Stampede Sponsorship Manager shares his expertise at the 2016 Irish Sponsorship Summit

Patrick O’Brien, sponsorship manager attended the 2016 Irish Sponsorship Summit (ISS) last Thursday, February 25. Three hundred of the industry’s thought leaders and Ireland’s sponsorship professionals had the opportunity to share their insight on the future of sponsorship. O’Brien spoke alongside seven other international keynote speakers.


I had the opportunity to chat with Pat before he attended the event.

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Stampede supports the 2016 Immigrant of Distinction Awards

The 20th Annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards gala (IDA) is on Friday, March 11.


Immigrant Services Calgary (ISC) has hosted the gala since 1997 to recognize the achievements and life stories of some of Calgary’s most community-minded individuals. Twenty-five Immigrants and refugees in the Calgary community are finalists for the award and they will be acknowledged at IDA for their exceptional contributions and achievements in the following categories: Achievement Under 35; Arts and Culture; Community Service; Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Hadassah Ksienski Lifetime Achievement; STEM; Organizational Diversity; and Youth Scholarships. Continue reading

Past Contestant, now Volunteer Committee Member, brings a new vibe to the Stampede Talent Search.

This month we are honoured to have our newest committee member, past contestant and 2012 Don Welden Most Promising Performer award recipient, Bryton Udy, share his take on transitioning from contestant to volunteer to help to make Canada’s largest youth talent competition a success.

Having been born and raised in Calgary, I have always loved the Calgary Stampede. From the moment I heard about the Stampede Talent Search, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. While the prizing and performance opportunity may have been what drew me to the Stampede Talent Search originally, it was the community and people that made me stay.

Bryton accepting the Don Welden Most Promising Performer award in 2012.

Bryton (far right) accepting the Don Welden Most Promising Performer award in 2012.

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Upcoming talk on John Ware, Alberta Pioneer

On Tuesday, February 23, author Cheryl Foggo will be presenting on the life story of cowboy John Ware and the ways in which his legacy has intersected with her life in present-day southern Alberta.

John Ware

Born a slave in South Carolina, Ware moved West after the end of the American Civil War. He found work in Texas as a ranch hand and began moving cattle north. In 1882, he was involved in a drive to bring 3,000 cattle to southern Alberta. The cattle were successfully delivered to for the Bar U Ranch, located near Longview, and Ware ended up staying in the area.

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Giving Great Ideas A Voice — Introducing the iTeAm!

With a volunteer base of 2,500, and a core staff of 1,200 employees, the Calgary Stampede has no shortage of experienced people with great ideas. Formed in 2015, the iTeAm, (formally known as the Innovation Committee), is charged with connecting great ideas and true innovations that will enhance the Stampede experience, to the people and resources to make it happen.

Do you have an idea that can make the Stampede better? We want to hear from you!

Do you have an idea that can make the Stampede better? We want to hear from you!

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A year in review: Calgary Stampede 2015 Report to the Community

We invite you to tour our new interactive, online Calgary Stampede Annual Report to the Community. Be sure to check out the many videos and infographic statistics for a comprehensive and entertaining view of the Stampede and its year-round initiatives.

2016-02-18 AnnualReport

A tradition of community service has long been the hallmark of the Stampede’s culture. Looking back over this past year, the Stampede continued to deliver exceptional Stampede time experiences and diverse year-round programming. As you review the highlights of our 103rd year, we hope that you will agree that the Stampede is a world-class, year-round gathering place for the community, in ways which we can all be incredibly proud. To read our report, click here.

To see past reports, visit the Calgary Stampede Annual Report Archives.

Happy Trails!

Hey y’all, Princess Chelsey here again, back at it for the New Year! As per usual, we’ve been keeping quite busy, but realizing that this is to be our slow time before all of the extra excitement of spring time hits, we’ve been enjoying our down time while we can! I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about one event that we get to attend each and every month, and will continue to all through the rest of the year…Happy Trails! If you think that was me bursting into song…you’re mistaken. Happy Trails is a monthly event put on by the Calgary Stampede Promotions Committee where we tag along to various retirement homes for an evening of singing, line-dancing, and spending time with the residents. Chelsey 1

We love the Calgary song!

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Bucking horses blazing trails at winter rodeos

In the dead of winter when the snow is falling and the ice is growing thicker it is a reminder that it is hockey season. For us Calgarians, this hockey season has not been what we would have anticipated and the Flames have not delivered as many wins as we would like to see. But as all good Calgarians would do, we will continue to follow our Flames when they head out for their next road swing and hope for the best. What most Calgarians may not know, however, is that we have another team out on the road. We have another team playing a different sport in fact and playing it well. This may come as a bit of a surprise but rodeo season is in full swing and the Calgary Stampede bucking horse team is out on a road swing of their own, and unlike our beloved Flames the horses are racking up wins everywhere they go.

