Living under a rock? Get the latest #Stampede100 announcement here!

This past Thursday, May 24th the Calgary Stampede announced the 2012 Coca-Cola Stage line up with two top secret band performances at Flames Central!

Let me recap.

Opening the evenings live music festivities were The New Cities, Montreal-based band with several hits I found myself singing along to. After The New Cities performance there was a break in the music and Flames Central served up mini cups of poutine and sliders as the crowd speculated who would be the secret headliner. I had no idea.

The New Cities perform to a surprised crowd at Flames Central. 

 

Finally the big announcement, the 2012 Coca-Cola Stage line up was set  and the head liner for the night was announced. Ladies and gentleman please welcome The Sheepdogs! 

I still had no idea. Clearly, I have been living under a rock.

The crowd loved The Sheepdogs and it did not take me long to figure out why this band was so popular. They put on an amazing show and they have an awesome story!  Did you know they were on the cover of  The Rolling Stone last year? I recommend you check them out July 11 on the on the Coca – Cola stage.

Courtesy of www.RollingStone.com

  

       The Sheepdogs lead singer at Flames Central.

The Coca – Cola stage will welcome some pretty amazing acts this year, the full roster of artists and schedule can be found here.

Life Before Being Princess

Hello Blog Readers!

It’s been a while since my last update and I’ve been around the world and back representing the Stampede and the Treaty 7 Tribes at the Indian Village. I’ve made so many new friends and wonderful memories and the Stampede Centennial isn’t even here yet!

When I’m out with my royal sisters sharing the Stampede spirit with the world, I’m always asked what I do when I’m not being a princess… so with Stampede on its way and the 2013 Indian Princess pageant fast approaching I’ve been inspired to share with you faithful blog readers what my life was like before I was crowned the Stampede Indian Princess!

I’m from a small reserve in southern Alberta called Piikani. I was born in Lethbridge by accident and I spent most of my childhood with my family on my reserve. I remember spending a lot of time with my great-grandparents Joe and Josephine Crowshoe and my family during ceremonies and constantly learning new things about what it meant to be Piikani. I was really really lucky to have been surrounded by my Blackfoot culture everyday and was raised with a strong tie to my heritage and my traditional identity. I am a member of the Brave Dog Society and a past leader and elder of the Niipoomakiik Society which are special societies in my community that tie me to my traditional Blackfoot culture among other ceremonies and transfers I have acquired in my lifetime.

 From the moment I took my first step I was a jingle dress dancer. My grandma always tells me that I would refuse to dance with the other tiny tots and would always dance with the adults. My family and I are very close-knit and we spend our summers travelling all over Alberta, BC and the USA for competition pow wows. Stampede is usually the kick-off to our summers on the pow wow trail – after we take down our tipi at the Indian Village we are usually off the to US to another pow wow.

For fun I like to go on road trips and experience new cultures and different types of food. It’s really hard for me to stay in one place! I love live music, dancing of course and most of all photography. I spend a lot of time taking photos of my summers on the pow wow trail and anything we come across on our travels. I’m amateur at best but I really love it when I capture a moment in time and get to keep it as a memory forever.

 

Education has always been very important to me. My great-grandpa always used to say that education was the only way we were ever going to survive as First Nations people in Canada. I graduated from the University of Calgary in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Culture. I was the first in my family to graduate from university and although it was a long road it really helped to shape the person I am today. I hope to continue my education and become a lawyer someday so that I can help my community grow and thrive to the best of my ability. I believe that all First Nations youth should further their education. You don’t have to be a doctor, lawyer or chief of a nation – it takes all kinds of people to support a healthy community. If you’re passion is mechanics, being a mentor, architecture, teaching, hair styling, science or dog walking you should strive to make that passion a reality and be the best that you can be. Always try to push your limits and see where you end up.

As Indian Princess I really like being out in the community and meeting my fellow Treaty 7 First Nations people. I strive to do my best to represent our tribes and hope to inspire other young Treaty 7 women to strive for this role and opportunity to share their story and their knowledge with the world.

I hope to see you all soon at my next round of events!
Amelia

The Sheepdogs Are Ready to Rock Stampede 2012

There are few things in life these days that are free, let alone free AND awesome, but the Calgary Stampede has hit the nail on the head with their 2012 Coca-Cola Stage. This year’s lineup includes a little bit of everything from rock to rap and the best part is that all of the concerts on this stage are included in your Stampede gate admission!

Last night at the Coca-Cola Covert Concert for the official launch of the Coca-Cola Stage lineup some serious talent rocked the stage at Flames Central.

