“…and five, six, seven, eight right foot out first!”

What a weekend we just had! I can hear people getting annoyed with me as I keep finding ways to talk about every aspect of my weekend to everyone I run into because it was just that great. By the end of the weekend, the four of us could hardly believe how much life experience we packed into just five days. Somewhere between Stampede breakfasts, media appearances and CFL events we managed to squeeze in riding in a parade and a school visit.

The parade was our first as Stampede Royalty and will definitely be a memorable one. It was a clear day so we had lots of sunshine and the weather was not terribly cold (nothing us Canadians can’t handle) so tons of people showed up. It was pretty awesome riding through Edmonton with the Grey Cup Committee seeing everyone come together for the parade all bundled up and sporting different jerseys. Attached is a link to the parade and you can see us at the 1:01:35 mark

http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/2010+Grey+Parade/3894821/story.html

Another major highlight for us was the school visit. Every year the Calgary Grey Cup Committee chooses a school and brings the band, Charlie the Horse, clowns, us and lots of Calgary spirit! We were introduced after a few songs and walked into a room of bright eyed and cheery students. It was our duty to teach the kids a line dance, and I would say after about the third playing of Cadillac Ranch we had a whole gym full of new cowboys and cowgirls. Once we got everyone seated again, Eva brought it home and mesmerized the room with her Jingle dance. It was a proud moment for us to be able to bring tradition, culture and classic Calgary Stampede hospitality to a great group of people. We want to send a big thank you to the staff and students of Inglewood Elementary in Edmonton for welcoming us into their school and dancing with us!

We also cannot thank the Grey Cup Committee enough for taking us in and putting up with our crazy antics all weekend. You are all incredible people who have given us a weekend we will forever remember and a new sense of pride in our city. Grey Cup 2010 will go down in my story telling books as one of the best weekends of my life!

Bringing the Calgary Stampede to the CFL

Coming down from Grey Cup week is definitely a challenge after the whirlwind of a week we had. I have to say my favorite part of visiting a new city is being able to spread the Stampede spirit and how happy people are to get to know what we are all about!

One major highlight for us happened while the girls and I were out on the town visiting different football team “houses” and mingling with the football fans and players alike. We happened to run into two players, one of who was Solomon Elimimian ranked the rookie of the year! They proceeded to invite us to come to a very special CFL Pro Players party, which was happening not too far from where we were at the time. This was an opportunity we could not pass up! We hopped into the Yukon and were off.

Once arriving, the girls and I strolled in on the “red carpet”, had our pictures taken with the lovely ladies manning the door, and took to the room doing what we know best…spreading western hospitality and letting people know just how great Calgary is.

It wasn’t long before we crossed paths with a few of our very own Stampeders players, including the newly named “most outstanding player of the year” Henry Burris. WOW! What a night. The players were all fantastic sports (no pun intended) and were very keen to hear what the white hats and crowns were all about. We even handed out a couple of our OWN signed post cards for the players =)

What a ride this week has been. Hope everyone was able to catch us on Canada AM and in the Grey Cup Parade! (Phew…I think I need a nap) *

With Eskimos player Javier Glatt and BC Lions rookie of the year Soloman Elimimian

Calgary Stampeders most outstanding player of the year, Henry Burris!

Line Dance Party Crashing at Grey Cup

We are having a blast in Edmonton at the 98th annual Grey Cup. The three of us attended our meeting with the Calgary Grey Cup Committee, and decided it was time to re-apply our lipstick. While in the washroom we met some Edmonton business women that were attending a corporate party across the hall, who were very excited to meet us Calgary Cowgirls. They invited us to come and live up their party… and that we did. We heard Cadillac Ranch blaring in the reception hall and that was our cue to enter. The three of us strolled onto the dance floor and got all the Edmontonians to line dance with us. Later on we attended the Spirit of Edmonton and Riderville to spread the Grey Cup spirit and brought our dancing skills with us. Hope you all saw us on Canada am… yawn.

Throughout the entire week we have become famous for our dancing skills. We have brought the Calgary Stampede hospitality everywhere. Each time we strolled onto the dance floor people recognized as those Cowgirls from Calgary…SO MUCH FUN! This has been an absolute blast and this truly has been one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. Thank you to the Calgary Grey Cup Committee for making this all possible.

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: Nov 29 – Dec 5

An annual tradition, the ever-popular Festival of Crafts highlights the week ahead at Stampede Park. Plus, the NHL’s Calgary Flames play twice this week against division rivals.