The bucking stock horse team started in Denver in early January at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, a 10-day rodeo which hands out nearly $500,000 in prize money. The horses came hard out of the gate so to speak and put up three go-round wins including a 90 point ride coming on the back of one of the heard matriarchs Reckless Margie. Her Second 90 in just a months’ time.

Reckless Margie bucking strong at the 2015 Calgary Stampede

Reckless Margie bucking strong at the 2015 Calgary Stampede

From there they made the trip to San Antonio Texas for the highest paying regular season rodeo in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Some of the team headed home and some new recruits were added for what you could call our All Star line up of bucking horses. The Sidney Crosby of the team, Special Delivery, is there waiting to perform later in the week along with 36 of his team mates and they are ready to put some in the win column.

Special Delivery delivering an exceptional performance during the 2015 Calgary Stampede

Special Delivery delivering an exceptional performance during the 2015 Calgary Stampede

With every good hockey team you need a couple enforcers or tough guys as some would call them. In the rodeo world, the cowboys call them an eliminator. Just like the Flames’ Michael Ferland, we have horses that are big, tough, fast and when they are out on the ice you will have your hands full. Trail Dust, a nine year old gelding, fits that description to a tee. Trail Dust has an impressive buck off record that can send shivers down the spine of a bareback rider. He is known for his power and his athleticism and some would say he is just hitting his prime. Along with almost 15 career buck-offs he has also put up some 90 point rides and has been selected for the Canadian and National Finals two times. Trail Dust was one of the first for our team to compete in San Antonio and it appears he has no plans of slowing down after carrying fellow Canadian Ty Taypotat to a go round win worth $2,300.

Trail Dust kicking high at the 2014 Calgary Stampede

Trail Dust kicking high at the 2014 Calgary Stampede

Along with Trail Dust, his other team mates have chipped in for four additional go round wins thus far including an outstanding 85 point ride for Taylor Price aboard Princess Warrior. Rookie horses Warped Logic and Until Kamloops also posted wins along with veteran horse Knight Rocket.

It is still early in the 17-day rodeo but you can bet the Calgary Stampede team will be out in full force over the course of the $1.4 million rodeo.

From San Antonio, the team will head to the RFDTV The American for a one-day $2 million rodeo and then over to Houston to finish their road swing at the NRG Stadium.

So if you are a proud Calgarian, don’t forget that the Flames aren’t the only team out on the road and be sure to cheer on the horses as they blaze a trail across Texas.

John Philip Sousa and the Calgary Stampede Showband

John Philip Sousa, the American conductor and composer who popularized the sousaphone, has a special connection to the Calgary Stampede. The Calgary Stampede Showband is playing Sousa’s “The Thunderer” (1889) as part of its concert band repertoire this year, but the connection doesn’t end there. Sousa and his band, the “Sousa Band” actually visited the Calgary in 1919 and performed at the Calgary Exhibition.

1919_tnSousa’s band toured all over the world following the end of WWI and was exceptionally popular because Sousa had combined everything he liked about other types of ensembles (brass bands, military bands, orchestras, and beer hall bands) to create something different. Photos from the Glenbow Archives show that there was a huge audience when Sousa’s band performed in Calgary. Sousa was known as the “march king” for composing and arranging patriotic marches, so it makes a lot of sense that the Showband and other marching bands continue to play his music.

The Showband performed “The Thunderer” at its annual Celebration Concert earlier this month, and will perform it again when it competes in the Alberta International Band Festival on February 21 at the Rosza Centre. Continue reading

Allie Patch teaches us the importance of learning new things

Allie Patch has been playing trumpet as a member of the Calgary Stampede Showband since 2012. A linguistics major at the University of Calgary, she’s now the Showband’s brass captain, a member of leadership team, and teaches brass to junior high age students in the Calgary Round-Up Band. As a member of the Showband, she rehearses weekly and once a month on weekends for concert band performances and learning the Showband’s summer field show production. In addition to teaching and school work, this makes for a pretty busy schedule! On top of all this, Allie decided to learn color guard this year for the first time and joined Calgary’s prestigious Dynamic Winterguard.

“Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is immerse yourself in something completely different.”

In color guard, often referred to as the “sport of the arts”, performers use props and movement to tell a story with music. Most marching bands and drum corps have a color guard, but many groups perform on their own during the winter season as “winter guards”. Most color guard performers start early, learning and honing their skills in junior high and high school. Allie, an already accomplished musician and third year university student, decided to take up color guard this fall, “After playing so many kinds of instruments growing up, I wanted to try something new. Some things have come easier than others – hard rifle tosses are difficult – but it has been a really fun challenge.”