New Cities got the crowd warmed up and then we were treated to a surprise performance by Saskatoon rock band The Sheepdogs.

The Sheepdogs became the first unsigned band ever to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine in August of 2011 and if you’ve ever heard their music you know why.  They are unbelievable live performers!

The rest of the lineup is very impressive, as well as diverse.  We can look forward to Big Sugar, Our Lady Peace, Dragonette, George Canyon, Mother Mother, The Trews (last year’s headliner), Simple Plan, AWOLNATION, New Cities, Seether, Makeshift Innocence, Carly Rae Jepsen, Raghav, K’naan, Danny Fernandes, Victoria Duffield and Karl Wolf.  So get ready to rock Calgary!

More info available here.

 

 

10 Questions With…Ruth Ann Rayner, Member of the Caravan Committee (Part Two)

Morning everyone! Today I’m posting the second half of my interview with Ruth Ann Rayner, a 30 year veteran Stampede Volunteer working on the amazing Caravan committee. If you missed yesterday’s post, you can find it here. I hope you’ll enjoy reading the remainder of my conversation with Ruth Ann. She is absolutely an amazing spirit and we as an organization are so lucky to have her as a spokesperson.

6. What has been the largest crowd you have served for? That’s surely a ton of pancakes and sausages! Could you share some ‘stats’ on how much food is served on an average breakfast?

Well, on a typical year (and of course this year is atypical!)  – We’d serve 200 000 pancakes which is approximately 5 tons of mix- enough to fill an Olympic size pool. We’d cook up 4 tons sausage patties, 100 000 juice boxes, and use up 3000 litres of maple syrup. And this year of course with the early promotions for the Centennial these numbers would only multiply. Incredible!

7. Do you serve breakfast rain or shine? July is known for some temperamental weather, especially Stampede week?

Oh yes. We know to carry our slickers, hat covers, rubber boots- there have been some Julys that are very unpredictable. I remember very clearly one morning at Southland Leisure Centre- I was on stage and it was snowing- they opened the back of the building so that the crowd could be served inside. It was so cold I was wearing earmuffs. Then there was 1989 at Glenmore Landing- Monday AM – it poured rain, the band couldn’t play, the stoves couldn’t work…we started making boats and played with those in parking lot! When we were in England in 1980 the tables were sinking into the mud. We can handle anything – you truly just have to roll with what the weather brings you.

8.  Where can people find out about where the Caravan members will be hosting breakfasts ahead of time? We wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on any delicious pancakes!

Best way is our own website. You can also tune in to about 10 different radio stations that will broadcast what I’ve called in to. Country 105 usually stops by in their pancake patrol car.

9. What are you most looking forward to during this year’s 10-day Stampede?

I am interested to find out how many people get into the swing of things. I’m hoping to see folks dressing in a retro manner- Guy Weadick sloped hats, a great big neckerchiefs. I also think it will be peoples enthusiasm – we as a city are so incredible. How will we step up to the plate to enjoy this?

We are lucky as Caravan members; our mandate is to come to every part of the city so all Calgarians can get a Taste of Stampede. I’m pleased to see that the Calgary Herald has stepped up and the second section on Sunday’s paper is dedicated to the history of the Stampede. I feel like the pre hype is setting the stage for the most incredible experience yet.

10. As we celebrate our 100 Year Centennial Calgary Stampede, where do you see us in the next 100 years?

Well, if you look back to 100 years ago, in many ways we don’t look that much different.  There is still a rodeo, and chuckwagons- but we have new technologies for interacting with our patrons. Who knows what will be out there- I really think it is going to be the same, it is still people working together to make sure Calgarians and our visitors are getting together to enjoy the city and celebrate our western heritage whether it is the Centennial or 2015.

One last thing I’d love to say that we’ve adopted as our mantra at Caravan…we’re a good group that just keeps on keeping on.

Ruth Ann, thank you for taking some time to chat with me. It is so evident from our conversation that you are a unique and wonderful person, one who has a passion for life and for our treasured western values. May this Stampede be your most favourite yet!

For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at@calgarystampede and @CS_NGC, 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.

5 Questions with NGC Online Presence Sub-Committee Chair, Christina Rontynen

You can call it Stampede love – or just plain old Calgary love. I couldn’t resist interviewing Christina Rontynen for this blog. We recently got engaged. We didn’t meet through the Stampede but we are on the same Stampede Committee and we have many fun Stampede memories.