More details here:

  • Festival of Crafts – Christmas Art & Craft Sale: Festive tradition meets environmental consciousness as the 24th Annual Festival of Crafts showcases the best Canadian handmade products. With over 200 exhibitors selling everything from fudge, paintings, and handmade crafts, experience Calgary’s favourite destination for a unique, green and exciting Christmas shopping event. It’s the perfect place to find something for the person who has everything. December 2 – 5 at the BMO Centre. For information on tickets and admission, see here.
  • NHL Hockey: The Calgary Flames play twice this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome. First, they take on the Minnesota Wild on Monday, November 29 at 7 p.m., followed by the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for both games are available thorough 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:
    • Players Zone: Every home game night, come be a part of the action with six themed blackjack tables, Flames ticket giveaways, food and drink specials, and much more.
    • Weekly Specials: Every week features specials to make your stay at the Stampede Casino more enjoyable. On Sundays, table and slots players can enjoy Afternoon Tea featuring assorted teas, coffee and biscuits from 2 – 4 p.m. Tuesdays are Neighborly Tuesdays where if a player wins a hand play slot jackpot of $250 or more, their neighbor to the right wins a prize as well. On Wednesdays, patrons aged 55 and over can take a Garden Getaway in the Grasslands Cafe where they can enjoy a $3.99 soup, salad, and sandwich from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Finally, Thursday is Ladies Night at the Centre Bar and the 1912 Bar & Grill as ladies can enjoy half-price wine and appetizer specials from 4 – 8 p.m.

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.

A special thanks to the Calgary Grey Cup Committee

We are back home in Calgary and can’t stop talking about what a fantastic time we had in Edmonton this past week. This was my first Grey Cup experience and I had no idea what a great time I was in for. The girls and I have shared so many memories these past 5 days that I know will stick with us forever, and I know that NONE of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the Calgary Grey Cup committee. Not only was the committee unbelievably welcoming to us as the new royalty but also went absolutely above and beyond to make sure our needs were taken care of, and we had the best experience possible. Well…to say that that happened would be an understatement. From organizing our mighty steeds to ride in the Grey Cup parade, bringing us the joy of spending the morning with some unbelievable children at the elementary school, to making long lasting friendships with some amazing people… the committee was there for us 100%.

We would also like to give a big shout out to our own Gar-Ger who tirelessly attended to the needs of many high-maintenance ladies without a word of complaint! We love you!

I am sad to say goodbye to these fantastic people, but I am so proud to be part of an organization that really values Calgarian hospitality and kindness as much as we do at the Stampede. It was very easy for us to spread our western spirit with the assistance of these fine people, and we couldn’t have done it without you. I have never been a prouder Calgarian and Stampede ambassador as I am now!

From all of us…we love you guys.
Sincerely,

Jenna, Steph, Whitney, and Eva

Always bringing that Calgary Stampede spirit everywhere we go!

Line Dancing Party Crashing at Grey Cup

We are having a blast in Edmonton at the 98th annual Grey Cup. The three of us attended our meeting with the Calgary Grey Cup Committee, and decided it was time to re-apply our lipstick. While in the washroom we met some Edmonton business women that were attending a corporate party across the hall, who were very excited to meet us Calgary Cowgirls. They invited us to come and live up their party… and that we did. We heard Cadillac Ranch blaring in the reception hall and that was our cue to enter. The three of us strolled onto the dance floor and got all the Edmontonians to line dance with us. Later on we attended the Spirit of Edmonton and Riderville to spread the Grey Cup spirit and brought our dancing skills with us. Hope you all saw us on Canada am… yawn.

Throughout the entire week we have become famous for our dancing skills. We have brought the Calgary Stampede hospitality everywhere. Each time we strolled onto the dance floor people recognized as those Cowgirls from Calgary…SO MUCH FUN! This has been an absolute blast and this truly has been one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. Thank you to the Calgary Grey Cup Committee for making this all possible.

Having fun!!!

The Holiday Season at the Calgary Stampede

Wow, it feels like only yesterday that we had Stampede 2010. But, time goes on and we are well on our way in getting ready for the 99th edition of the Calgary Stampede as well as the upcoming holiday season. We have been testing and preparing our Holidays menus in our kitchens with Chef Derek Dale, as well as tasting new wines for the tables with David Patten and managers. We’ve also been planning our Holiday room themes with our in-house decor ladies, (Aurora Borealis in our Palomino Ballroom, New York City in our Halls, and A Traditional Christmas in our smaller rooms). Here are some pics of all the decoration and preparation that we have been doing around the park.  Enjoy, and if you’re on Park this holiday season, make sure to take some time to check these decorations out!

