Rotary Dream Home handed over the new owners

Yesterday, the Rotary Dream Home was officially handed over to its new owners, John and Natalie Gaminde and their two daughters, Eoin, 3, and Euan, 1. DSCF0362

The Gaminde’s moved to Calgary from Toronto earlier this year, visited Stampede on Family Day and bought $50 worth of tickets for the Dream Home which is worth $750,000.

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Royalty Report: Meet the 2014 Calgary Stampede Queen Danica Heath

In an effort to stay current with up and coming media trends; Danica, Steph and I are trying our hands at video blogging aka V-logging. For a Communication Studies graduate and self professed “media geek”, video blog entries are something I have wanted to try for a while now and chronicling our year as the 2014 Calgary Stampede Royalty seems like the perfect opportunity to try it out. We have given our vlogs the clever name of Royalty Report and we hope to give you a live action and unique view of our adventures throughout the year.

This week we each interviewed (Barbara Walters style) each other to give you a more in depth look into who we are, our backgrounds and above all our wicked sense of humor! I interviewed Danica aka Queenie D, Our lovely new Calgary Stampede Queen.

Before closing, I want to give a HUGE shout out and thank you to my friend Rob who was able to spend countless hours helping to edit all 3 vlogs this week. Thanks for helping to add seamless transitions between takes, cutting out scenes of our uncontrollable laughter and bloopers and making it look very professional- THANK YOU.

Stay tuned for more vlogging and updates of the Royalty Report!

Happy Trails!

Princess Shannon

Some like it hot… Horseshoe competition heats up


Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there are horses, there are horse shoes. There are plenty of all of the above at the Calgary Stampede this weekend for the Canadian Horseshoe Championships.

Elite blacksmith horseshoers from across Canada are on Park to compete for the championship title, and to learn a few tips along the way from four-time World Horseshoe Champion Steven Beane from Yorkshire, England.

This Brit packs a mean punch on the anvil, serving up some hot advice for the competitors in his afternoon forge clinic Thursday afternoon, and is sticking around to judge the competition. Competitions are free for the public to attend, heating up Northern Light Arena (southeast corner outside the Saddledome) throughout the day, Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26.

Check out this CBC feature video story on Steven and the Canadian Horseshoeing Competition. For more details on times, check the website at


Better late than never…

I know, I know.  We’ve been lax on the blogging so far…well, that is all for a good reason!  Danica, Shannon and I are going to try vlogging (video blogging) this year, which is going to be awesome…as soon as we get super skilled at video-editing.  As of right now, our learning curve is still pretty steep (as with everything when you first start) but we’re getting there, albeit with a lot of trial and error.  We’re planning to debut some interviews this weekend, as soon as we convince somebody to help us with the intricacies of editing video….  But fear not!  If nothing else, we’re tenacious!  Eventually, the world will know us!


Princess Stephanie interviewing Queen Danica


In the meantime, we thought we should write something so nobody thinks we’ve forgotten about our online presence. (Shout out to our social media committee Alix and Rachel!) We thought it might be good to share something that we’ve learned so far in our reign: becoming a member of the Calgary Stampede Royalty is surrounded by clichés, but holy smokes do some of them hit home.

Cliché #1: Your year will fly by.

True. I had to double check my calendar this morning because there is absolutely NO WAY that it has been 3 weeks and 4 days since we have been crowned. It seems like just yesterday we were nervously arriving at the crowning ceremony.  After reassuring myself that the space-time continuum is indeed in good working order, I realized that time really is going to fly, and this year will be over before we know it. It’s going to be more important than ever to make sure that we appreciate every moment of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Cliché #2: Your Stampede Sisters will be your best friends.

At one of the first events we went to, I had somebody ask me how long the three of us had known each other before the competition. I had to laugh, because that is exactly what everybody told us would happen. None of us knew each other before the competition, but that hasn’t stopped us from realizing that the universe had created three girls who were kindred spirits and put us all together…Ok, so maybe that’s a bit over the top, but we’re definitely at the point in our friendship where we just know each other. Part of it is that we instantly have to be each other’s mirrors, which requires honesty, and sometime a blurring of boundaries.  Just yesterday, I had to wipe lipstick off of Danica’s teeth while we were going up the escalator at the airport to the Dreams Take Flight send-off. You may be going, “Oh gross!” (Which coincidentally, is what I said at the time.) But it had to be done, and let me tell you, there is nothing more indicative of trust than putting your hand near somebody else’s teeth…I’ve watched Shark Week. I know what’s up. As superficial as things like that are, they are what steam-rolls barriers, and let us get to the nitty-gritty of friendship.

Cliché #3: You will be a better version of you at the end of your year.

Um, I don’t know if you’ve met me before, but I’m like Mary Poppins… Practically perfect in every way.

I really hope nobody choked when they laughed as they read that last sentence. YEAH, RIGHT. Already, I’ve noticed ways that I am changing and growing. We have some amazing people surrounding us, and I am already overwhelmed by the unconditional acceptance and love that we have been given, just for being who we are. They want to bring out the best in us, by giving us the tools that we need to go forth and conquer. I already have more meaningful conversations, evaluate my perceptions more carefully, try harder to find the positivity in everything, and speak much, much more slowly. That last one is truly a miracle in my papa’s eyes, as he told me last week at dinner. (It can also be evidenced in this video… Listen to the difference between middle-me and end-me.)  But seriously; if I have grown this much in less than a month, I can only imagine what I will find when I re-evaluate my self 11 months down the road. I’m actually really excited to look back at my journal entries over the year and see where the changes come from. (See Mom? Now that I’ve publicly committed to keeping a journal, you don’t have to worry that I will forget!)