When we met we clicked because our passions were the same – including getting people engaged with their communities. That’s why the Next Generation Committee (NGC) was such a great fit for us. The NGC is all about engaging Calgarians with the Stampede!

The NGC is made up of two sub-committees: Project Execution and Online Presence. Christina is the chair of the Online Presence sub-committee.

Here is my interview:

1. What is the Next Generation Committee all about?

The NGC is all about engaging new audiences with the Calgary Stampede. It isn’t just about engaging young Calgarians but all Calgarians. In the past we have targeted 18-30 year olds, brand new Canadians, young families from Calgary’s suburbs, and this year we are targeting Calgarians in 100 years through our very cool Time Capsule project. If you have Twitter you can follow along with Time Capsule project through our #CSTimeCapsule hashtag.

2. What one item would you put in the NGC Time Capsule if you could stand to part with it?

I have this amazing belt buckle from my Dad. He used to wear it when he was a little boy playing cowboys with his friends. It has a bunch of little guns on it and is completely vintage and awesome. It is the perfect Stamepde accessory and it, to me, speaks to the fact that the Stampede is generational. It’s a family affair.

People can propose their own Time Capsule ideas by emailing the NGC. If you have something you’d like included in the Time Capsule and it has a neat story behind it please email us at: calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com

3. What is your ideal Stampede day?

Best Stampede day is always Parade Day! Wake up early, find the perfect spot and watch the energy and excitement of Stampede come alive. After that it’s about finding a pancake breakfast – and putting lots and lots of syrup on the pancakes (of course)! Then a trip down to Stampede Grounds – I love making sure I’m there for the Rodeo and of course a greasy, yummy dinner at a kiosk afterwards. Then it is playing some Midway Games, enjoying the Coke Stage, and waiting until the fireworks show.

4. Who are you most looking forward to Stampeding with this year?

Well you of course Peter!! Our first Stampede being engaged! Very fun.

But I’m also looking forward to hopefully bringing your niece and nephew! Seeing the Stampede through the eyes of kids is the best!

5. What is your favorite Stampede treat?

Gosh – this is a hard one. I love the classic mini donuts but this year I will not leave without trying all the new food for 2012; including deep fried wagon wheels, sausage on a stick and those deep fried veggies.

Thanks for playing along Christina!

Happy Almost Stampede Everyone!
PP

Another inspiring day for the Cake Posse

This time we visited the Garrison Green Seniors Community to celebrate Len Giles’ 105th birthday. Yes, you read the right – Len is 105 years old. Amazing! It was a great day – we had an awesome time visiting the other seniors as well as Len’s family and friends. Len is a huge fan of the Stampede and looks forward to attending every year.

One of my favorite parts of the Cake Posse is hearing everyone’s Stampede stories. They were definitely not in short supply at Garrison Green –there were lots of good memories shared and it proved to me once again how integral the Stampede is in our community.

To top everything off, we sang happy birthday to Len with our own Cake Posse volunteer Mallory Minerson leading the way on vocals. Our Cake Posse crew is a talented bunch!

On behalf of Mike Casey and the Calgary Stampede, a letter of congratulations was presented to Len and included a commemorative plaque with the 1912 poster and two complimentary gate passes for the Centennial Calgary Stampede.

Happy birthday Len – we look forward to seeing you at the Stampede!

 

Our First Parade of the Summer!!

This past holiday Monday, the Stampede Royalty and I spend our Victoria Day out in High River! It was the annual Little Britches Rodeo and Parade and we were lucky enough to be invited out to ride our horses in the parade and participate in the grand entry of the rodeo.  It was a beautiful day for a parade, but too bad the rodeo was indoors, the weather was great. But knowing Alberta, if the rodeo was planned for outside, it would have rained, or even snowed!!

There were lots of competitors at the rodeo, and lots of familiar faces! At the end of the rodeo, we were honored with handing out buckles to the winners. The girls and I had a wonderful time, so thanks to the Town of High River for inviting us out to be a part of such a great day. I know there will be many more small town parades and rodeos for us to be a part of this summer, and I am looking forward to it!!