I should be packing right now

I can’t believe it, it’s Tuesday night and I am still thinking about the great weekend I just had and am now packing for the great weekend I’m about to have. Last Friday Whitney, Eva, and I attended Light up Okotoks which was an incredible event filled with a beautiful Christmas tree, reindeer petting, hot apple cider drinking, and ginger bread cookie decorating! It was a bit chilly but that didn’t stop a ton of people from bundling up and coming out. I think Eva put it best when she said that it looked like we were in “Whoville” while standing around the Christmas tree. Unfortunately our wonderful Queen was not able to join us due to her knee injury, but not because she said she could not go, but because she was advised to stay in and heal. I don’t think there is any injury short of a heart attack that would stop Jenna from attending an event!

On Saturday the four of us were back together and attended the annual Giddy Up Christmas lunch. The Queen’s Alumni did a fantastic job hosting this event except for one misstep; they had the four of us in charge of singing Christmas Carols while on the carriage ride…yikes. We were definitely having a lot of fun belting out those tunes, but unfortunately having fun doesn’t always result in sounding good. So we were told. Besides the singing it was an awesome afternoon hanging out with the kids, getting pictures with Santa, and being around the alumni. Later that evening we were invited to the Lazy S to mingle with some wonderful out of town guests. The Calgary Stampede was hosting the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions so we had the opportunity to greet people from all over Canada with true Calgary Sprit: warm western hospitality and freezing winter weather. It didn’t matter though; cold or not it was a great weekend!

Now I am scrambling around trying to get packed because we are heading to Edmonton tomorrow for GREY CUP. The Grey Cup Committee is too good to us and has us attending the best events all across the city. I can’t even describe how excited I am for this!!! It feels so cool to be attending a huge national event like this with the greatest group of people ever. I am disappointed the Stamps didn’t make it this year, but between the Grey Cup Committee and Stampede Royalty we will make sure to represent our city well. LOOK OUT EDMONTON, CALGARY IS ON ITS WAY! Now hopefully I don’t forget anything…..

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Grey Cup and the Calgary Stampede will both be celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2012?

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: November 22 – 28

The Calgary Kennel and Obedience Club hosts their Winter Show this week, plus the Calgary Hitmen hold down the fort as the Flames are off on their five-game road trip.

Details on that and more here:

  • CKOC All Breed Dog Show: The Calgary Kennel and Obedience Club will be hosting their Winter Show this week. Featuring three All Breed Championship shows, Rally Obedience, the Junior Handling National Finals and a whole lot more. November 26 – 28 in the lower level of the Big Four Building. For more information, visit the CKOC website.
  • 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:
    • Weekly Specials: Every week features specials to make your stay at the Stampede Casino more enjoyable. On Sundays, table and slots players can enjoy Afternoon Tea featuring assorted teas, coffee and biscuits from 2 – 4 p.m. Tuesdays are Neighborly Tuesdays where if a player wins a hand play slot jackpot of $250 or more, their neighbor to the right wins a prize as well. On Wednesdays, patrons aged 55 and over can take a Garden Getaway in the Grasslands Cafe where they can enjoy a $3.99 soup, salad, and sandwich from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Finally, Thursday is Ladies Night at the Centre Bar and the 1912 Bar & Grill as ladies can enjoy half-price wine and appetizer specials from 4 – 8 p.m.
  • WHL Hockey: As the NHL’s Calgary Flames are off on a gruelling five-game road trip, the Calgary Hitmen host three games this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome. First, they host the Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday, November 23, followed by the Red Deer Rebels on Friday, November 26, and then the Edmonton Oil Kings again on Saturday, November 27. Start time for all three games is 7 p.m. and tickets to all three games can be found through Ticketmaster.

And 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.

Come see 2010 Stampede Talent Search Champion Meg Contini compete in the National Finals!

Meg Contini, the 2010 Stampede Talent Search winner, will compete in this year's Canadian Youth Talent Competition

Every summer during the 10 days of Stampede, the Calgary Stampede hosts the Stampede Talent Search. Its purpose is to discover, develop, encourage and showcase young amateur entertainers throughout Southern Alberta. Paul Brandt, Heather Liscano, and many other entertainers from Calgary and the surrounding area have competed or debuted at this competition.

