How being Indian Princess changed my life and my words of advice for anyone thinking of applying for 2017 Indian Princess

I am about  to complete my reign as the 2016 Indian Princess–I can’t believe it! If you are a Treaty 7 woman between the ages of 18 and 25, I really encourage you to apply for to be the 2017 Indian Princess. You will have the opportunity of a lifetime to share your culture locally, nationally and internationally. Read more in this interview about the incredible places I got to go and people I got to meet. The Calgary Stampede is now accepting applications and the deadline is Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Email Indianprincess@calgarystampede.com for an application or visit my Facebook page for more information.

Calgary Stampede: You are about to wrap up your year as Indian Princess– how do you feel?

Vanessa Stiffarm: It’s kind of bittersweet- I’m excited but I’m also sad. It’s been an amazing year – it’s sad knowing that it’s almost over. But I’m excited to see how many girls try out this year and how the program grows for next year.

Vanessa parade day

CS: Can you sum up the year with three words (or phrases)?
VS: Exciting, full of surprises, memorable Continue reading

Stampede committees work together to host event that proves anyone can be a rodeo star

The Calgary Stampede Queens’ Alumni committee, in partnership with the 4-H committee, and sponsored by Maxim Power Corp., hosted Giddy-Up Rodeo this past weekend, an event for special needs children to come have some fun and try their skills in mock-rodeo events.

“We love participating in the amazing events you hold for the special needs community,” Giddy-Up attendee, Katy Lowe, said. “My son has autism and cannot usually participate in community events and as a result neither can his two sisters.” Giddy-Up Rodeo, and all of the Queen’s Alumni Giddy-Up events, are specially designed so that children can participate in community events at their pace and in a comfortable setting that isn’t over-stimulating and overwhelming. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming and it’s an event where everyone can feel accepted.

As soon as you walked through the doors of the beautiful Agrium Western Event Centre guests were immediately greeted by enthusiastic members of the Stampede board of directors, members of the Promotion committee (who were giving out CS branded stamps and showing off their roping skills) and an 11-year-old fiddler to set the tone.

Giddy Up Rodeo 2016 - Agrium

 

Giddy Up Rodeo - Promotion committee

Giddy Up Rodeo - welcome Continue reading

Why colour guard is the unexpected sport your child should try this year

When you’re wondering what sport or activity your child should try this year, colour guard usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind – but it should be! Colour guard is what we call the group of athletes/performers/dancers that twirl flags and toss (fake) rifles in front of marching bands. They’re extremely impressive but no one really knows how to join a colour guard, how you learn those skills, or what the colour guard does when they aren’t leading a parade. To answer these questions and more, the Escalade Winter Guard Association is hosting a colour guard Youth Development Camp this month, providing beginner instruction in dance, flag, and rifle skills – perfect for youth of all ages! Plus, if your tween/teen likes it, they can sign up to join the Calgary Round Up Band or Calgary Stetson Show Band this season. Still not convinced? We’ve got 8 reasons your kid should give colour guard a try this summer:

1. They don’t call it the “sport of the arts” for nothing! Colour guard is called the “sport of the arts” because it brings music to life through performance in a competitive format. Performers demonstrate skill, agility, strength and endurance through choreographed movement, dance and use of props set to music to tell a story. Every season, colour guards rehearse several times a week to prepare for competitions. They make it look easy, but it takes a huge amount of skill to gracefully spin and toss colour guard equipment.

The Stampede Showband is an auditioned group for youth ages 16-21. Taylor Fraser, pictured here, is preparing to toss her "rifle" into the air, so it'll spin six times, and then catch it. Photo: End Credits

The Stampede Showband is an auditioned group for youth ages 16-21. Taylor Fraser, pictured here, is preparing to toss her “rifle”. It’ll spin in the air, and she’ll catch it without missing a beat. Photo: End Credits.

The coaches and instructors are seasoned veterans who have performed and competed at the highest levels. Many of the instructors with Calgary’s colour guard ensembles performed with the Calgary Stampede Showband and Drum Corps International (DCI) ensembles, and continue to compete in local elite ensembles like Escalade. Continue reading

Calgary Stampede Novice Tour names 2016 Champions

It has been a long hard season for the veterans of rodeo, and with only a month left in regular season action the push is on for their weary bodies to get to the Canadian and hopefully the National Finals Rodeo. But for some on the Canadian Pro Rodeo Tour this is a brand new experience. Traveling thousands of miles to rodeos all across the country is an exciting prospect and a grand adventure. The young men on the Calgary Stampede Novice Pro Tour have been put through their paces all summer and their hard work and commitment is paying off in these dog days of summer.

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Tanner Young – competing at the 2016 Calgary Stampede

This past weekend, Strathmore saw the conclusion of the Calgary Stampede sponsored Novice tour, which consists of seven rodeos across Alberta including the Calgary Stampede itself. Young competitors in the Novice Bareback, Saddle Bronc and Junior Steer Riding earn points through those rodeos towards a tour championship. The Calgary Stampede pays the entry fees for all of the young competitors at each rodeo and sponsors a bronze trophy and gold and silver championship buckle for each of the tour champions.
The goal is to promote the sport to young competitors in hopes that they will learn the ropes at a professional level and advance into the top ranks of rodeo as our future super stars. At the very least the Calgary Stampede loves to see young competitors being able to be a part of the sport and get to spend time with some of the greatest rodeo athletes on the circuit. The Stampede ranch also supplies young horses for most of the rodeos on the tour giving the young animals and young riders a chance to hone their skills.

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Kolby Wanchuck – competing at the 2016 Calgary Stampede

This past weekend saw some great competition with a few young but familiar faces taking home the bronze trophies. Kolby Wanchuck was the top Novice Saddle Bronc rider on the Tour and is looking great for advancing on to the Canadian Finals Rodeo. In the Bareback it was Tanner Young, who is looking to make a return trip to Edmonton in the fall. In the Steer Riding it was Carter Sahli who claimed the Tour Championship and by the expression on his face during his ride at the Stampede, you can tell he is a fierce competitor.

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Carter Sahli – competing at the 2016 Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede could not be happier for these young cowboys and is proud to be a part of building rodeo athletes for the next generation. The Stampede loves nothing more than to celebrate youth achievement – so to this year’s Calgary Stampede Novice Tour Champions goes a big tip of the hat!