The clichés of being Rodeo Royalty may be abundant, but they sure do ring true now that I’m here.

Stay tuned for our ground-breaking, in-depth interviews which should be posted this weekend…

Until next time,
Princess Steph (I only get a year to sign it this way, so I’m taking advantage!)

Downtown Attractions committee serves up breakfast for We Day volunteers

Early this morning, the Downtown Attractions committee was out flipping pancakes and sausage for the We Day volunteers who are setting up for the big event tomorrow, October 24, 2013 in the Scotiabank Saddledome.


This inspiring event is “an educational event and the movement of our time—a movement of young people leading local and global change. We Day is tied to the yearlong We Act program, which offers curricular resources, campaigns and materials to help turn the day’s inspiration into sustained activation.”

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Shane Homes announces a $1 million donation for Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park, one of the three We’re Greatest Together projects, is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2015.

Shane Homes founder and CEO/CVO, Cal Wenzel, announced recently that his company is committing $1 million to create Shane Homes Park, a key part of the Stampede’s larger plan to create this year-round community space along the eastern edge of Stampede Park.

Photo Credit: Tye Carson

“This will be a new urban oasis in downtown Calgary,” said Wenzel. “Parkland and green space adds to the quality of urban living. This is a great fit for us. We are proud to help create a great new gathering, recreation and celebration place for Calgary.”

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This week: Cutting Horse Futurity presented by Wrangler

If you ever wondered what real cowboys are up to, or if you love watching beautiful horses at work, you should come check out the Cutting Horse Futurity presented by Wrangler this week, Wednesday, October 16 to Sunday, October 20, 2013. What, you ask, is Cutting Horse Futurity?

Cowboys of the wild west of yesterday and today depend on great horses to help them separate a cow from the herd.

Open Classic Champion Action (2)

Cows have a herd mentality, and they will do anything to get back in the pack with their buddies. The horse’s instinct, on the other hand, is to keep that cow separated.

Open Derby Reserve Action

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New china for 4,800 people (and a Happy Thanksgiving to all!)

Thanksgiving: turkey, family, pumpkin pie…and dishes. If you dread the mountain of Thanksgiving Day dishes, let the Calgary Stampede make you feel a tiny bit better about the numbers. Over the next year, we’ll be phasing in new china (after 33 years with the old, pictured below on the left, new on the right) for a staggering 4,800 place settings.old and new

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Congratulations to the recipients of the 2013 Western Legacy Awards!

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013 the Calgary Stampede was thrilled to announce at this year’s celebration event the recipients of the 2013 Western Legacy Awards: Carson Reiser (Award for Youth), Brian Nimijean and Paul Wagman (Award for Innovation), Rick Smith (Award for Sustained Contribution: Individual) and Children’s Hospital Aid Society (Award for Sustained Contribution: Group).

Photo Credit: Tye Carson

The Western Legacy Awards were launched in 2005 to honour individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions in promoting western values and preserving western heritage within the community. This year’s event was once again broadcast on Shaw TV. Each year, the Western Legacy Award committee receives nominations from the community which are reviewed by an independent committee who selects the recipients.

“We are humbled and inspired by the stories we hear each year of some of the unsung heroes in our community,” says Paul Valentine, chair of the Western Legacy Awards committee. “The recipients of the 2013 Western Legacy Awards embody the Stampede values of pride of place, western hospitality, commitment to community and integrity.”

You can meet all of the Western Legacy Award finalists in the following video, and read more about the recipients below. Nominations for the 2014 Western Legacy Awards will open in the new year and the ceremony will take place on October 28, 2014.

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Beat the Box Office for Stampede 2014

Don’t pack up your boots and hat just yet! Tickets for Stampede 2014 go on sale Monday, October 7 at 10am.  Be one of the first in line to secure your tickets for The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!

Purchase your tickets online at for the rodeo, chuckwagon races, grandstand, concerts and a wide range of packages guaranteed to help you make the most of your Stampede experience. When you register for a Stampede Account you can also automatically renew your rodeo and evening show tickets from year to year and take advantage of exclusive pre-sales and other offers.

As we countdown to Stampede 2014, details of performers, concerts and other entertainment will continue to be announced.  Be sure to sign up to become a “Stampede Insider” to stay exclusively in the know on all major announcements.  

Stampede 2014 will take place from July 4-13, 2013. For further information on tickets please call the Stampede Ticket Office at 403.269.9822 or 1.800.661.1767.


Ticket Scavenger Hunt

2014 Calgary Stampede tickets on sale

How would you like to be the first person to have tickets to the 2014 Calgary Stampede? On Saturday, October 5 we will be hiding tickets around downtown Calgary for our fans and followers to find. All you have to do is decipher the clues that we will be putting out on Twitter ( and find the tickets. You might just find the grand prize which includes Infield Rodeo tickets as well as a $100 Stampede store gift card and Chute tour.

The greatest tickets to The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth go on sale Monday, October 7.