The Stampede Talent Search is a part of a bigger network of talent searches across the country at the local level, and they all culminate into the Canadian Youth Talent Competition (CYTC) being hosted tonight in the Boyce Theatre at Stampede Park.

The CYTC consists of amateur entertainers aged 13 – 21 who have progressed through competitions held at the local and provincial levels, and represent 13 different zones from all across Canada. Paul Brandt, Michael Bublé, Blake McGrath, various Canadian Idol participants, and many other successful Canadian entertainment professionals began their careers or have had national exposure after participating in this competition.

Last year’s 2009 Stampede Talent Search winner, Calum Graham from High River, won the national title last year as well by competing in the CYTC when it was held in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

This year, 2010 Stampede Talent Search winner Meg Contini hopes to do the same as Calum with her jazz-inspired vocals, and this time in her own backyard.

Here’s a clip of Meg shortly after she won the 2010 Stampede Talent Search courtesy of our Roving Reporter:

Last year’s winner Calum Graham will make a guest performance at this year’s CYTC, and a special panel of judges including Emmy-winning composer Dave Pierce and Alberta Ballet’s Jean Grand-Maître will be on-hand to cast their ballots for Canada’s next big star.

So come down and check out the Canadian Youth Talent Competition and cheer on our very own Meg Contini as she takes on the best-of-the-best that the rest of Canada has to offer! Tickets for the competition cost $25 and are limited. They can be had by calling the Stampede Ticket Office at 1.800.661.1767 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The competition starts at 7 p.m.

If you can’t make it down tonight, don’t worry as the competition will be broadcast on television as well! If you’re in the Calgary area, Shaw TV will be broadcasting the competition tonight at 9:30 p.m. and will re-broadcast the competition nationally on Sunday, November 28 at 5 p.m. MST. So make sure to tune in and see who will walk away as the national champion.

And to further whet your appetite, here’s a clip of Meg performing How High the Moon at the 2009 edition of the Stampede Talent Search where she placed as First Runner Up:

For more information, see here.

Calgary Stampede Public Art Program is no bull

Ever wonder why a bronze statue of a bull faces Calgary’s downtown Stock Exchange Tower? Well it’s not just any bull. It’s Outlaw, one of the most famous animals to ever perform at the Calgary Stampede, and it’s there as part of one of the Stampede’s community outreach activities: the Public Art program. The program was launched in 2008 to facilitate the creation of 10 heroic-sized bronze sculptures for downtown Calgary and Stampede Park. The original pieces of art will recognize and honor our western heritage, allowing us to share these values with city visitors year-round.

Outlaw was unveiled in May 2010 and is the first of the 10 life-sized pieces of art to appear in Calgary’s streets. The statue of the red and white speckled bull reflects western spirit, entrepreneurship and determination – a good fit for a city that is rapidly becoming the financial centre of western Canada.

Outlaw isn’t the only western animal keeping an eye on our city these days. The program’s second statue, Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do, was unveiled in October 2010 and sits in front of the new Calgary Court Centre. This piece, which shows eight horses in different poses, is one of two identical statues created to commemorate Quebec City’s 400th anniversary and celebrate the sister-city bond between Quebec City and Calgary. The steel plate horses are in different poses to represent the movement of past, present and future. Together, they celebrate the horse’s role in tying Canada together throughout history.

The next statue in the program, By the Banks of the Bow, will be one of the largest sculptures in North America.This bronze will depict two cowboys herding 15 horses across the Bow River. The statue, which will be located south of the Corral on Stampede Park, will reflect the values of hard work and people helping one another that are at the core of western living.

Outlaw, Do Re Me Fa Sol La Si Do, and By the Banks of the Bow, along with the remaining seven statues, will help ensure that the western spirit remains here, in Calgary, all year.

Rona “The How to People” take over the Calgary Stampede

There has been a lot of sawing, screwing and wood dust flying in around Halls A-C in the BMO Centre lately at Stampede Park. That’s because RONA has moved in and is building a whole RONA store right inside BMO Centre! They are doing this for their Spring/Summer show of 2011 and it’s been really interesting to watch them put it together the last couple of days. The RONA Spring Show is a private industry event, and it’s running from November 18 – 21.  Here’s a few pictures of them putting the ‘store’ together:

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The Calgary Stampede Wine

Calgary Stampede Wine

Have you ever wondered where the fine wine served at your favourite Calgary Stampede venues such Mavericks or at the Grandstand comes from?