10 Questions with Ruth Ann Rayner, Member of the Stampede Caravan Committee (Part One)

Today I’m bringing back our feature series “10 Questions With…” highlighting some wonderful people within the Calgary Stampede organization.  We hope this will enlighten and entertain, as well as provide some behind the scenes information to our loyal blog readers. Even the most seasoned Calgary Stampede veteran can learn a thing or two from these interviews!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ruth Ann Rayner, a Stampede Caravan committee volunteer who has been with the Calgary Stampede for 30 years! Ruth Ann has been officially named the “Voice of Caravan”, she truly loves to speak about the Stampede and her fellow committee members- so much so, that I’m going to split this post in two. Tomorrow I will post part 2, so be sure to check back for the second half! So without further ado I present to you:

10 Questions with Ruth Ann Rayner, Member of the Stampede Caravan Committee

 1. How long have you been a Calgary Stampede Caravan volunteer, and what made you decide to get involved?

I joined 30 yrs ago, with my late husband Doug- he was a batter beater! Those were back in the days when we used a clean broomstick to beat the pancake batter in a pail- there were only 30 of us volunteers on the committee at the time and we did one breakfast a day Monday to Friday (Stampede was only a week long!). Anything Doug participated in he wanted me to share, so this was just another way for us to spend time in each other’s company. I truly enjoyed the very beginnings of my time as a Stampede volunteer, driving to the breakfasts together and me calling in to Country 105 to advertise each morning. This was the start of my road to becoming the ‘Voice of the Caravan’ and an MC.

As an MC, my duties are to entertain and inform our guests who are welcome to join us from 9 a.m. -11 a.m. each morning. I will announce where to find the kid zone for the petting zoo and other areas of interest at each particular venue we are at for the morning. I’ll also introduce the Stampede Royalty (Queens and Princesses & Indian Princess), Stampede dignitaries such as President Mike Casey or Mayor Nenshi… its similar to running a 10-ring circus- you’re never sure what will be happening ten minutes later! I thoroughly enjoy it!

2. Just how many pancake breakfasts does Caravan offer thru the year, and more specifically…how many during the 10-day Calgary Stampede? You must have a very organized calendar to keep track of everything!

So during the 10-day show, we have 7 days where we have two breakfasts a day that feed on average about 5000 people. (That’s 70,000 just in 14 breakfasts!)  Then, on the first Sunday we are responsible for cooking for Suncor Energy Family Day which will see about 20,000 people lining up for our pancakes from 7-930am.  (*Sarah’s note: for those that don’t know, there will be free admission on park from 6-9 a.m. and FREE breakfast is served in the Grandstand Courtyard from 7-9:30am!)

On top of our Stampede breakfasts, we do run smaller outside breakfasts that we host for various communities and charities.  This year in particular, being the 100th anniversary, we will be hosting 14 additional breakfasts linked to the Stampede celebration for the Centennial (just another cool 34,000 people!). These breakfasts include the BURNCO 4-Corners community events happening thru May and June of this year. (*Sarah’s note: there are two 4-Corners events remaining- one this Saturday, May 26 at Cardel Place and lastly, Saturday, June 2 at Westside Recreation Centre. We hope to see you all there!)

So some grand totals from May 1- July 15: we will have served approximately 150,000 people attending our breakfasts. Our committee has grown from 30 to 160 strong- we work extremely well together and can be likened to a well-oiled machine- we are truly so organized.

3. Putting together a Caravan breakfast doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work, I am sure- could you tell us what a ‘typical’ morning looks like in the eyes of a volunteer?

Since we have 2 breakfasts a day, we have two identical teams. So say 80 of us might be at Southcentre Mall, but the other 80 are at Sunridge Mall. There is no difference between the two- its exactly the same Caravan breakfast.  If you attended one, then decided to head up Deerfoot for the other- you’d likely not notice much of a difference!

My day starts at 5 a.m.  I will call the radio stations to let them know where the 2 breakfasts will be that day, organize appearances from radio/tv! (*Sarah’s note: can you get the impression of why Ruth Ann is named the voice of caravan!)

On a typical morning, we all know our specific roles. We know who is driving the batter van, who is in charge of the Kids Zone, etc.  Some folks will head to Big Rock (our sponsor that generously holds the goods- frozen sausage, eggs etc) at 6am for loading batter vans and equipment. Usually they are preloaded at lunch for the next day other than the foodstuff. Then they’ll proceed to their location of the day. From 7-9 a.m. we all set up for breakfast. Staff breakfast is at 8 a.m., and then we go to the station we’re working. Feed and entertain from 9-11 a.m. We’ll break down, then meet the other crew to have lunch at Big Rock for 2 p.m. Most head home for a nap after that, take a shower…then its time to head to the Chucks! The only days we don’t have a breakfast during the 10-day show is Parade Day Friday or the Final Sunday.

4. Your schedule sounds grueling but also I’m sure, quite rewarding. Has there been a highlight breakfast that you have attended thus far?

