So lots of things have happened or are currently going on since my last blog:
- The Election: the outcome was a surprise to most including me. However I am very optimistic that the Stampede can have a great relationship with the new government. We have a great story to communicate as our organization touches the works of many government departments or ministries – Education, Tourism and Culture, Agriculture, Aboriginal and Environment to name just a few – and our Youth Campus development is a project that members of every political party can get behind and support. So we will be inviting and hoping to see the new Premier and other members of the government here during Stampede this year.
- Calgary Flames: it was fabulous to see the City but in particular Stampede Park and 17th Avenue come alive again during this year’s exciting Flames playoff run. Congratulations to that organization for a great year and hopefully we can now make Flames’ playoff games an annual event to look forward to for a number of years in a row.
- Stampede is Coming: time is going by fast and at time of writing this less than 50 days until Stampede. New announcements coming out almost daily it seems. Stevie Wonder now added to concert line up for final Sunday, love the concept of outdoor patio and Stoli Lounge for Nashville North along with great music line up, an expanded Bud Zone at south end of park will be very popular and though not allowed to share any details yet, there is a great new show performing in the Corral during Stampede which will be a big hit and unbelievable that it is being provided as part of the free entertainment on Park.
- Parade Marshal: I am very excited about this year’s parade marshal – expect an announcement in early June.
- People: apparently April 12 to 18 was National Volunteer Week and for some reason it looks like we missed sending out any messaging to our volunteers. Sorry about that as in my view the Calgary Stampede is blessed to have the most passionate and hard-working volunteers of any organization in Canada and in my position I think about and am thankful for that every day on the job.
- People 2: don’t want to forget about and also thank our hard working employees who are now literally burning the midnight oil to ensure that Stampede 2015 will be one of the best ever. Special congrats to our newly appointed Vice-President and CFO Shelley Flint who is doing a great job on the numbers side and Sarah Hayes Vice-President, Foundation who was so very instrumental in the success of the Calgary Stampede Foundation’s Capital Campaign.
- Being President: We are a large organization with many moving parts and a few thousand brand ambassadors in the form of volunteers and employees. As President, I receive many compliments and the occasional criticism (but happy to say the compliments far outweigh the complaints) about something we have done or are doing either on Park or in the community. I certainly don’t know all the details of every CS decision and program so I’m just getting more comfortable with saying “thank you” on behalf of our entire organization of volunteers and employees. (The complaints I just send down the hall to Warren – only partially kidding about that.)