The 2010 Stampede wine was created by British Columbia’s Sumac Ridge winery and comes in a collector’s bottle featuring this year’s poster. The VQA-approved wine, has been the Stampede’s house wine for the past six years.  While supplies last, it’s available to purchase from local Liquor Depot stores for $15.99. I purchased a bottle each of the Red and White for a little home tasting. Inviting over a few friends, we really enjoyed pairing each wine with some yummy appetizers and great conversation.

The Calgary Stampede label white wine is a blend of Okanagan Vineyards Riesling Chenin Blanc which displays a full-bodied taste and a crisp, clean finish. The red is a blend of Okanagan Vineyards Select Cabernet Merlot that displays a complex, full-bodied bouquet.

Enjoy a little taste of Stampede in the comfort of your own home thanks to a limited edition, private-label Calgary Stampede wine. This would make a great host gift for the upcoming holiday party season, or to enjoy for yourself at home. Imagine sipping a glass of wine while reminiscing about your favourite moments from last year’s Calgary Stampede or perhaps to start some very early planning for activities you want to enjoy next summer.

Pick up your own bottle today or why not sample a glass at Mavericks next time you are on 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, and stay tuned to the official Stampede Blog to learn more about some of the things happening Here. All Year.

The Hardships of the Royal Life: Queen’in ain’t easy..

Well…no one said the road would be straight, paved, and free of bumps and black ice..
I wish I had some heroic story of how I jumped from a moving train, or dived in front of a bus to save a runaway baby carriage..unfortunately, none of the above were a factor in the events leading me to my 3 hour stay in the ER at the Rockyview General Hospital Monday night. It was a regular night around 10:30pm when I decided to climb into bed and catch a few much needed winks, when I decided it would be a good idea to stretch out my quads which were sore from my run earlier that day. In the middle of this nice relaxing stretch, I felt a thud, and within seconds was completely unable to bend, straighten or touch my leg, and fearing the worst that I had dislocated my knee, I rushed through the blizzarding snowstorm to the ER.

Well to make a VERY long story short, the knee was back in place although we think my knee cap did dislocate and as of now, no certain diagnosis can been made about my injury until the swelling goes down.

Not to worry!! In the mean time I’m making FULL use of my Queenly title to order my Princesses to wheel me around our meetings and I expect to be up and in the saddle by the Grey Cup Parade next weekend! And if not, well I should have a horse shaped side car to ride in alongside my Princesses..

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: November 15 – 21

This week features Ozzy Osbourne on tour along with Rob Halford, the 2010 Canadian Youth Talent Competition, the Calgary Flames in a couple of home games before embarking on a five-game road trip, and a couple of special events at the Stampede Casino.

Details on that and more here:

  • Ozzy Osbourne: The Godfather of Heavy Metal makes an appearance this week at the Scotiabank Saddledome alongside Rob Halford. Come and see the Prince of Darkness perform live on Tuesday, November 16. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
  • Calgary Police Service Career Expo: With interactive demonstrations and displays, recruiting information and more, come learn about the Calgary Police Service, one of the most respected municipal police services in the country and one of the most progressive law enforcement agencies in North America. Tuesday, November 16 from 4 – 9 p.m. at the BMO Centre, Hall E. Admission is free, everyone is welcome, and there will be some great draw prizes as well.
  • 2010 Canadian Youth Talent Competition: An annual event presented by the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions, the CYTC celebrates the performing arts talents of Canada’s youth. Young Canadians aged 13 – 21 representing thirteen zones across Canada will compete here in the National Finals. These competitors represent the best of the best as they have performed their way from local competitions such as the Stampede Talent Search, to the provincial zone, and now onto the final Canadian competition. Taking place at the Boyce Theatre on Friday, November 19, tickets are available from the Stampede Ticket Office for $25. For more information, see here and here.
  • 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:
    • UFC 123 in the Big Sky Showroom: Check out UFC 123 live on Pay-Per-View in the Big Sky Showroom! Featuring Quinton Jackson vs Lyoto Machida in the Main Event, $10 admission gets you access to three huge screens and a free snack buffet. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets available at the door.
    • Grey Cup Poker Tournament: Enter in the tournament for a chance to win tickets to the 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton! Grand prize includes two nights accommodation, tickets to the Grey Cup game and $500 in spending money. Limited to only 60 players. For more information and details on how to enter, see here.
  • NHL Hockey: The Calgary Flames play twice this week at the Saddledome. First, they take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday, November 17, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, November 19. Both games start at 7:30 p.m. and 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.