The very first one. It was incredible! To watch these 30 people set up tables, set up the stove (back then we used to fry bacon and put the batter over that). To see how everyone worked together! To me, the fun the volunteers had and the people who attended to get the free breakfast- the appreciation of what we did. That’s all it took and I was hooked- my enthusiasm was sky-high. I will never forget it- it was on the corner of McLeod Trail and Southland Drive.

 5. I know that these amazing gatherings are not limited to Calgary, where else on the globe has a community been privy to such great Stampede hospitality?

You might be able to say that we have conquered the world one pancake at a time. We’ve literally been all over the globe. Some highlights include the 2003 Toronto SARS Fest, in 2006 the Canadian Embassy invited us to serve breakfast on Canada Day in Washington,DC when the Alberta exhibit was at the Smithsonian. The Stampede stage drove down and was back by July 7! There was 2008 Quebec Winter Carnival, we’ve been to Hong Kong, England, Scotland, Florida, Montana, Oregon, all over Canada…the list goes on!

**Phew! This is Part 1 of a 2 part blog post interview with Ruth Ann- please be sure to come and read the second half tomorrow!  

Should you have some burning questions in the back of your mind that you’ve always wanted to ask a member of the organization, why not drop us a line? We’d be happy to take any request into consideration. Stay tuned for more new and exciting “10 Questions With…” as we approach this year’s 100th Calgary Stampede.

For updates and info on everything Stampede, make sure you follow us on Twitter at @calgarystampede and @CS_NGC, 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.

 

 

Spring is Here!

Spring has arrived and as part of the tradition, the 4th street Lilac Festival will kick off the season in Calgary this Sunday from 10  to 6. 13 blocks will transform and open up to over 125,000 visitors, 500 craft and food vendors. This festival has something for everyone – you can join in the dancing in the street, delicious food samplings from around the world and numerous forms of entertainment.

Once again the Calgary Stampede is going to be joining the Calgary’s best free festivial to provide information to the public on what’s new for 2012 and where they can participate in centenial celebrations.

This year our team has added a twist – we are putting together a Time Capsule to feature items from the last 100 years (got an old pair of boots that have a great Stampede story? email us at calgarystampede.ngc@gmail.com) and predictions of what the Stampede will look like in another 100 years.

Swing by our booth at Lilac Festival and tell us your favourite Stampede memory and predict what the future holds for the Stampede (what foods do you think they will have in 2112?). These videos are going to be added to the time capsule for future generations to marvel on how much has changed from the view of Calgarians!

The countdown is on and the party already in full swing for the Calgary Stampede!

The Friendly Faces of Stampede: Volunteer Profile – Maggie Schofield, Reception Committee

I was lucky enough to wrangle up Maggie Schofield, Executive Director of the Calgary Downtown Association and a member (and past Chairman) of the Reception Committee to answer a couple of questions about her volunteer experience with the Calgary Stampede.

The Reception Committee looks after all of the Stampede volunteers and their friends and families, giving them a place to meet, relax, enjoy some entertainment and camaraderie, and makes sure they are fed and watered throughout the 10 days.

 1)  What year did you become a Stampede volunteer and why did you decide to get involved?

I became involved with the Stampede in 1989.  I wanted to reconnect with the Stampede, as it is such a big part of our summer and that seemed the best way to do it.  It was also a great way of corporate networking.  I hadn’t been on Park for nearly 10 years.

2)  What is one of your favorite Stampede memories?

Watching the stock horses come in from the ranch into the Saddledome in 2000.  The freedom of the animals, and the power of them swirling in a circle was overwhelming.  Even the real, working cowboys and ranchers in the crowd had tears in their eyes.  It was one of those magic moments at the Stampede that was an unplanned, spontaneous event.  I was able to share it with a good friend who was in Calgary on business from Kansas City.

3)  What Stampede experience or event are you looking forward to the most this year?

There will be so many great celebrations for the centennial that it is hard to imagine what will be the best, but I am looking forward to seeing Ian Tyson as Parade Marshall, and Paul Brant performing at the Grandstand.

4)  What’s your favorite midway food

Fiddlesticks.

5)  What’s your best advice for a fun Stampede?

Comfortable shoes!  Try not to plan every moment, as many activities will pop up and there will be great opportunities to see great things and meet wonderful people from Calgary and around the world.  Know that the Stampede happens in a lot of areas of the city, not just Stampede Park, so make the effort to go to different locations.

For more Stampede Stories check out My Stampede where you can view personal stories and share your own for the chance to win some incredible prize packages!

