 10

Brad Paisley, The Irish Descendants, and the Calgary Flames‘ regular season home-opener are some of the things to look forward to in the week ahead here at Stampede Park.

Details on that and more here:

  • Brad Paisley: Grammy award-winning American country music singer and songwriter Brad Paisley will be coming to Calgary this week along with Darius Rucker and Justin Moore. Tuesday, October 5 at the Saddledome, show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Continuing Care Safety Conference: This professional development conference is designed for owners/CEOs, senior leaders, management and front line staff interested in topics centred on workplace safety. Presented by the Alberta Continuing Care Association and the Continuing Care Safety Association. October 5-6 at the BMO Centre. Registration information can be found here.
  • NHL Hockey: The leaves are changing colour and the weather’s getting cooler; It means only one thing: NHL Hockey’s back! The Calgary Flames‘ regular season home opener is this Sunday, October 10 against the Los Angeles Kings at the Saddledome. Start time is 6 p.m. and tickets for this game are available through Ticketmaster.
  • WHL Hockey: Meanwhile, the Calgary Hitmen continue regular season play with two games this week at the Saddledome. The Hitmen take on the Medicine Hat Tigers on Wednesday, October 6, followed by the Swift Current Broncos on Friday, October 8. Both games start at 7 p.m. and tickets for both are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Stampede Casino: Open all year-round and featuring all your favourite slots, tables, a 24 hour poker room, as well as excellent food and special events throughout the year, there’s always something going on down here, so why not drop by for a visit? Here’s a taste of what’s happening this week:
    • The Irish Descendants: Spend the holiday with The Irish Descendants and the Stampede Casino! Come see the show for only $17.50, or for $30 enjoy a fabulous Thanksgiving Buffet dinner along with the show. Sunday, October 10 in the Big Sky Showroom. Buffet goes from 5 to 9 p.m. while the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets available through Guest Services or by calling 403.514.7055. More information on this event can be found here.
  • Cirque du Soleil – KOOZA: Cirque du Soleil makes its way back to Calgary, and this time it’s at Stampede Park! KOOZA tells the story of The Innocent, a melancholy loner in search of his place in the world. KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor. KOOZA runs from September 16 to October 24, and the Cirque du Soleil Grand Chapiteau will be located in Parking Lot 6, just south of the Big Four Building. Tickets for the Calgary show are available on-line.

That’s all for this week. For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede, on Facebook through our official Facebook fan page, visit our website, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.