Allie, performing with Dynamic Winterguard earlier this season.

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An Interview with Princess Chelsey

Howdy everyone!

Queen Maggie here. It’s so good to be back! Hope everyone stayed well over the holidays. I’m here today to fill you in on the fun loving, bow hunting, show jumping Princess, Chelsey Jacobson.

Chelsey was born in Thunder Bay Ontario and moved to Alberta at the ripe old age of three. Chelsey grew up as your typical horse-crazy kid, toting around on whatever horse or pony was on the acreage at the time. She started riding English when she was about 12 and soon discovered showjumping. Chelsey went off to Olds College before beginning to work in the sport horse world on a breeding and training farm, then for a few well-respected trainers in the jumping world, before deciding to try something new and winding up here!


Chelsey as a young goat wrangler.

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Community spirit spreading through 2016 with Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede has been creating memories for our community for more than 100 years, bringing excitement through spectacular shows, rural connections through programming, intrigue through interesting food combinations and more; but do you really know the people who make up the Calgary Stampede? Check out our new #GreatestTogether Stampede selfie video to see the faces behind the Stampede.

#GreatestTogether video on Youtube

#GreatestTogether video on Youtube

More than 2,200 volunteers, 1,200 full-time and part-time employees, and 4,000 seasonal Stampede time employees dedicate their time and energy to help put on The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. These combined 7,500 people are dedicated to creating a space, every year, for people to come together and celebrate. No matter how our city evolves, the Stampede is committed to remaining a home for our guests to come together to celebrate Stampede spirit in their own way. Continue reading

Bell Let’s Talk – Calgary Stampede employees join the effort to end the stigma around mental illness

It’s first thing in the morning, January 27. Before settling into their desks and getting down to work for the day, a handful of Calgary Stampede employees gather for a conversation and a quick photo in support of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.

Calgary Stampede employees gather to support the #BellLetsTalk initiative.

Calgary Stampede employees gather to support the #BellLetsTalk initiative.

At the same time, around Stampede Park, across Calgary and throughout Canada, similar conversations are being started through the photos and messages of support posted to social media with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk. The annual Bell Let’s Talk Day engages Canadians in a cross-country conversation in an effort to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness. For every social media mention, as well as every text or call on the Bell network on January 27, Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs.


This year’s campaign achieved record-breaking participation and Bell has announced it will be donating nearly $6.3 million.


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From the Stampede to the big screen

Jordie Fike, chuckwagon driver, dressed for his role in The Revenant.

Jordie Fike, chuckwagon driver, dressed for his role in The Revenant.

“They even yellowed our teeth, the attention to detail was unbelievable!”

Jordie Fike looks almost unrecognizable, dressed to perform as a Special Skill Extra, or SSE, for the highly acclaimed movie The Revenant. But as an accomplished chuckwagon driver and lifelong horseman, it wasn’t just his ability to look the part that secured Fike a position with the production filming on location in Alberta last spring.

“Chuckwagon drivers know how to take care of horses, that’s what we do.” says Fike, who also acted as a Wrangler for the shoot, adding “It’s the reason we were there, we know how to read their cues and react in any situation.”

Revenant - Academy Award nominations

The Revenant is nominated for 12 Academy Awards and has already won three Golden Globes with its dramatic action and striking scenes, many of which involve horses.  It is based on the true story of Hugh Glass, a trapper attacked by a bear and left for dead.  The film follows Glass as he struggles to return to civilization and seek revenge on those who abandoned him. Continue reading

Step into the Past and get a Glimpse of the Future

We know that the Calgary Stampede celebrates western heritage and the history of southern Alberta. But did you know that for many years, one of the most popular draws for people coming to the Stampede was to get a glimpse of the future?

Before the internet made mass communication of innovations possible, people looked to annual events like exhibits and fairs for the latest and greatest marvels. The 1930s were a difficult time for everyone; a drought affected western agriculture while the stock market crash of 1929 wreaked havoc on every aspect of the economy. The 1934 Stampede delivered a welcome escape from these troubles. That year, visitors were treated to a futuristic display in the Exhibits Building: a giant TV and Alpha the Robot.

The 1934 Stampede poster advertised Alpha and a Giant Television.

The 1934 Stampede poster advertised Alpha and a Giant Television.

During the height of radio, television was a novelty. The Stampede contracted General Television Corporation of Canada, Limited to set up a TV and air content. The unit weighed nearly 1,800 lbs (817 kgs) and sat in the Exhibitis Building on a four-foot-high platform. On the poster, the TV was advertised as “A Free Educational Exhibit.” Continue reading