Photos from the Four Corners Event at South Fish Creek Recreation Complex

Some photos from last weekend’s Four Corners presented by BURNCO event at the South Fish Creek Recreation Complex. I volunteered at the event and so much fun. I highly suggest people going to one of the final Four Corners events happening on May 26 at at Cardel Place at 11950 Country Village Link N.E. (cardelplace.com) or June 2 at Westside Recreation Centre 2000 69 Street S.W. (westsiderec.com).

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: May 21 – 27

Thousands of runners and walkers of all levels in the city are getting set for the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon as it blazes through Stampede Park this week.

Details on that and more here:

  • Scotiabank Calgary Marathon:  Lace up your shoes and join thousands of other runners and walkers for the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon Race Weekend on May 25-27, 2012.  The Scotiabank Calgary Marathon is a challenging, competitive and fun event with a race designed for everyone of any level. Events include the Scotiabank Marathon, Centaur Subaru half marathon, Jugo Juice 10K, AstraZeneca 5K Walk and Run and Scotiabank Kids Marathon.  Stampede Park is the new start and finish venue and for more information, see here.
  • Cultural Nite XIX: The Untold Tales of a Pinoy Culture Club:  The University of Calgary’s Filipino Student’s Association invite you to watch Cultural Nite XIX: The Untold Tales of a Pinoy Culture Club.  This annual student-led theatre production showcases different Filipino folk dances such as Tinikling and Singkil, incorporated in a play written by the club’s own members.  May 26 at 7 p.m. in the Boyce Theatre.  For more information about tickets, see here.

Only 45 days to go until the Calgary Stampede’s centennial!  With festivities and other celebrations happening all over the place throughout the year to help celebrate 100 years of the Calgary Stampede, make sure to sign up to become a Stampede Insider for first-access to exclusive news, contests and other insider information, and be sure to keep an eye on our official Twitter account at @calgarystampede and our official Facebook fan page for giveaways, special announcements, and more! Finally, visit our website and continue to tune into the official Stampede Blog to learn more about all of the things happening here on Park and beyond!

Finally, make sure you check out this week’s Four Corners – presented by BURNCO event happening on Saturday, May 26.  This week, we’ll be at Cardell Place at 11950 Country Village Link NE.  Running from 9 a.m. to noon, there’ll be pancake breakfasts, demonstrations, special activities and more.  With an old-time community fair and interactive games for the kids, it’s like a mini-Stampede festival in your backyard!

Tour of Smithbilt Hats

A couple of days ago I had the pleasure of going on a private tour of Smithbilt Hats here in Calgary. Here are a few pictures of what I saw.

  • Picture 1. Hat bodies. Smithbilt doesn’t make hat bodies here in Calgary. They have them shipped in from Portugal, Tennesse and Ecuador (wool hats). White Hats are extermely diffcult to make. They are diffcult because of the colour of the felt and you have to keep washing your hands so the felt stays clean.
  • Picture 2. Calgary Stampede centennial hat bodies. Note they are not made yet. They wait until someone purchase them and they custom make the hat while you are standing there.
  • Picture 3. Hats that people have bought and are waiting to get made.
  • Picture 4.  Machine used to shape wool hats & size in corner a puzzle block that shapes top hats (puzzle because it comes apart to remove it from the hat after shaping used for making Top Hats).
  • Picture 5. Shaping the top part wood block is used to give shape. Water ~120C.
  • Picture 6.  Shaping a wool hat.
  • Picture 7. Machine that shapes hats. They can make about 300 wool hats in a day.
  • Picture 8. Felt hats drying. It takes about a week to dry properly. Wool hats take about a day to dry.
  • Picture 9. Most of this equipment they have been using since the early 1900′s.
  • Picture 10. Machine used to block out the shape (felt) (115° 2 tons pressure).
  • Picture 11. A hat die. Used to shape wool hats.
  • Picture 12. Heating up the felt fibers so he can shape the hat.
  • Picture 13. Telling how he matches it to the line of your nose. Also sands the hat with sand paper starting at coarse and ends with a fine paper.
  • Picture 14. Hand shaping the crown of the hat.
  • Picture 15. Shaping the brim of the hat.
  • Picture 16. Et voilà! Hat finished.
  • Picture 17. Sewing machine that puts in hat bands. Sweat bands are made from goat leather and can be engraved with anything you wish. Birthday, Name, Year the sky’s the limit.
  • Picture 18. The laser engraving machine that engraves the sweat bands.